Gastrointestinal tract, or digestive tract, is the pathway for digesting food that begins at the mouth and includes, in turn, the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and ends with the rectum/anus. The components of the defense mechanisms against food-borne pathogens of the GI tract include: 1) an acidic stomach, 2) an active intestinal immune system, 3) bacterial flora in the intestine, 4) bile salts and digestive enzymes, 5) mucus, 6) and peristaltic action.
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