intestinal flora

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The microorganisms that normally inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, mainly the small and large intestines. Most are commensal or, in some instances, symbiotic, e.g., synthesizing vitamin K, which is essential to prevent capillary hemorrhages. Pathogenic organisms can also inhabit the gut, where they may cause disease or provide a nidus of infection for others to whom the pathogens are transmitted, commonly during food-handling.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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