About this Research Topic
The primary function of the immune system is the maintenance of body homeostasis and protection against any threats to it via several lines of elaborate and complex immune defense. Given even higher complexity that involves the microbiota and the corresponding host-microbe interaction, the conditions for this equilibrium become even more challenging. In the absence of a defined pathogen, for example, the spectrum of microorganisms involved in triggering inappropriate immune responses may include polymicrobial communities or the cumulative effect of several microbial/viral factors. Under the normal circumstances there is a fine-tuned balance between commensal microbiota and the host’s immune responses. However, when this balance is compromised, for example in IBD, a massive immune response is launched against commensal microbiota resulting in chronic inflammation.
Besides the microbial/viral factors, the balance of the immune system can be compromised by other causes. Given, for example, the close and inclusive interaction of the immune, nervous and endocrine systems, the list of these provoking factors can expand even more. For instance, it has been demonstrated that even mild sleep deprivation may increase the production of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein.
Understanding the complex role of microbial and environmental factors in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, therefore, is the main subject of this topic. Thus submissions are welcome that uncover the role of microbial and environmental factors in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Submissions can be made in any format accepted by Frontiers.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.