FBP 45100 (pub 1011) Nutrients 7(1) 45-73 - Maier et al 241214.pdf (628.99 kB)

Understanding how commensal obligate anaerobic bacteria regulate immune functions in the large intestine

Download (628.99 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 11:34 authored by Eva MaierEva Maier, Rachel AndersonRachel Anderson, Nicole Roy
The human gastrointestinal tract is colonised by trillions of commensal bacteria, most of which are obligate anaerobes residing in the large intestine. Appropriate bacterial colonisation is generally known to be critical for human health. In particular, the development and function of the immune system depends on microbial colonisation, and a regulated cross-talk between commensal bacteria, intestinal epithelial cells and immune cells is required to maintain mucosal immune homeostasis. This homeostasis is disturbed in various inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Several in vitro and in vivo studies indicate a role for Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides fragilis, Akkermansia muciniphila and segmented filamentous bacteria in maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. These obligate anaerobes are abundant in the healthy intestine but reduced in several inflammatory diseases, suggesting an association with protective effects on human health. However, knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the effects of obligate anaerobic intestinal bacteria remains limited, in part due to the difficulty of co-culturing obligate anaerobes together with oxygen-requiring human epithelial cells. By using novel dual-environment co-culture models, it will be possible to investigate the effects of the unstudied majority of intestinal microorganisms on the human epithelia. This knowledge will provide opportunities for improving human health and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases.


Rights statement

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


MDPI AG (Basel, Switzerland)

Journal title





Maier, E., Anderson, R.C., & Roy, N.C. (2015). Understanding how commensal obligate anaerobic bacteria regulate immune functions in the large intestine. Nutrients, 7(1), 45-73


Marsden Fund||Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment

Contract number


Report number

FBP 45100