The microbiota in inflammatory bowel disease

J Gastroenterol. 2015 May;50(5):495-507. doi: 10.1007/s00535-015-1064-1. Epub 2015 Mar 26.


This review explores our current understanding of the complex interaction between environmental risk factors, genetic traits and the development of inflammatory bowel disease. The primacy of environmental risk factors is illustrated by the rapid increase in the incidence of the disease worldwide. We discuss how the gut microbiota is the proximate environmental risk factor for subsequent development of inflammatory bowel disease. The evolving fields of virome and mycobiome studies will further our understanding of the full potential of the gut microbiota in disease pathogenesis. Manipulating the gut microbiota is a promising therapeutic avenue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Mass Index
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation / methods
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / genetics
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / microbiology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / therapy*
  • Life Style
  • Microbiota*
  • Prevalence
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents