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Call for papers - The immune system, the microbiome and endometriosis: current knowledge and future directions

Guest Editors:
Henriette Svarre Nielsen: University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ina Schuppe-Koistinen: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Kilian Vomstein: Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 18 September 2024


BMC Medicine is calling for submissions to our Collection on The immune system, the microbiome and endometriosis: current knowledge and future directions.

Endometriosis is a prevalent and frequently debilitating chronic inflammatory disorder that globally impacts roughly 1 in 10 women in their reproductive years. Despite its prevalence, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, making effective treatments elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that microbial dysbiosis within the female reproductive system and gut may trigger abnormal immune responses, thus facilitating the growth and persistence of endometriotic lesions. In this article collection, we encourage research contributions seeking to understand these complex interactions and paving the way towards preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic options for endometriosis to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals affected.

Please click the ‘About the Collection’ tab for further information on what is considered. Articles will be published as soon as they are proofed post-acceptance.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Henriette Svarre Nielsen: University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen University Hospital, Amager Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

Prof Nielsen has researched women’s health for more than two decades. Her award-winning thesis was about maternal immunity against male specific antigens as a cause of recurrent pregnancy loss. She is responsible for large scale and ambitious research projects about the influence of the microbiome in reproduction and women’s health specifically focusing on the menstrual cycle, recurrent pregnancy, infertility, and endometriosis. Her group has also pioneered antibiotic free vaginal microbiome transplantation and just finalized the first randomized controlled trial. She is a professor at the University of Copenhagen, a consultant and Head of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Unit with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Copenhagen University Hospital, and Amager Hvidovre Hospital.

Ina Schuppe-Koistinen: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Ina Schuppe Koistinen, PhD, holds the position as Alliance Director and leader of the Women’s Health team at the Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Ina has an education in biochemistry, toxicology and a PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet. She has pursued a career in pharma industry and academia in both pre-clinical and clinical drug research and development in translational medicine research in central nervous system, respiratory, autoimmunity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases focusing on biomarker discovery based on omics technologies, systems-based data integration and clinical biomarker qualification. Her current research interest is in understanding the role of the microbiome to health with a focus on female reproduction.
 

Kilian Vomstein: Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark

Kilian Vomstein is a gynecologist at the Fertility Clinic, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre and at the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Unit Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on the immunology of the feto-maternal interface - especially NK-cells - and the interaction with the local microbiome.
 

About the collection

BMC Medicine is calling for submissions to our Collection on The immune system, the microbiome and endometriosis: current knowledge and future directions.

Endometriosis is a prevalent and frequently debilitating chronic inflammatory disorder that globally impacts roughly 1 in 10 women in their reproductive years. Despite its prevalence, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear, making effective treatments elusive. Emerging evidence suggest that microbial dysbiosis within the female reproductive system and gut may trigger abnormal immune responses, thus facilitating the growth and persistence of endometriotic lesions. While traditional studies have largely focused on hormonal and surgical treatments, there remains a crucial gap in our understanding of how the microbiome and immune responses interact in this disease landscape. Importantly, there are questions about the feasibility and effectiveness of modulating these systems as a treatment strategy: Could targeted antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics, or microbiome transplants serve as potential therapies? Might specific immune modulators decrease the severity of symptoms? Moreover, innovative diagnostic approaches, such as identifying disease-specific microbiomes, can potentially enable earlier and more precise diagnoses.

In this article collection, we encourage research contributions seeking to understand these complex interactions and paving the way towards preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic options for endometriosis to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals affected. 

The objectives of this special edition are:

  • To provide a platform for well-designed, adequately sized microbiome studies in endometriosis or adenomyosis.
  • To aggregate high-quality research that elucidates the mechanistic interplay between the microbiome and immune responses in the onset and progression of endometriosis.
  • To provide a comprehensive overview of current evidence-based approaches towards microbiome and immune system modulation as diagnostic, preventive, or therapeutic strategies for endometriosis.
  • To identify gaps in existing research, thereby fostering subsequent investigations that might transform current clinical paradigms.

We are particularly interested in papers that fall under the following topics:

  • Microbial Dysbiosis and Endometriosis: Microbial imbalances associated with endometriosis and their role in initiating and progressing endometriotic lesions in the female reproductive system and intestines
  • Immune System Dysregulation: Immunological mechanisms contributing to the development and maintenance of endometriosis and the influence of microbial dysbiosis on the immune response in endometriosis
  • Diagnostic Biomarkers: Microbial or immune system biomarkers for early and precise diagnosis of endometriosis and their integration into non-invasive diagnostic tools to expedite diagnosis
  • Therapeutic Interventions: Potential therapeutic strategies targeting the microbiome and the immune system to alleviate endometriosis symptoms and the effectiveness of interventions such as antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics, or microbial transplants in modulating the microbiome and immune response in endometriosis

BMC Medicine is keen to ensure an inclusive Article Collection, so authors are encouraged to apply to become commissioned contributors. We also welcome outstanding mechanistic laboratory studies that provide relevant translational insights into the role of the microbiome and immune system in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. 

Please submit directly to BMC Medicine, indicating in your cover letter that you are targeting this collection. Alternatively, you can email a pre-submission query to the editorial team at bmcmedicineeditorial@biomedcentral.com. The collection will remain open and accept submissions up to one year after launch. 

Guest Editors provide guidance on the scope of this collection, advice on commissioned content, and editorial recommendations. However, they are not involved in the final editorial decision-making on papers submitted to this collection. All final editorial decisions are with the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Lin Lee.

Image credit: Orawan / stock.adobe.com

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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BMC Medicine encourages submissions of front matter articles and original research, including clinical trials (phase I-III, randomized-controlled, either positive or negative trials), epidemiological studies (retrospective or prospective), systematic reviews and meta-analyses, -omics, medical imaging, genomics studies and biomarkers research. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines

Editorial Manager: To submit your manuscript to this Collection, please use our online submission system and indicate in your covering letter that you would like the article to be considered for inclusion in The immune system, the microbiome and endometriosis: current knowledge and future directions Collection.

All articles submitted to Collections are peer-reviewed in line with the journal’s standard peer-review policy and are subject to all of the journal’s standard editorial and publishing policies. This includes the journal’s policy on competing interests. 

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editor or Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.