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The theory of disappearing microbiota and the epidemics of chronic diseases

Nature Reviews Immunology volume 17, pages 461463 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

In recent decades, the incidence of many apparently unrelated chronic diseases has markedly increased. Here, I theorize that losses of particular bacterial species of our ancestral microbiota have altered the context in which immunological, metabolic and cognitive development occur in early life, which results in increased disease. This ominous trend suggests that we must refocus efforts to understand and reverse the underlying circumstances that are responsible for our disappearing microbiota.

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Acknowledgements

M.J.B. is supported, in part, by NIH grants U01AI22285 and R01DK090989, and by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the C & D Fund.

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Affiliations

  1. Departments of Medicine and Microbiology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY 10003, USA

    • Martin J. Blaser

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  1. Search for Martin J. Blaser in:

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Martin J. Blaser.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nri.2017.77

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