Metagenomic analysis of the human intestinal microbiome has provided a wealth of information that allowed an exceptionally detailed description of its microbial content and physiological potential. It also set the basis for studies allowing correlation of alterations in the balance of this microbiota and the occurrence of a certain number of emerging diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity and diabetes, and possibly colorectal cancer. The time has come to give the intestinal microbiota in symbiosis with its host an experimental dimension. This brief review summarizes our attempt at developing a cellular microbiology of the mutualistic symbiosis established between the gut microbiota and the host intestinal surface. Particular attention is paid to the intestinal crypt, due to its role in epithelial regeneration.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘The new bacteriology’.
One contribution of 15 to a discussion meeting issue ‘The new bacteriology’.
- Accepted May 17, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.