The gut microbiome—the microbial community in the intestinal tract—is an influencer of metabolism and immunity and a mediator of resistance to some pathogenic infections.1
A distinct and essential organ within the human body, the gut microbiome contains an estimated 500-1000 species and 100 trillion organisms, encoding 100-fold more unique genes than our own genome.1-4
In its balanced state, there is a symbiotic relationship between luminal bacteria and our human cells.5
These cells communicate and form long-lasting, interactive associations that play a vital role in conservation of mucosal immune function, epithelial barrier integrity, motility, and nutrient absorption.5-7
Dysbiosis is the disruption of the composition and/or diversity of the gut microbiome.
The causes of dysbiosis can be attributed to stress, diet, hygiene, and use of antibiotics. Dysbiosis has been associated with a range of different gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI diseases including neurologic, metabolic, liver, inflammatory, and infectious diseases. Restoration of the gut microbiome homeostasis is essential to rectifying dysbiosis.5,8,9
While this often occurs as a natural process, therapeutic intervention may also be required.
- Gilbert JA, Blaser MJ, Caporaso JG, et al. Current understanding of the human microbiome. Nat Med. 2018;24(4):392-400.
- Antharam VC, Li EC, Ishmael A, et al. Intestinal dysbiosis and depletion of butyrogenic bacteria in Clostridium difficile infection and nosocomial diarrhea. J Clin Microbiol. 2013;51(9):2884-2892.
- Thursby E, Juge N. Introduction to the human gut microbiota. Biochem J. 2017;474(11):1823-1836.
- Marchesi JR, Adams DH, Fava F, et al. The gut microbiota and host health: a new clinical frontier. Gut. 2016;65(2):330-339.
- Bien J, Palagani V, Bozko P. The intestinal microbiota dysbiosis and Clostridium difficile infection: is there a relationship with inflammatory bowel disease? Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013;6(1):53-68.
- Ley R, Hamady M, Lozupone C, et al. Evolution of mammals and their gut microbes. Science. 2008;320(5883):1647-1651.
- Mazmanian S, Liu C, Tzianabos A, Kasper D. An immunomodulatory molecule of symbiotic bacteria directs maturation of the host immune system. Cell. 2005;122(1):107-118.
- Weiss GA, Hennet T. Mechanisms and consequences of intestinal dysbiosis. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017;74(16):2959-2977.
- Riaz Rajoka MS, Shi J, Mehwish HM, et al. Interaction between diet composition and gut microbiota and its impact on gastrointestinal tract health. Food Science and Human Wellness. 2017;6(3):121-130.