The Role of Probiotics and Antibiotics in Regulating Mucosal Inflammation
Antibiotic and probiotic agents have increasingly moved in the focus of basic and clinical research as well as clinical trials for IBD therapy. Both approaches modulate the intestinal flora, the former through eradication or reduction, the latter through establishment or increase of luminal bacteria. Although clinical trials provide proof of principle that both approaches can be therapeutically successfull, we just start to understand the mechanims and may get a first feeling for the potential and limitations of these “microbial” therapies. As basic research sets out to dissect the field using extensive efforts and new technologies, a more detailed exploration of the genetic, immune and microbial factors that govern the life-long crosstalk between host and intestinal flora is already opening new insight into general aspects of human immunology, immune regulation, IBD pathogenesis and therapy.