Impact of the Gastrointestinal Microbiome in Health and Disease: Co-evolution with the Host Immune System
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Microbes within the gastrointestinal tract communicate with each other and with the host, which has profound effects on health and disease development. Only now, it is becoming apparent that how and when we acquire our own unique collection of “gut microbes” and also how we choose to maintain them is fundamental to our health. Helicobacter pylori is the most common bacterial infection worldwide, colonizing around half of the world’s population, and is the major risk factor for gastric adenocarcinoma. More recently, it has also been shown to have some beneficial effects in terms of protecting against the development of other diseases. Here, we review the current knowledge on how H. pylori has shaped gastrointestinal microbiota colonization and the host immune system with specific focus on the impact of H. pylori on the various microbiome niches of the gastrointestinal tract. We discuss how the presence of H. pylori influences the physiology of three major regions within the gastrointestinal tract—specifically the oesophagus, stomach and colon. We pay particular attention to the role of H. pylori under chronic inflammatory conditions including the development of cancer. With increased incidence of diseases such as eosinophilic oesophagitis, oesophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma being attributed to the decline in H. pylori, their disease pathogenesis in light of changing H. pylori colonization is also discussed.
KeywordsHelicobacter pylori Gastrointestinal microbiota Oesophageal microbiome Gastric microbiome Colonic microbiome
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