Impact of enteric bacterial infections at and beyond the epithelial barrier

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The mucosal lining of the gut has co-evolved with a diverse microbiota over millions of years, leading to the development of specialized mechanisms to actively limit the invasion of pathogens. However, some enteric microorganisms have adapted against these measures, developing ways to hijack or overcome epithelial micro-integrity mechanisms. This breach of the gut barrier not only enables the leakage of host factors out of circulation but can also initiate a cascade of detrimental systemic events as microbiota, pathogens and their affiliated secretions passively leak into extra-intestinal sites. Under normal circumstances, gut damage is rapidly repaired by intestinal stem cells. However, with substantial and deep perturbation to the gut lining and the systemic dissemination of gut contents, we now know that some enteric infections can cause the impairment of host regenerative processes. Although these local and systemic aspects of enteric disease are often studied in isolation, they heavily impact one another. In this Review, by examining the journey of enteric infections from initial establishment to systemic sequelae and how, or if, the host can successfully repair damage, we will tie together these complex interactions to provide a holistic overview of the impact of enteric infections at and beyond the epithelial barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-274
Number of pages15
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

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