Homo sapiens or homo bacteriens?

Man is called homo sapiens, but judging by the huge amount of bacteria living in our bodies, homo bacteriens would have been a perfectly suitable name too.

Picture this: we have 10 trillion human cells (or eukaryotic cells) in our bodies, which is a lot. But we have even more bacterial cells (or prokaryotic cells). It’s estimated we have as many as 30-50 trillion bacterial cells. These trillions of bacterial cells make up over 1000 species that live in and on our body.

This raises a fundamental question: why doesn’t this enormous bacterial population cause continuous infections in our body, as they contain one of the most potent pro-inflammatory components (LPS)?

You can find an explanation in this manuscript by B. Henderson en M. Wilson of the department of Microbiology, University College London.

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