How to define microbiota and microbiome?
First seen as pathogens, naturally occurring microbes are now recognized as complex and highly diverse assemblages, often associated with a host with whom they interact in a dynamic and beneficial fashion. Microbial communities are commonly defined as the collection of microorganisms living together within a defined environment such as a body part and referred to as the microbiota.
The term microbiome includes the living microbes, their environment but also all the molecules (e.g. nucleic acids, lipids, proteins and metabolites) they and their host produce. Microbiome can also be defined as the collection of genomes and genes from the microbiota members although the term metagenome is preferentially used in this context. Regardless of the term used to define it, the microbiome is essential for health and decisive in human diseases.
Translational research: from animal models to treating patients
Animal models are essential in understanding the role of microbiomes in health and diseases whether the endpoint is to improve human or animal health. In basic research and preclinical studies, animal models such as mice, rats, hamsters or others, enable interventions and easy access to organs that would not be possible in humans. The experimental conditions are also more controlled with homogenous genetic backgrounds and by limiting sources of variations (e.g. diet and environmental conditions) affecting microbiota composition.
Despite the great usefulness of animal models, the need for translational research has become critically important in contemporary biomedical research. How to translate findings from basic research and preclinical studies into practical applications and improvements to general public health? Moving from the bench to the bedside requires collaboration among experts from multiple disciplines and also studying different targets. For example, blood sampling is commonly more acceptable for the patient and profiling the circulating microbiome can be as informative as the analysis of biopsies.
Bacterial translocation: the missing link between intestinal microbiota and human complex non-communicable diseases
Atlas of Microbiomes :
What are the levels of bacterial biomass of the different tissues?
The gut microbiome affects virtually all aspects of human health
Traditional areas of investigation with the microbiome are gastrointestinal diseases (IBD, IBS, CD) and metabolic diseases (obesity and diabetes). In more recent years, new application areas are emerging such as the central nervous system, infectious diseases or cancer. The study of microbiomes beyond the gut is widening the potential for discoveries.
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Travel through the fascinating history of microbiota!
Although gut microbiota is by far the most investigated, the concepts of gut and blood microbiomes have grown in parallel since the early stages of the field.
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VAIOMER Experts’ Highlights
>Type 2 diabetes influences bacterial tissue compartmentalisation in human obesity. Anhê et al., 2020, Nature Metabolism.
>Microbial signatures in metabolic tissues: a novel paradigm for obesity and diabetes? Cani and Van Hul, 2020, Nature Metabolism.
> Circulating microbiome in blood of different circulatory compartments. Schierwagen et al., 2019, Gut.
> Response to: ‘Circulating microbiome in blood of different circulatory compartments’ by Schierwagen et al. Hornung et al., 2020, Gut.
> Trust is good, control is better: technical considerations in blood microbiome analysis. Schierwagen et al., 2020, Gut.
> Intestinal mucosal adherence and translocation of commensal bacteria at the early onset of type 2 diabetes: molecular mechanisms and probiotic treatment. Amar et al., 2011, EMBO Mol Med.
> Involvement of tissue bacteria in the onset of diabetes in humans: evidence for a concept. Amar et al., 2011, Diabetologia
> The Characterization of Novel Tissue Microbiota Using an Optimized 16S Metagenomic Sequencing Pipeline. Lluch et al., 2015, PLoS One.
> Comprehensive description of blood microbiome from healthy donors assessed by 16S targeted metagenomic sequencing. Païssé et al., 2016, Transfusion.
Microbiomes beyond the gut
Learn about the gut, blood and tissue microbiota , the link between gut dysbiosis and tissue inflammation, and discover how these microbiota positively or negatively influence our physiology and can cause disease
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