Human microbiome versus food-borne pathogens: friend or foe

Jonathan Josephs-Spaulding, Erik Beeler, Om V. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


As food safety advances, there is a great need to maintain, distribute, and provide high-quality food to a much broader consumer base. There is also an ever-growing “arms race” between pathogens and humans as food manufacturers. The human microbiome is a collective organ of microbes that have found community niches while associating with their host and other microorganisms. Humans play an important role in modifying the environment of these organisms through their life choices, especially through individual diet. The composition of an individual’s diet influences the digestive system—an ecosystem with the greatest number and largest diversity of organisms currently known. Organisms living on and within food have the potential to be either friends or foes to the consumer. Maintenance of this system can have multiple benefits, but lack of maintenance can lead to a host of chronic and preventable diseases. Overall, this dynamic system is influenced by intense competition from food-borne pathogens, lifestyle, overall diet, and presiding host-associated microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4845-4863
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Diet
  • Food
  • Human
  • Microbiome
  • Nutrition
  • Pathogen
  • Probiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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