Association between Gut Dysbiosis and the Occurrence of SIBO, LIBO, SIFO and IMO

Microorganisms. 2023 Feb 24;11(3):573. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms11030573.


Gut microbiota is the aggregate of all microorganisms in the human digestive system. There are 1014 CFU/mL of such microorganisms in the human body, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea and protozoa. The Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes bacteria phyla comprise 90% of the human gut microbiota. The microbiota support the healthy functioning of the human body by helping with digestion (mainly via short-chain fatty acids and amino acids) and producing short-chain fatty acids. In addition, it exhibits many physiological functions, such as forming the intestinal epithelium, intestinal integrity maintenance, the production of vitamins, and protection against pathogens. An altered composition or the number of microorganisms, known as dysbiosis, disrupts the body's homeostasis and can lead to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and allergies. Several types of disruptions to the gut microbiota have been identified: SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), LIBO (Large Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), SIFO (Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth), and IMO (Intestinal Methanogen Overgrowth). General gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation are the main symptoms of dysbiosis. They lead to malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, anaemia and hypoproteinaemia. Increased lipopolysaccharide (LPS) permeability, stimulating the inflammatory response and resulting in chronic inflammation, has been identified as the leading cause of microbial overgrowth in the gut. The subject literature is extensive but of limited quality. Despite the recent interest in the gut microbiome and its disorders, more clinical research is needed to determine the pathophysiology, effective treatments, and prevention of small and large intestinal microbiota overgrowth. This review was designed to provide an overview of the available literature on intestinal microbial dysbiosis (SIBO, LIBO, SIFO and IMO) and to determine whether it represents a real threat to human health.

Keywords: abdominal pain; bacteria; bacterial overgrowth; dysbiosis; gut microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.