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Intestinal barriers to bacteria and their toxins.

Authors
  • Walker, R I1
  • Owen, R L
  • 1 Infectious Diseases Department, Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-5055.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual review of medicine
Publication Date
1990
Volume
41
Pages
393–400
Identifiers
PMID: 2184739
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Immunologic and nonimmunologic processes work together to protect the host from the multitude of microorganisms residing within the intestinal lumen. Mechanical integrity of the intestinal epithelium, mucus in combination with secretory antibody, antimicrobial metabolites of indigenous microorganisms, and peristalsis each limit proliferation and systemic dissemination of enteric pathogens. Uptake of microorganisms by Peyer's patches and other intestinal lymphoid structures and translocation circumvent the mucosal barrier, especially in immunosuppressed individuals. Improved understanding of the composition and limitation of the intestinal barrier, coupled with advances in genetic engineering of immunogenic bacteria, development of oral delivery systems, and immunomodulators, now make enhancement of mucosal barriers feasible.

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