Research Topic

The Microbiota and Interventions

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The human body is populated by an estimated 1014 bacteria, including harmless symbionts, commensals and potential pathogens. These bacteria form communities and compose networks, interacting with other components of the microbiota such as viruses, bacteriophages, fungi and parasites. These ...

The human body is populated by an estimated 1014 bacteria, including harmless symbionts, commensals and potential pathogens. These bacteria form communities and compose networks, interacting with other components of the microbiota such as viruses, bacteriophages, fungi and parasites. These ecological systems (microbiota) communicate with the host using an array of neural, hormonal, humoral, immune, and metabolic pathways.

Understanding microbiota-host interactions is an interesting area of research which may contribute to new insights into various somatic, immune and neuropsychiatric diseases with opportunities for interventions. Commonly used interventions to the intestinal microbiota are the administration of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and antibiotics. An increasing amount of studies point out that gut microbiota may have an impact on the regulation of energy metabolism and body weight in chronic diseases associated with cachexia, which refers to disease-related malnutrition.

A radical intervention is the replacement of patients’ gut microbiota with healthy donor microbiota by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). FMT is also tested for a variety of other diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, neuropsychiatric diseases, immune diseases, and for eradication of multidrug resistant bacteria from the intestinal tract.

The composition of the gut microbiota also influences the pharmacokinetics and dynamics of medication; pharmacomicrobiomics. There is growing evidence that gut microbiota can affect the response to chemo- and immunotherapeutic drugs by modulating efficacy or gastro-intestinal uptake. A very interesting finding is the role of the gut microbiota in treatment response of patients with malignancies, such as melanoma and lung carcinoma, to checkpoint inhibitors. Pharmacomicrobiomics is therefore considered as a novel route to personalized medicine based on unique and individual variations of the microbiota compositions.

Although the gut microbiota is the major topic of interest, there is mounting evidence that the respiratory tract microbiota and skin microbiota have similar functions. The respiratory tract microbiota is considered as a gate keeper to prevent respiratory infections both for the lower and upper respiratory tract. Impairment in lung innate immunity caused by microbial dysbiosis may promote susceptibility of the host to infections that can exacerbate chronic lung diseases. The role of the microbiota for the development and course of chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic mycobacterial or fungal infections is less well studied. As well, skin microbiota is implicated in skin inflammatory and infectious diseases. and was interestingly associated with attractiveness for mosquito bites, what make it a potential new target for malaria prevention.

For this topic, we welcome both human and model animal studies (with a relevance to human health) that focus on microbiota and interventions of gut, respiratory tract and skin. We seek Original Research articles, Methods, Reviews, Brief Research Reports, and Mini Reviews that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

1) Development and evaluation of interventions in the gut-brain axis and gut-lung axis.
2) Novel insights in the significance of the skin microbiota and possibilities for interventions.
3) How does modulation of the microbiota affect the treatment of autoimmune diseases and malignancies?


Keywords: Microbiota, interventions, skin microbiota, gut-brain axis, gut-lung axis, pharmacomicrobiomics


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