Microbiome and Gut Dysbiosis

Exp Suppl. 2018:109:459-476. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-74932-7_13.


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the residence of trillions of microorganisms that include bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses. The collective genomes of whole microbial communities (microbiota) integrate the gut microbiome. Up to 100 genera and 1000 distinct bacterial species were identified in digestive tube niches. Gut microbiomes exert permanent pivotal functions by promoting food digestion, xenobiotic metabolism and regulation of innate and adaptive immunological processes. Proteins, peptides and metabolites released locally and at distant sites trigger many cell signalling and pathways. This intense crosstalk maintains the host-microbial homeostasis. Diet, age, diet, stress and diseases cause increases or decreases in relative abundance and diversity bacterial specie of GI and other body sites. Studies in animal models and humans have shown that a persistent imbalance of gut's microbial community, named dysbiosis, relates to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular and central nervous system disorders. Notably specific bacterial communities are promising clinical target to treat inflammatory and infectious diseases. In this context, intestinal microbiota transplantation (IMT) is one optional treatment for IBD, in particular to patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile-induced pseudo-membrane colitis. Here we discuss on recent discoveries linking whole gut microbiome dysbiosis to metabolic and inflammatory diseases and potential prophylactic and therapeutic applications of faecal and phage therapy, probiotic and prebiotic diets.

Keywords: Faecal therapy; Metabolic and gastrointestinal diseases; Microbiomes; Prebiotics; Probiotics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Inflammation
  • Intestines / microbiology