Microbes, Health, and Disease

19.1 The Anatomical Barriers As Ecosystems

Symbiotic Relationships Between Microorganisms and Hosts

1. In mutualism, both partners benefit, in commensalism one partner benefits while the other is unaffected, and in parasitism, the parasite benefits at the expense of the host.

19.2 The Normal Flora (Figure 19.1)

The Protective Role of Normal Flora

1. The normal flora excludes pathogens by covering binding sites that might otherwise be used for attachment, consumes available nutrients, and produces compounds that are toxic to other bacteria.

2. The normal flora primes the adaptive immune system.

The Dynamic Nature of the Normal Flora

1. The composition of the normal flora continually changes in response to host factors including hormonal changes, type of food consumed, and antibiotics.

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