The resilience of the intestinal microbiota influences health and disease (Nature Reviews Microbiology)

Felix Sommer and his colleagues of the lab of Prof. Philip Rosenstiel published the article “The resilience of the intestinal microbiota influences health and disease” in the renowned
journal Nature Review Microbiology. They discuss the role of a robust microbiota for effects of different variable environmental factors and the impact in health and disease.

The composition of the intestinal microbiota varies among individuals and throughout development, and is dependent on host and environmental factors. However, although the microbiota is constantly exposed to environmental challenges, its composition and function in an individual are stable against perturbations, as microbial communities are resilient and resistant to change. The maintenance of a beneficial microbiota requires a homeostatic equilibrium within microbial communities, and also between the microorganisms and the intestinal interface of the host. The resilience of the healthy microbiota protects us from dysbiosis-related diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or metabolic disorder. By contrast, a resilient dysbiotic microbiota may cause disease. In this Opinion article, we propose that microbial resilience has a key role in health and disease. We will discuss the concepts and mechanisms of microbial resilience against dietary, antibiotic or bacteriotherapy-induced perturbations and the implications for human health.

Original publication:
Felix Sommer, Jacqueline Moltzau Anderson, Richa Bharti, Jeroen Raes & Philip Rosenstiel, The resilience of the intestinal microbiota influences health and disease. Nature Reviews Microbiology 2017, published online June 19 doi: 10.1038/nrmicro.2017.58