The Microbiome: The Trillions of Microorganisms That Maintain Health and Cause Disease in Humans and Companion Animals

Hoffmann AR, Proctor LM, Surette MG, Suchodolski JS

Vet. Pathol. 2015 Jul;

PMID: 26220947


The microbiome is the complex collection of microorganisms, their genes, and their metabolites, colonizing the human and animal mucosal surfaces, digestive tract, and skin. It is now well known that the microbiome interacts with its host, assisting in digestion and detoxification, supporting immunity, protecting against pathogens, and maintaining health. Studies published to date have demonstrated that healthy individuals are often colonized with different microbiomes than those with disease involving various organ systems. This review covers a brief history of the development of the microbiome field, the main objectives of the Human Microbiome Project, and the most common microbiomes inhabiting the human respiratory tract, companion animal digestive tract, and skin in humans and companion animals. The main changes in the microbiomes in patients with pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and cutaneous lesions are described.

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