Although antibiotics have significantly improved human health and life expectancy, their disruption of the existing microbiota has been linked to significant side effects such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis, and increased susceptibility to subsequent disease. By using antibiotics to break colonization resistance against Clostridium, Salmonella, and Citrobacter species, researchers are now exploring mechanisms for microbiota-mediated modulation against pathogenic infection, revealing potential roles for different phyla and family members as well as microbiota-liberated sugars, hormones, and short-chain fatty acids in regulating pathogenicity. Furthermore, connections are now being made between microbiota dysbiosis and a variety of different diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, atopy, and obesity. Future advances in the rapidly developing field of microbial bioinformatics will enable researchers to further characterize the mechanisms of microbiota modulation of disease and potentially identify novel therapeutics against disease.
Keywords: antibiotics; enteric; microbiota; pathogen.