Honnavar P., Goyal S. and Bhat M. S.#


The gut microflora is a positive health asset to the structure and function of the human intestinal mucosa. The collective metabolic activity, the complex immune system regulatory mechanism, protection from inflammatory and infectious disease processes and the higher number of commensal microflora than human cells in the gut have led researchers to attribute to the gut flora, the status of a hidden metabolic organ. This review is intended with the objective of revisiting the long lost importance of the gut microflora as ‘an organ within an organ’. The diversity of the microbiota, the initial colonization of the gut, the commensal role of the microflora, the preference of probiotics over antibiotics to protect the microflora and the advent and use of fecal microbial transplantation (FMT), are discussed. In conclusion, the authors state that although FMT seems to be a harbinger of a post-antibiotic era, it needs to be exercised with caution.

Keywords: Gut flora, hidden organ, microbiota.

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