Intestinal flora and mucosal immune responses

Int J Med Microbiol. 2003 Apr;293(1):77-86. doi: 10.1078/1438-4221-00246.


The normal intestinal flora and the mucosal immune system exist in close spatial proximity. A normal structure and function of both very complex systems is required for health and develops in a constant and interactive process. An abnormal host response to the normal intestinal flora leads to chronic intestinal inflammation. Probiotic bacteria may modulate the intestinal flora and the mucosal immune response and are an effective therapy for remission maintenance of ulcerative colitis and pouchitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bacteria / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Rats