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La Flore intestinale commensale: la balance sans le glaive?



La Flore intestinale commensale: la balance sans le glaive?



Journal de la Societe de Biologie 200(2): 113-120



The intestine is colonised by a vast population of resident bacteria which have established mutualistic relationhips with their host throughout evolution, progressing from commensalism to symbiotic interactions. Intestinal bacteria benefit from resources available in their host, but reciprocally provide advantages to their host, by supplying enzymatic activities not encoded in the host genome, by promoting maturation of the intestine and of the gut associated immune system as well as by modifying the host metabolism. The commensal bacteria, although deprived of pathogenic attributes, might however become a danger for the host in case of translocation, acquisition of pathogenic features or via the inappropriate activation of intestinal inflammation. Remarkably, the commensal flora promotes the onset of innate and adaptive immune defences which, in turn, allow to set up a subtle balance between the host and the flora that promotes the symbiosis.

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