Current Infectious Disease Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 28–34 | Cite as

Current Concepts of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Pathogenesis of Infection

  • Leslie H. Wardwell
  • Curtis Huttenhower
  • Wendy S. Garrett


The human gastrointestinal tract is populated by a vast and diverse community of microbes. This gut microbiota participates in host metabolism, protects from invading microbes, and facilitates immune system development and function. In this review, we consider the contributions of intestinal microbes to the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Key concepts of colonization resistance, host-commensal microbe interaction in immunity, antibiotics and gut bacterial communities, viral-gut bacterial interactions, and evolving methods for studying commensal microbes are explored.


Intestine Commensal Microbiota Infection Gut Bacteria Gastrointestinal Microbial community Infectious disease 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie H. Wardwell
    • 1
    • 4
  • Curtis Huttenhower
    • 3
  • Wendy S. Garrett
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and Infectious DiseasesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Genetics and Complex DiseasesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Dana Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

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