Published online Oct 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i40.11321
Peer-review started: April 1, 2015
First decision: June 23, 2015
Revised: July 26, 2015
Accepted: September 13, 2015
Article in press: September 14, 2015
Published online: October 28, 2015
The intestinal microbiome is a dynamic system of interactions between the host and its microbes. Under physiological conditions, a fine balance and mutually beneficial relationship is present. Disruption of this balance is a hallmark of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Whether an altered microbiome is the consequence or the cause of IBD is currently not fully understood. The pathogenesis of IBD is believed to be a complex interaction between genetic predisposition, the immune system and environmental factors. In the recent years, metagenomic studies of the human microbiome have provided useful data that are helping to assemble the IBD puzzle. In this review, we summarize and discuss current knowledge on the composition of the intestinal microbiota in IBD, host-microbe interactions and therapeutic possibilities using bacteria in IBD. Moreover, an outlook on the possible contribution of bacteriophages in the pathogenesis and therapy of IBD is provided.
Core tip: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, with multi-factorial pathogenesis, which affect millions of people worldwide and have a rising incidence. Dysbalanced intestinal microbiota is an important feature of IBD. The relationship between dysbalanced microbiota and IBD is not fully uncovered. We are only beginning to appreciate the role of microbiota in the pathogenesis, progression or prognosis of IBD. In this review, we deal with the composition of gut microbiota, microbe-host interactions, therapeutic potential of bacteria and discuss the possible roles of bacteriophages in IBD.