Throughout our lives we are immersed in, and colonized by, immense and complex microbial communities. These microbiota serve as activators and early sparring partners for the progressive construction of the layers within our immune defenses and are essential to immune homeostasis. Yet, at times imbalances within the microbiota may contribute to metabolic and immune regulatory abnormalities that underlie the development of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Here, we review recent progress in investigations of the microbiome, with emphasis on the gut microbiota associated with systemic autoimmunity. In particular, these studies are beginning to illuminate aspects of the pathogenesis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and may suggest that interconnections with specific disease-associated patterns of dysbiosis within gut communities are bidirectional and mutually reinforcing.
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Conflict of interest statement
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest.
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