To flush or not to flush … that is a question

J Cell Commun Signal. 2016 Dec;10(4):337-340. doi: 10.1007/s12079-016-0361-7. Epub 2016 Nov 7.


The human gut microflora has drawn a lot of attention as a potent therapeutic tool for many decades. More recently, efforts have been developed to devise efficient ways of complementing or replacing deficient intestinal microflora associated with intestinal diseases that are resistant to conventional medical treatments. Aside from the medical and industrial applications that emerged from the use of gut microbiota, the complex constitution of this ecosystem raises fascinating questions regarding host-cell communication and host response mechanisms to the ever changing environment. This brief comment also points to questions raised by some unexpected applications that have recently emerged from this field.

Keywords: Cell communication; Fecal metals; Fecal transplants; Microbiota; Microflora; Prebiotics; Probiotics; Sludge recycling; Symbiotic relationships.