Title

Microbiota Restoration: Natural and Supplemented Recovery of Human Microbial Communities

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2011

Journal

Nature Reviews. Microbiology

Volume

9

Issue

1

First Page

27

Last Page

38

URL with Digital Object Identifier

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro2473

Abstract

In a healthy host, a balance exists between members of the microbiota, such that potential pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms can be found in apparent harmony. During infection, this balance can become disturbed, leading to often dramatic changes in the composition of the microbiota. For most bacterial infections, nonspecific antibiotics are used, killing the non-pathogenic members of the microbiota as well as the pathogens and leading to a substantial delay in the restoration of a healthy microbiota. However, in some cases, infections can self-resolve without the intervention of antibiotics. In this Review, we explore the mechanisms underlying microbiota restoration following insult (antibiotic or otherwise) to the skin, oral cavity, and gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts, highlighting recovery by natural processes and after probiotic administration.