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Woelfel, Simon ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2528-0582; Salvado Silva, Marta ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0002-0688-302X and Stecher, Bärbel ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7445-5193 (2024): Intestinal colonization resistance in the context of environmental, host, and microbial determinants. In: Cell Host & Microbe, Vol. 32, No. 6: pp. 820-836 [PDF, 3MB]


Microbial communities that colonize the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract defend against pathogens through a mechanism known as colonization resistance (CR). Advances in technologies such as next-generation sequencing, gnotobiotic mouse models, and bacterial cultivation have enhanced our understanding of the underlying mechanisms and the intricate microbial interactions involved in CR. Rather than being attributed to specific microbial clades, CR is now understood to arise from a dynamic interplay between microbes and the host and is shaped by metabolic, immune, and environmental factors. This evolving perspective underscores the significance of contextual factors, encompassing microbiome composition and host conditions, in determining CR. This review highlights recent research that has shifted its focus toward elucidating how these factors interact to either promote or impede enteric infections. It further discusses future research directions to unravel the complex relationship between host, microbiota, and environmental determinants in safeguarding against GI infections to promote human health.

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