Date: 20 Jan 2011

Probiotic-Pathogen Interactions and Enteric Cytoprotection

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The intestinal epithelium forms a physicochemical barrier that impedes enteric pathogens from invading the epithelium and cause disease. In order for a particular pathogen to colonise the intestinal mucosa, it needs to break and cross this barrier. The barrier consists of a low pH area mainly resulting from carbohydrate fermentation, a mucus layer along the epithelial surface, an epithelial mechanical barrier maintained by intercellular tight junctions, an apical actin cytoskeleton, and the presence of stable microbiota. In addition, this barrier produces inflammatory mediators, mainly cytokines.