Human Microbiota Network: Unveiling Potential Crosstalk between the Different Microbiota Ecosystems and Their Role in Health and Disease

Nutrients. 2021 Aug 24;13(9):2905. doi: 10.3390/nu13092905.


The human body is host to a large number of microorganisms which conform the human microbiota, that is known to play an important role in health and disease. Although most of the microorganisms that coexist with us are located in the gut, microbial cells present in other locations (like skin, respiratory tract, genitourinary tract, and the vaginal zone in women) also play a significant role regulating host health. The fact that there are different kinds of microbiota in different body areas does not mean they are independent. It is plausible that connection exist, and different studies have shown that the microbiota present in different zones of the human body has the capability of communicating through secondary metabolites. In this sense, dysbiosis in one body compartment may negatively affect distal areas and contribute to the development of diseases. Accordingly, it could be hypothesized that the whole set of microbial cells that inhabit the human body form a system, and the dialogue between the different host microbiotas may be a contributing factor for the susceptibility to developing diseased states. For this reason, the present review aims to integrate the available literature on the relationship between the different human microbiotas and understand how changes in the microbiota in one body region can influence other microbiota communities in a bidirectional process. The findings suggest that the different microbiotas may act in a coordinated way to decisively influence human well-being. This new integrative paradigm opens new insights in the microbiota field of research and its relationship with human health that should be taken into account in future studies.

Keywords: crosstalk; dysbiosis; human diseases; metabolites; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dysbiosis / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbiota*
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Respiratory System / microbiology
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Urogenital System / microbiology
  • Vagina / microbiology