Reciprocity in Microbiome and Immune System Interactions and its Implications in Disease and Health
Enayat Nikoopour and Bhagirath Singh
Pages 94-104 (11)
Adaptation of the whole microbial normal flora residing in a host to its natural habitat over an evolutionary
peroid has resulted in peaceful coexistence with mutual benefits for both microbiota and host in steady state. This
symbiotic relationship between host and microbiota has a significant impact on shaping the immune response in the host
to achieve an immune tolerance to microbiota but retaining the ability to respond to invading pathogens. Perturbation of
this balance by manipulation of microbial communities in the host can lead to immune dysregulation and susceptibility to
diseases. By studying the host in the absence of microbiota or with alteration of microbiota the complexity of microbial
impact on the immune system can be resolved. Conversely, the study of microbiota in the absence of immune system
factors can show how the immune system contributes to preservation of the host-microbiota balance. The absence of
molecules involved in innate or adaptive immunity in knockout models can perturb the balance between host and
microbiota further adding to more immune dysregulation. A better understanding of Microbiome-immune system
interaction provides a new opportunity to identify biomarkers and drug targets. This will allow the development of new
therapeutic agents for modulating the immune system to improve health with little or no toxicity. The study of interplay
between host and microbiota has a promising role in the design of therapeutic interventions for immunopathological
diseases arising from imbalanced host and microbiota interactions.
Adaptive and innate immunity, autoimmunity, helper T cells, immune regulation, immune system, microbial
diversity, microbiome, probiotics.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5C1, Canada.