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    So, I'm trying to read my notes to understand what this is but I just can't. Could someone please give me a simplified explanation as to what Commensal Flora actually is?

    My understanding is that it is a generalised term that just refers to bacteria, but I'm probably wrong!
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    Commensals are organisms that live on or in another living thing, gaining benefit from the host but not causing harm (under normal conditions) (as opposed to parasites that do cause harm) - the commensal flora is the population of harmless bacteria in the intestine (good example being Escherichia coli) that gain nutrition from the contents therein (chyle) - they are useful to we humans because they digest cellulose for us which we do not have any enzymes to break down with.

    Patients on antibiotics will have their flora partially or wholly killed by the drug, so that symptoms of maldigestion may ensue.

    Under certain circumstances, these commensal organisms can become opportunistic pathogens and lead to an infection.

    I hope this helps.

    Mukesh (ex-medic)
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    (Original post by macpatelgh)
    Commensals are organisms that live on or in another living thing, gaining benefit from the host but not causing harm (under normal conditions) (as opposed to parasites that do cause harm) - the commensal flora is the population of harmless bacteria in the intestine (good example being Escherichia coli) that gain nutrition from the contents therein (chyle) - they are useful to we humans because they digest cellulose for us which we do not have any enzymes to break down with.

    Patients on antibiotics will have their flora partially or wholly killed by the drug, so that symptoms of maldigestion may ensue.

    Under certain circumstances, these commensal organisms can become opportunistic pathogens and lead to an infection.

    I hope this helps.

    Mukesh (ex-medic)
    Wow!! You really know your stuff inside out! Hopefully I'll be that smart one day haha. Your explanation was very good and easy to understand. Thank you for your time!
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    Thank you so much for your kind words - I am sure you will surpass my modest knowledge very soon, especially considering you have the best of both worlds (the cognitive ability of a budding veterinary surgeon and the cuteness and resilience of an arctic resident, especialy one fitted with a jet engine [I would never be able to comptete as I was born in Kenya where it is slightly warmer)] - come on young lady - pandas are sweet!!)

    PS - well done on getting onto TSR so early after a Saturday night clubbing!!
 
 
 
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