Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a multifactorial functional disorder with no clearly defined etiology or pathophysiology. Modern culture-independent techniques have improved the understanding of the gut microbiota's composition and demonstrated that an altered gut microbiota profile might be found in at least some subgroups of IBS patients. Research on IBS from a microbial perspective is gaining momentum and advancing. This review will therefore highlight potential links between the gut microbiota and IBS by discussing the current knowledge of the gut microbiota; it will also illustrate bacterial-host interactions and how alterations to these interactions could exacerbate, induce or even help alleviate IBS.
Keywords: Dysbiosis; Immunity; Irritable bowel syndrome; Microbiota; Probiotics.