Gut microbial communities participate in key aspects of host biology, including development, nutrient absorption, immunity and disease. During host ageing, intestinal microbes undergo dramatic changes in composition and function and can shift from commensal to pathogenic. However, whether they play a causal role in host ageing and life span has remained an open question for a long time. Recent work in model organisms has revealed for the first time that gut microbes can modulate ageing, opening new questions and opportunities to uncover novel ageing-modulating mechanisms and to design anti-ageing interventions by targeting the gut microbiota.
Keywords: ageing; longevity; microbiome; microbiota.