A polymicrobial view of disease potential in Crohn's-associated adherent-invasive E. coli
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The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria and provides the scaffold for one of the most complex microbial ecosystems in nature. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease, involve a compositional shift in the microbial constituents of this ecosystem with a marked expansion of Enterobacteriaceae, particularly Escherichia coli. Adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC) strains are frequently isolated from the biopsies of Crohn's patients, where their ability to elicit inflammation suggests a possible role in Crohn's pathology. Here, we consider the origins of the AIEC pathovar and discuss how risk factors associated with Crohn's disease might influence AIEC colonization dynamics within the host to alter the overall disease potential of the microbial community.
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