<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Digested food leaves the small intestine and moves into the large intestine , or colon , where there is a more diverse microbiota. Near this junction, there is a small pouch in the large intestine called the cecum , which attaches to the appendix . Further digestion occurs throughout the colon and water is reabsorbed, then waste is excreted through the rectum , the last section of the colon, and out of the body through the anus ( [link] ).

The environment of most of the GI tract is harsh, which serves two purposes: digestion and immunity. The stomach is an extremely acidic environment (pH 1.5–3.5) due to the gastric juices that break down food and kill many ingested microbes; this helps prevent infection from pathogens. The environment in the small intestine is less harsh and is able to support microbial communities. Microorganisms present in the small intestine can include lactobacilli , diptherioids and the fungus Candida . On the other hand, the large intestine (colon) contains a diverse and abundant microbiota that is important for normal function. These microbes include Bacteriodetes (especially the genera Bacteroides and Prevotella ) and Firmicutes (especially members of the genus Clostridium ). Methanogenic archaea and some fungi are also present, among many other species of bacteria. These microbes all aid in digestion and contribute to the production of feces, the waste excreted from the digestive tract, and flatus, the gas produced from microbial fermentation of undigested food. They can also produce valuable nutrients. For example, lactic acid bacteria such as bifidobacteria can synthesize vitamins, such as vitamin B12, folate, and riboflavin, that humans cannot synthesize themselves. E. coli found in the intestine can also break down food and help the body produce vitamin K, which is important for blood coagulation.

The GI tract has several other methods of reducing the risk of infection by pathogens. Small aggregates of underlying lymphoid tissue in the ileum, called Peyer’s patches ( [link] ), detect pathogens in the intestines via microfold (M) cells, which transfer antigens from the lumen of the intestine to the lymphocytes on Peyer’s patches to induce an immune response. The Peyer’s patches then secrete IgA and other pathogen-specific antibodies into the intestinal lumen to help keep intestinal microbes at safe levels. Goblet cells, which are modified simple columnar epithelial cells, also line the GI tract ( [link] ). Goblet cells secrete a gel-forming mucin , which is the major component of mucus . The production of a protective layer of mucus helps reduce the risk of pathogens reaching deeper tissues.

The constant movement of materials through the gastrointestinal tract also helps to move transient pathogens out of the body. In fact, feces are composed of approximately 25% microbes, 25% sloughed epithelial cells, 25% mucus, and 25% digested or undigested food. Finally, the normal microbiota provides an additional barrier to infection via a variety of mechanisms. For example, these organisms outcompete potential pathogens for space and nutrients within the intestine. This is known as competitive exclusion . Members of the microbiota may also secrete protein toxins known as bacteriocins that are able to bind to specific receptors on the surface of susceptible bacteria.

Questions & Answers

I am about to enter school and am going for MCB
Olugbenga Reply
What is DNA damage and repair
Sree Reply
removal of nucleotide bases from DNA is damage n addition or insertion of bases in DNA is repair.
Rashmi
replication is a term related to generation of new DNA from a parental DNA.
Rashmi
role of microorganism as pathogens
Parteek Reply
to live inside the host body, reproduction n destroy the immune system of host body.
Rashmi
what is replication
rajesh
please give me ans
rajesh
replication is a term related to generation of new DNA from parental DNA.
Rashmi
difference between endotoxin and exotoxin
Binkheir Reply
toxins released inside the cell or a body is endotoxin n toxins released outside the cell or a body is exotoxin.
Rashmi
please I want the names of bacteria and the diseases they cause.
Ibrahim Reply
there are many we classify it according to their shapes gram negative or gram positive
Tharra
so u may refer the book u guess or by when u want I can do a list for you and send u here
Tharra
😊
Tharra
please do a list for me
Ibrahim
I have the lost but it's too much to type ..
Tharra
MSc entrance prepare books and questions LA etha base pani irukum..
Guhan Reply
kushal always prescott is the imp book to follow.search some objective mcqs books based on your syllabus
deepthi Reply
I want to clear entrance of ms university so I have no more idea so my preparation is based on my bachlor studies.
Kushal
what are the opportunistic infection in aids stage
Kalkak
certain cancer or pneumonia 🤔
Kushal
penicillium crysogenum
Kushal Reply
salam am also studying microbiology in university of Ilorin
Abubakar Reply
Salam am studying physiotherapy in bayaro university kano
Tasiu
Walaikum salam
Hakeeb
Hw u
Tasiu
HRU frinds
Arhaan
any good reference for oncology?!!!!
Pankaj Reply
K.D tripathi
Vinod
what is the microbiology
Fadumo Reply
it is the study of microorganisms
Sneha
microorganis means
Ghuge
the organism can not be seen by eyes they can be seen with the help of microscope
rajesh
microbiology is the study of microorganism and microorganism are such as bacteria ,parasite, viruses and fungi and etc.. those are cant be seen with asked eyes and can be seen with help of microscope . I hope this helps you
Tharra
what is virology
Bismarck Reply
the study of viruses
Adan
what is myrology
Bismarck
myrology or mycology?
Adan
mycology
Bismarck
the study of fungi.
Adan
Mycology study fungi
Hakeeb
study of viruses
Rashmi
what are the major topics that you cover under micro biology
Bismarck Reply
virology,mycology,bacteriology
Adan
identification n application of microorganisms
Rashmi
How do u apply micro biology in medicine
Bismarck Reply
in preventing, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.
Adan
and also in carrying out test And Analysis
Hadiyat
what is micro biology
Bismarck Reply
study of microorganisms
Adan
thanks
Bismarck
OK thanks alot
Bismarck
Practice MCQ 2

Get the best Microbiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Microbiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask