Gut microbiota and immune defenses

The thematic paper titled Immune defenses and gut microbiota describes the latest advances on the link between gut flora and immune defenses. It sheds light on the current knowledge and outlooks and focuses on 3 key points: the involvement of the microbiota in the development of the immune system, its role in diseases with strong immunity and inflammatory components (T1DM, CIBD, among others), and the benefits of the modulation of commensal gut bacteria to prevent some infections.

Often referred to as a “new organ” in the scientific literature, the gut microbiota could also play a role in immunity. The involvement of this unsuspected function in the normal and pathological physiology of the human body could be significant: type 1 diabetes mellitus, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, host-versus-graft disease, and even the prevention of some infections… Could the gut microbiota become a “new immune organ”?

The immune system is known to be naive early in life and constantly evolving in response to subsequent antigenic contacts. We now discovered that there is an adjuvant to its structuration: the gut microbiota, which is present from the start of its development and never leaves. This balance is based on complex interactions; it develops at an early stage and allows all the participants to coexist.