Microbes Central to Human Reproduction
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
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As studies uncover the breadth of microbes associated with human life, opportunities will emerge to manipulate and augment their functions in ways that improve health and longevity. From involvement in the complexities of reproduction and fetal/infant development, to delaying the onset of disease, and indeed countering many maladies, microbes offer hope for human well-being. Evidence is emerging to suggest that microbes may play a beneficial role in body sites traditionally viewed as being sterile. Although further evidence is required, we propose that much of medical dogma is about to change significantly through recognition and understanding of these hitherto unrecognized microbe-host interactions. A meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics held in Aberdeen, Scotland (June 2014), presented new views and challenged established concepts on the role of microbes in reproduction and health of the mother and infant. This article summarizes some of the main aspects of these discussions.