Probiotics in Infectious Diseases

Part of the Emerging Infectious Diseases of the 21st Century book series (EIDC)

Probiotics are defined as dietary supplements of living microorganisms found in the normal flora with low or no pathogenicity, but with positive effects on the health of the host. A broader definition of probiotics proposed is “microbial cell preparations or components of microbial cells that have a beneficial effect on health, and well being of the host.” The term “probiotic” is derived from the Greek meaning “for life”, this strictly should be viable organisms. Commensal bacteria have coevolved with humans and the body contains tenfold as many indigenous protective microorganisms as it does eukaryotic cells. Vast numbers of microorganisms colonize the skin, mouth, gut, and all orifices without damage to the host, and some of these microorganisms protect the body from invasion by pathogens.

There is accumulating evidence that normal colonizing or resident microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract (GI), skin, and mucosa of various orifices are necessary to maintain good health. Although these microorganisms can on occasion cause disease, mainly in the immune-compromised hosts or in the presence of indwelling foreign material, they play essential roles in maintaining the integrity of the endothelial and mucosal lining, interfere with establishment of invading pathogens, and stimulate the innate immune system. Native or resident microflora colonizes the skin, oral cavity, the GI tract, upper respiratory tract, and urogenital tract. Transient microorganisms colonize the body from the external environment and can persist if some niche is not filled with resident native flora.


Bacterial Vaginosis Bacterial Translocation Lactobacillus Strain Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection Infectious Diarrhea 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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