RheumDoctor Learning Center

RheumDoctor Learning Center: What is the microbiome?

May 17, 2017
How the microbiome affects the immune system

The microbiome refers to the combined genetic material of a group of microorganisms found in a certain body part such as the gut, respiratory tract, skin, or genitourinary system.

Symbiosis refers to a relationship between organisms that are beneficial for one another.

Dysbiosis refers to an imbalance of different microorganisms.  It is the opposite of a state of symbiosis.

How the microbiome and autoimmune diseases relate?

There appears to be an association between autoimmune dieaseses and dysbiosis, such as inflammatory bowel disease, spondyloarthritis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.  It is still unclear whether autoimmune diseases cause dysbiosis or whether dysbiosis causes autoimmune diseases, let alone how we can use this information to treat and prevent autoimmune diseases.

Ultimately we need more research.  We live in interesting times!  Please leave your comments below!


National Human Genome Research Institute

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