The `human microbiome’ consists of complex microbial ecosystems, made of bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, and other eukaryotes, which inhabit the human body and directly affect human biology, homeostasis, and health. The human gastrointestinal tract harbors a dynamic population of microorganisms, the ‘gut microbiota’, and represents one the largest body interfaces between host, antigens, and environmental factors. The gut microbiota composition is indeed determined by different environmental factors, such as diet, pathogens, medication usage, pollutants, and host genetics.
Gut microbiota can be symbiotic, and in most cases beneficial, as well as pathogenic. In healthy people, both pathogenic and symbiotic microorganisms coexist, and such microbial balance is crucial to maintain immune and metabolic homeostasis and protect against pathogens. In contrast, an altered gut bacterial composition (a condition called ‘dysbiosis’), due for instance to infections, diet changes, or prolonged use of antibiotics or other medications, has been associated with various human diseases, such as infectious and inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, as well as neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Although human microbiome research is rapidly evolving and the gut microbiome is the most studied human microbial community, the mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota functions, the gut microbiota-host interactions, as well as how an imbalanced gut microbiome affects human health, remain poorly understood. In support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (SDG 3), ‘Good health and well-being’, the Editors of BMC Microbiology announce the launch of the collection The impact of gut microbiota on human health. This collection aims to bring together original research articles that cover emerging research on the role and impact of gut microbiota on human diseases and biological dysfunctions. We invite researchers and experts in the field to submit research articles that explore, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- Understanding the mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota functions, and the gut microbiota-host interactions
- The impact of gut microbiota in promoting infectious, metabolic, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, neurological diseases/disorders and cancer, understanding the underlying mechanisms
- Development of diagnostic biomarkers for infectious, metabolic, immune, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, neurological diseases/disorders and cancer linked to gut microbiota imbalance
- Effects of gut microbiota on growth, development, and immune system development in the context of aging
- Gut microbiota dysbiosis, leaky gut, bacterial metabolites
- Mechanistic understanding of how the metabolic environment affects the gut microbiome composition and functions, and how microbial metabolites affect the host
- The gut-brain axis: understanding the impact of gut microbiome in neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders
- Advances in gut microbiome-based therapeutics and interventions
- Progress in treatment of human diseases and disorders by regulating the gut microbiota composition and diversity (e.g. prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), intestinal microbiota transplantation, dietary changes)
- Understanding the relationship between gut microbiota composition and drug treatments
- Diet impact on the gut microbiome biodiversity and functions
- Progress in sampling methods for gut microbiota
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