4bases’ paper of the month – September 2021 – The promise of the gut microbiome as part of individualized treatment strategies

Our team’s reading recommendation for this month goes to “The promise of the gut microbiome as part of individualized treatment strategies”[1] by Schupack et al., a very interesting review just published in “Nature Reviews – gastroenterology and hepatology.

The objective of the review was to highlight the potential implications of the microbiome as a tool to individualize treatment strategies in clinical practice in six broad disease groups:

  • infectious disease,
  • cancer,
  • metabolic disease,
  • cardiovascular disease,
  • autoimmune or inflammatory disease
  • allergic and atopic diseases.

The review underlines that:

  • Tremendous progresses were made in characterizing the gut microbiome and in understanding its influence on the host biology
  • Its genetic diversity is substantially greater than the host and it partly explains the variability in disease development, progression, and treatment response.
  • It is influenced by numerous factors (including age, diet, and host genetics)
  • Stratifying to species or strain level is important as microorganisms within the same genus might have a differing effect on the same disease process and also different effects on separate disease processes.
  • The definition of a universal ‘healthy’ microbiota based on composition alone can only be rough
  • The gut microbiome is an important component in personalized medicine; most of the progress has been in metabolic and cardiovascular disorders as well as in cancer therapies.

And, calling for further investigation to overcome the challenges of clinical implementation, it concludes that: “Given progress in the microbiome field with concurrent basic and clinical studies, the microbiome will likely become an integral part of clinical care within the next decade.”

We at 4bases are proud to support research in this field by developing new molecular diagnostic tools to allow a better understanding of the microbiome, its interactions with the host genetics and its influence on diseases processes. We’re getting ready for the future.

[1] Schupack DA, Mars RAT, Voelker DH, Abeykoon JP, Kashyap PC. The promise of the gut microbiome as part of individualized treatment strategies. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Aug 27. doi: 10.1038/s41575-021-00499-1. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34453142.



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