The intestinal immune system has to strike a delicate balance between initiating inflammatory responses against invading bacterial pathogens and avoiding their induction against microbiota colonizing the lumen. Adequate inflammatory responses against bacterial invasion result in the lumenal secretion of antimicrobial peptides, as well as the release of cytokines in tissue that recruit and activate phagocytes. However, pathogens have evolved to utilize these environmental changes in the inflamed intestine to promote colonization. This review focuses on the costs and benefits of intestinal inflammation and the fine interplay between the host, its microbiota, and enteric pathogens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas