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Essential Functions of Normal Microflora


If somebody asks you to enumerate organs of digestive system many of you will probably forget to include in the list of organs normal microflora of gastroenteric tract (GET), which is currently considered by many scientists an indispensable part of digestive system, it’s the so called, extracorporeal organ. Microbes are spread all over gastroenteric tract, beginning with the oral cavity and ending in rectum. The widespread existing opinion of upper section of gastroenteric tract (gastroduodenal section) sterility is far from being correct, though concentration of microorganisms in this section is much lower than in more distal sections, however, even this concentration is sufficient for carrying out their functions. Against a background of such abundance of microbes naturally the question arises whether we really need microflora. The answer is simple: undoubtedly yes, as it helps us to manage quite a number of problems, make up for the lacks and defects. Functions of normal microflora of the intestine are extremely diverse, however, one of the most important functions, in our opinion, is bacterial antagonism: the normal microflora fights against pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic microbes so as to maintain our organism in a normal state. In addition to this, euflora is an important immunostimulator and immunomodulator, i.e. it “teaches” our organism the mechanism to struggle against infection. All this hinders excessive reproduction of conditionally pathogenic microflora in gastroenteric tract.

In our opinion, the other important function, rather beneficial help to the normal microflora of the digestive tract, is its powerful synthetic potential. Microflora of the intestine synthesizes for our organism quite a number of matters: vitamins, biologically active compounds, etc. Besides these “global” functions euflora of gastroenteric tract performs also a great deal of “local” functions.

Normal microflora participates in choline, bile, fatty and uric acids metabolism, and biliary pigment exchange; it participates in destruction of digestive enzymes in the large intestine; regulates motility of the gastroenteric tract organs.

Large intestine microflora secretes a series of compounds necessary for normal regeneration of mucous.

Lactobacilli are Gram-positive, unsporulated, immovable, obligatory anaerobes of Lactobacillus species, Lactobacillacease family. They are an indispensable part of normal microflora of the gastroenteric tract, present in its all sections and maintain the state of dynamic equilibrium in ecological system of macroorganism-microorganism-environment. Thanks to the ability to form lactic acid in the process of fermentation, as well as to produce lysozyme, antibiotic compounds of lectoline, lysine, lactocidine, acidophilin, lactobacteria possess high antibacterial activity. Thus, in the experiment acido-lactic bacteria showed their ability to suppress growth of putrefactive and pus-producing bacteria: Proteus mirabilis, S. enteridis, S. gallinarum, Salmonela cholerae suis, Salmonela tiphimuriu, Shigella, Seratta marcences, staphylococci, streptococci of L-form. Possessing weakly expressed antigenic properties lactobacilli are able to get into close contact with the intestine mucous, and protect it from possible penetration of pathogenic flora.