Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic complex inflammatory gut pathological condition, examples of which include Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), which is associated with significant morbidity. Although the etiology of IBD is unknown, gut microbiota alteration (dysbiosis) is considered a novel factor involved in the pathogenesis of IBD. The gut microbiota acts as a metabolic organ and contributes to human health by performing various physiological functions; deviation in the gut flora composition is involved in various disease pathologies, including IBD. This review aims to summarize the current knowledge of gut microbiota alteration in IBD and how this contributes to intestinal inflammation, as well as explore the potential role of gut microbiota-based treatment approaches for the prevention and treatment of IBD. The current literature has clearly demonstrated a perturbation of the gut microbiota in IBD patients and mice colitis models, but a clear causal link of cause and effect has not yet been presented. In addition, gut microbiota-based therapeutic approaches have also shown good evidence of their effects in the amelioration of colitis in animal models (mice) and IBD patients, which indicates that gut flora might be a new promising therapeutic target for the treatment of IBD. However, insufficient data and confusing results from previous studies have led to a failure to define a core microbiome associated with IBD and the hidden mechanism of pathogenesis, which suggests that well-designed randomized control trials and mouse models are required for further research. In addition, a better understanding of this ecosystem will also determine the role of prebiotics and probiotics as therapeutic agents in the management of IBD.
Keywords: fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT); gut microbiota; inflammatory bowel disease; pathogenesis; prebiotics; probiotics; synbiotics.