Immune regulation by the microbiome
Oakley, Oliver R. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
- Microbiome–immune system responses
- Immune system regulated by the microbiome
- The human body as an ecosystem
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
For centuries, people have acknowledged the presence of microorganisms around, on, and in the human body. These organisms, or germs, were found to be beneficial in some cases, such as in beer and wine fermentation, but other detrimental germs could result in the spoiling of food and in illness. Robert Koch, the founder of modern-day microbiology, was the first person to associate a particular disease, anthrax, with a specific organism. In the late 1800s, he published a set of criteria known as Koch's postulates, which were used by pioneering microbiologists for more than a century to associate diseases with specific organisms. What these microbiologists did not appreciate was that the human body had evolved in the presence of these germs and that the majority of them are beneficial. Without these beneficial germs, the human body does not function at its best, and the lack of these germs may promote disease states. See also: Anthrax; Anthrax bacillus and the immune response; Clinical microbiology; Disease; Fermentation; Food fermentation; Microbial ecology; Microbiology; Public health
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