Humans harbour nearly 100 trillion intestinal bacteria that are essential for health. Millions of years of co-evolution have moulded this human-microorganism interaction into a symbiotic relationship in which gut bacteria make essential contributions to human nutrient metabolism and in return occupy a nutrient-rich environment. Although intestinal microorganisms carry out essential functions for their hosts, they pose a constant threat of invasion owing to their sheer numbers and the large intestinal surface area. In this Review, we discuss the unique adaptations of the intestinal immune system that maintain homeostatic interactions with a diverse resident microbiota.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy