A nutritive view on the host-pathogen interplay

Ulrich E Schaible, Stefan H E Kaufmann
Trends in Microbiology 2005, 13 (8): 373-80
The interaction between pathogenic microbes and their host is determined by survival strategies on both sides, including competition for essential nutrients. During evolution, pathogenic microbes developed ways to access certain nutrients from the host, which, by contrast, can be exploited by the host for defence by restricting the availability of these nutrients. In this article, we review ecological aspects of the host-pathogen relationship and describe examples for competitive nutrient usage. We also discuss the beneficial probiotic microbes of the mammalian gut, which influence their environment including inflammatory host responses, and how they might be supported by prebiotic diets.

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