About microscopic forms of life, including Bacteria, Archea, protozoans, algae and fungi. Topics relating to viruses, viroids and prions also belong here.
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I think it is a non pathogenic version of e. coli but the intestine is hallow remember. Immune responses are in the blood as as far as I know. White blood cells etc. Perhaps they do have a immune response if they somehow get into the blood stream.
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Interesting question, coliforms including E coli are present in numerous numbers in our alimentary tract. We have actually more E coli in our body than the number of human cells!!! Makes us more bacteria than human, eh.. lols. Sticking to the topic, when we are born, we are essentially free of bacteria. During the first month actually, if an E coli was found in the feces, its treated as an infection, we shouldn't have that in our system yet. Gradually, the coliforms colonize our intestines. Very few spaces in our intestines will be bacteria free, every square inch will have millions, even billions of bacteria crowded into it. They are not harmful to us. They don't produce toxins that harm us. The E coli that is harmful are some strains like the O15 strains that cause septicemia, etc... Our immune system are localized in our blood, lymph system and at some intercellular spaces. Our gut have an epidermal layer that prevents entry of these organisms. Therefore, if our E coli remain in the gut, they are left alone. Similar to the Staplylococcus in your skin, they are left alone unless they infect you (e.g. pimples), then the immune system kicks in to combat it at the infection site, and only there. It won't concern itself with the other Staph living outside the infection.
There is indeed quite an active 'immune system' in the intestine but not necessarily involving a humoral response (i.e. antibodies). There are many immune cells in the intestine, including macrophages. The 'leaky gut' condition is one example of how active the immune system becomes once the tight junction of the cells in the lining of the intestine is lost for any reason and the contents of the intestine come in contact with the interior of the body. In this case, there is a humoral response against certain structures (such as lectines) and then there is a continued reactivity against similar lectine-like structures in the body. The intestine is, after all, part of the 'outside' of the body in the sense that there is and shouldn't be any contact between what's in the lumen and past the cells in the lining. Many bacteria of the normal flora are okay as long as they remain there and don't come in contact with tissues that have never seen them, which is very often the risk of wounds that compromise the integrity of the abdominal area and expose intestinal bacteria to other tissues in the body.
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