Published online Feb 15, 2014. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v5.i1.18
Revised: November 26, 2013
Accepted: January 13, 2014
Published online: February 15, 2014
Core tip: Each of our bodies is colonized by more than a hundred trillion commensals, which include viruses, bacteria and fungi. The association between microbiota and their hosts is complex and has important repercussions for both. The diversity and the composition of the microbiota thus play a key role in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis and the induction of immunity. These features partially explain the link between alterations in intestinal microbiota and gut-related disorders in humans. In this review, we provide an overview of the current understanding of the interaction between gut microbiota and the immune system in the development and maintenance of the intestinal barrier.