The recent explosion in microbiome (commensal bacteria) research highlights the impact of host- microbiome interactions on maintenance of health and the development of disease. Current findings show that the microbiome is required for immune development and protective immune responses. It is also becoming clear that if there is a disruption or disorganization in the microbiome community inflammatory disease can occur. This is particularly evident with gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. In this forum, we will focus on ongoing research into how the microbiome influences the development of autoimmune disease with particular emphasis on those conditions that have less well defined relationships with the microbiome. Our main goal is to foster discussion and collaboration in the larger field of research into microbiome-autoimmune disease interactions.
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