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Role of mucus layers in gut infection and inflammation.

Review article
Authors Gunnar C. Hansson
Published in Current opinion in microbiology
Volume 15
Issue 1
Pages 57-62
ISSN 1879-0364
Publication year 2012
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 57-62
Language en
Keywords Animals, Bacteria, immunology, pathogenicity, Bacterial Infections, immunology, microbiology, Enteritis, immunology, microbiology, Gastrointestinal Tract, immunology, microbiology, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Humans, Intestinal Mucosa, immunology, microbiology, Mucus, immunology, microbiology
Subject categories Basic Medicine, Cell and Molecular Biology


The intestinal mucus is an efficient system for protecting the epithelium from bacteria by promoting their clearance and separating them from the epithelial cells, thereby inhibiting inflammation and infection. The function of the colon inner mucus layer is especially important as this explains how we can harbor the large number of bacteria in our gut. The major component of this mucus system is the MUC2 mucin which organizes the mucus by its enormously large net-like polymers. Pathogenic microorganisms, in turn, have developed mechanisms for circumventing this well-organized mucus protective system.

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