The human body is a superorganism - a complex ecosystem of human cells living in a symbiotic relationship with 100 trillion bacteria and other microorganisms, collectively called the human microbiome.
Interesting fact - we are more microbe than we are human, microbes outnumber our human cells ten to one.
The human microbiome has extensive functions such as development of immunity, defence against pathogens, host nutrition, synthesis of vitamins and fat storage as well as an influence on human behaviour, making it an essential organ of the body.
At times, the mutualist microbiota (the good ones) can switch into pathogen mode hence the term frenemy. Technically this is called a pathobiont (a potentially pathological organism that, under normal circumstances, lives as a harmless symbiont) that can wreak havoc on the system.
When a mutualist has gone rogue, it represents stored experiences from the past whereby one’s close family and friends have treated them like the enemy.
Check out our free app to explore our library of information on the psychology of the amazing ecosystem we call the Microbiome!