Article first published online: 14 APR 2015
- Alcoholic Liver Disease;
- Bacterial Translocation;
- Intestinal Bacterial Dysbiosis;
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Alcoholic fatty liver disease can progress to steatohepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Patients with alcohol abuse show quantitative and qualitative changes in the composition of the intestinal microbiome. Furthermore, patients with ALD have increased intestinal permeability and elevated systemic levels of gut-derived microbial products. Maintaining eubiosis, stabilizing the mucosal gut barrier, or preventing cellular responses to microbial products protect from experimental ALD. Therefore, intestinal dysbiosis and pathological bacterial translocation appear fundamental for the pathogenesis of ALD. This review highlights causes for intestinal dysbiosis and pathological bacterial translocation, their relationship, and consequences for ALD. We also discuss how the liver affects the intestinal microbiota.