Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and the Microbiome—What Is the Best Strategy for Moving Microbiome-based Therapies for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders into the Clinic?

Ruben A.T. Mars, Mary Frith, Purna C. Kashyap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

There have been numerous human studies reporting associations between the intestinal microbiome and functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), and independently animal studies have explored microbiome-driven mechanisms underlying FGIDs. However, there is often a disconnect between human and animal studies, which hampers translation of microbiome findings to the clinic. Changes in the microbiota composition of patients with FGIDs are generally subtle, whereas changes in microbial function, reflected in the fecal metabolome, appear to be more precise indicators of disease subtype-specific mechanisms. Although we have made significant progress in characterizing the microbiome, to effectively translate microbiome science in a timely manner, we need concurrent and iterative longitudinal studies in humans and animals to determine the precise microbial functions that can be targeted to address specific pathophysiological processes in FGIDs. A systems approach integrating multiple data layers rather than evaluating individual data layers of symptoms, physiological changes, or -omics data in isolation will allow for validation of mechanistic insights from animal studies while also allowing new discovery. Patient stratification for clinical trials based on functional microbiome alterations and/or pathophysiological measurements may allow for more accurate determination of efficacy of individual microbiome-targeted interventions designed to correct an underlying abnormality. In this review, we outline current approaches and knowledge, and identify gaps, to provide a potential roadmap for accelerating translation of microbiome science toward microbiome-targeted personalized treatments for FGIDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-555
Number of pages18
JournalGastroenterology
Volume160
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • IBS
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbial Therapeutics
  • Multi-omics
  • Synthetic Biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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