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ISRN Immunology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 545729, 12 pages
Review Article

Mucosal Immunity and the Intestinal Microbiome in the Development of Critical Illness

1Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy, Semmelweis University, Kútvölgyi Road 4, 1125 Budapest, Hungary
2Department of Immunology, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány P. s. 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
3Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Pázmány P. s. 1/C, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
4Department of Process Engineering, University of Pannonia, Egyetem Road 10, 8200 Veszprém, Hungary

Received 31 August 2011; Accepted 26 September 2011

Academic Editors: A. Franco and C. Nicoletti

Copyright © 2011 Krisztina Madách et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The intestinal community, including the commensal microbial flora as well as the host tissues, represents a functional whole in vivo. Under physiological circumstances, this symbiosis brings great benefit for the host; however, critical illness induces profound disturbances in the intestinal ecosystem affecting both procaryotic and eucaryotic members. Today, 25 years after the gut was first described as a motor of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, the role of the injured splanchnic compartment in the pathomechanism and development of critical illness is still in the first line of research. Multiple mechanisms have been identified by which the stressed gut may affect host homeostasis, and how external intervention might help to rebalance physiology. This paper provides a brief overview of the present of this field.