Interpreting infective microbiota: the importance of an ecological perspective

Geraint B. Rogers*, Lucas R. Hoffman, Mary P. Carroll, Kenneth D. Bruce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Complex microbiota are being reported increasingly across a range of chronic infections, including those of the cystic fibrosis airways. Such diversity fits poorly into classical models of sterile tissue infections, which generally involve one species, and where microbe-outcome associations usually imply causality. It has been suggested that microbiota at sites of infection could represent pathogenic entities, analogous to individual species. We argue that our ability to identify causality in microbiota-disease associations is, however, inherently confounded. Although particular microbiota may be associated with clinical outcomes, niche characteristics at sites of infection will shape microbiota composition through exerting selective pressures. Here, we suggest that ecological theory can inform clinical understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • microbiome
  • respiratory
  • ecological theory
  • disease causality
  • CYSTIC-FIBROSIS
  • PSEUDOMONAS-AERUGINOSA
  • INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA
  • BACTERIAL COMMUNITIES
  • GUT MICROBIOTA
  • DISEASE
  • DYNAMICS
  • CHILDREN
  • AIRWAYS
  • HOST

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Interpreting infective microbiota: the importance of an ecological perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this