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Autoimmune liver disease and the enteric microbiome

1 Lynda K and David M Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Houston Methodist Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, 6550 Fannin Street, SM 1201, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2 Sherrie and Alan Conover Center for Liver Disease, Houston Methodist Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, 6550 Fannin Street, SM 1201, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Topical Section: Gut bacteria in human health and diseases

The human enteric microbiome is highly complex and has more than 150 times more genes within it than its host. The host and the microbiome have a commensurate relationship that can evolve over time. The typically symbiotic relationship between the two can become pathogenic. The microbiome composition in adults reflects their history of exposure to bacteria and environmental factors during early life, their genetic background, age, interactions with the immune system, geographical location, and, most especially, their diet. Similarly, these factors are thought to contribute to the development of autoimmune disease. It is possible that alterations in the intestinal microbiome could lead to liver disease. There is emerging data for the contribution of the microbiome in development of primary sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and autoimmune hepatitis; liver disorders associated with aberrant immune function in genetically susceptible individuals.
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© 2018 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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