Bacteroides vulgatus is among the most commonly isolated microbes from the human gastrointestinal tract, and it has been found to constitute part of the core gut microbiota in healthy humans. Bacteroides vulgatus is generally considered to be a beneficial gut commensal, but studies also suggest that important intraspecies variations may exist, with specific strains of B. vulgatus shown to be capable of promoting or protecting against colitis. B. vulgatus is also an occasional opportunistic pathogen, and consistent with this it is capable of attaching to and invading colonic epithelial cells and of inducing proinflammatory cytokines. In addition, Bacteroides vulgatus can bind to host structural factors, and strains isolated from subjects with ulcerative colitis show increased adhesion to tissue-cultured cells in comparison to that of strains isolated from healthy subjects.
Low levels of B. vulgatus have been associated with IBS.
High levels of B. vulgatus is a risk factor for infant celiac disease and have also been associated with Autism.
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