Author(s): Hamann L, ElSamalouti V, Ulmer AJ, Flad HD, Rietschel ET
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Abstract In 1885 Louis Pasteur was the first to propose that the human immune system may be influenced by microorganisms. A large body of data has since been accumulated proving this assumption to be correct. Bacteria constitute the main constituents of the microbial flora of the human digestive tract and compounds of the bacterial cell wall have been shown to play an important role in the interaction of microbes with higher organisms. These components include peptidoglycan (PG) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of gram-negative bacteria. Both types of molecules are potent activators of the human immune system and exert their activity through the induction of endogenous mediators which are endowed with biological activity. This review focuses on the structure and activity of LPS and PG and illustrates how these bacterial factors stimulate the immune cells resulting in desired physiological or dramatic pathophysiological responses of the host organism.
This article was published in Int J Food Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology