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Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2019.00305

Targeting the gut microbiota to treat cachexia

  • 1Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), Switzerland
  • 2Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • 3Genomic Research Laboratory, Service of Infectious Diseases, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland
  • 4Louvain Drug Research Institute, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium

Cachexia occurs in many chronic diseases and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. It is treated by nutritional support but often with limited effectiveness, leading to the search of other therapeutic strategies. The modulation of gut microbiota, whether through pro-, pre-, syn- or antibiotics or fecal transplantation, is attracting ever-growing interest in the field of obesity, but could also be an interesting and innovative alternative for treating cachexia. This article reviews the evidence linking the features of malnutrition, as defined by the Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (low body mass index, unintentional body weight loss, low muscle mass, low appetite and systemic inflammation) and the gut microbiota in human adults with cachexia-associated diseases, and shows the limitations of the present research in that field with suggestions for future directions.

Keywords: gut, Gut Microbiota, Metabolism, Cachexia, Metagenomic

Received: 06 Jun 2019; Accepted: 09 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Genton, Mareschal, Charretier, Lazarevic, Bindels and Schrenzel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Laurence Genton, Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), Genève, 1205, Geneva, Switzerland, laurence.genton@hcuge.ch