About this Research Topic
Humans expose large body surfaces like the skin, the gastrointestinal and the urogenital tract to invasion by pathogens. Major hurdles to pathogen invasion at these three body sites are physical and physiological barriers, including the low pH induced by acid production and colonization resistance mediated by the commensal microbiota.
If the gastric or vaginal acid barriers become compromised, health problems ensue as exemplified by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or bacterial vaginosis, resulting from altered selective pressure, effects of microbial adaptation, competition for resources and colonization resistance. These pathophysiological conditions have been associated with major public health problems, namely childhood malnutrition and preterm delivery, respectively. Understanding the interplay between the pathophysiology of acid production and other ecological factors with colonization by commensal microbes and infection risk is thus of great biomedical relevance.
The current Research Topic focusses on studies that investigate and discuss with original research, perspectives, mini-reviews, commentaries and opinion papers the following items:
1) The physiology of acid production in stomach, vagina and skin and its association with the commensal microbiota.
2) The changing colonization of stomach, small intestine, vagina and skin with commensal microorganisms when the acid barrier is impaired.
3) The increased infection risk associated with a compromised acid barrier and commensal microbiota.
4) Possibilities to re-establish the impaired acid barrier by pharmacological interventions or by acid substitution and the impact on the microbiota composition from model systems to human trials.
Keywords: Hypochlorhydria, SIBO, bacterial vaginosis, acid mantle, infection, colonization resistance