Normal Body Flora

Topics: Bacteria, Gut flora, Symbiosis Pages: 4 (781 words) Published: March 20, 2012
Normal Body Flora
Other terms we use:
* Normal body biota
* Normal body microbiota
* Normal body microflora
Flora: The plant life characteristic of a special location. Can be macroflora or microflora. Microbiota: The combined microflora and microfauna characteristic of a special location. NORMAL FLORA = NORMAL BIOTA

Healthy human beings (animals) develop intimate and complex relationships with microorganisms (usually BACTERIA & FUNGI) which reside ON or WITHIN (IN) CERTAIN SITES of our bodies * Some permanently

* Others just temporarily
Those that live on/in us STABLY (i.e in symbiotic equilibrium) are called NORMAL BODY FLORA/BIOTA. Their numbers: Simply ENORMOUS!!!
It is estimated that they are 10x the total number of our own cells!!! Symbiotic Equilibrium (or LIVING IN SMYBIOSIS)
Symbiosis: Living together / close association of TWO DISSIMILAR organisms (each one a symbiont). One lives on/in the other (host). 3 Kinds:
1. Commensalism: One party gained, the other neither harmed nor benefit from the association 2. Mutualism: Both gain from association and are unable to survive without it 3. Parasitism: One party adversely affects the other and the parasite cannot live without the host. Most microbial parasites are called pathogens. The term parasite is usually reserved for protozoa, worms or insects. So normal flora/microbiota:

Are they commensals? Or Mutualists? Or even Parasites?
That depends!!!
* Mostly = Commensals
* Taken collectively = Mutualists
* Occasionally under certain circumstances may cause opportunistic infections RESIDENT BIOTA/FLORA
* Newborn
* Initially any organisms that happen to land in a particular site * Week 2 all babies have similar population of microbes!
* These are called RESIDENT BIOTA/FLORA
* Each site/body surface has its own characteristic biota * Combination/SIZE may vary a little, but the resident biota of a site is characteristic of the site, and...
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