Special Issue "Advances in Human Microbiome"

A special issue of Journal of Clinical Medicine (ISSN 2077-0383).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Luis Vitetta

Discipline of Pharmacology, Sydney Medical School, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61 2 8094 1939

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

What is it to be human…is the new paradigm shift in biomedical research that highlights the beginning of the 21st century. In this respect the Human Microbiome Project began to elucidate the relationships that exist between the bacteria that live on and within humans and the human host. The microbiome especially defines the ecological communities of commensal, symbiotic and pathobiont (potentially pathogenic) microbial communities that co-exist in the human body space. Most micro-organisms have been almost totally ignored as determinants of health and consequently as a collective especially in the gastrointestinal tract were deemed to consist of a collection of toxic substances. Through the extended view of self, humans can now be regarded as a symbiotic organism that is very much composed of an ensemble of human and non-human cells (and their genetic signatures) that constitute the human body. The human microbiome has co-evolved in a mutually beneficial and influential relationship with that of a plethora of bacterial communities. Microbial interactions provide the human host with physiological, metabolic and immune capacities in exchange for nutrients. Moreover as an example and especially in the gastrointestinal tract the microbial cohort provides a beneficial profile of metabolic and immunological tolerance.

Prof. Dr. Luis Vitetta
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • human microbiome
  • metabolic and immunological tolerance
  • dysbiosis
  • host-microbe co-evolutionary signals

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview Modulating the Gut Micro-Environment in the Treatment of Intestinal Parasites
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(11), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5110102
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1064 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The interactions of micro-organisms cohabitating with Homo sapiens spans millennia, with microbial communities living in a symbiotic relationship with the host. Interacting to regulate and maintain physiological functions and immunological tolerance, the microbial community is able to exert an influence on host health. [...] Read more.
The interactions of micro-organisms cohabitating with Homo sapiens spans millennia, with microbial communities living in a symbiotic relationship with the host. Interacting to regulate and maintain physiological functions and immunological tolerance, the microbial community is able to exert an influence on host health. An example of micro-organisms contributing to an intestinal disease state is exhibited by a biodiverse range of protozoan and bacterial species that damage the intestinal epithelia and are therefore implicated in the symptoms of diarrhea. As a contentious exemplar, Blastocystis hominis is a ubiquitous enteric protist that can adversely affect the intestines. The symptoms experienced are a consequence of the responses of the innate immune system triggered by the disruption of the intestinal barrier. The infiltration of the intestinal epithelial barrier involves a host of immune receptors, including toll like receptors and IgM/IgG/IgA antibodies as well as CD8+ T cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. Whilst the mechanisms of interactions between the intestinal microbiome and protozoan parasites remain incompletely understood, it is acknowledged that the intestinal microbiota is a key factor in the pathophysiology of parasitic infections. Modulating the intestinal environment through the administration of probiotics has been postulated as a possible therapeutic agent to control the proliferation of intestinal microbes through their capacity to induce competition for occupation of a common biotype. The ultimate goal of this mechanism is to prevent infections of the like of giardiasis and eliminate its symptoms. The differing types of probiotics (i.e., bacteria and yeast) modulate immunity by stimulating the host immune system. Early animal studies support the potential benefits of probiotic administration to prevent intestinal infections, with human clinical studies showing probiotics can reduce the number of parasites and the severity of symptoms. The early clinical indications endorse probiotics as adjuncts in the pharmaceutical treatment of protozoan infections. Currently, the bar is set low for the conduct of well-designed clinical studies that will translate the use of probiotics to ameliorate protozoan infections, therefore the requisite is for further clinical research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Human Microbiome)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Advances in the Microbiome: Applications to Clostridium difficile Infection
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090083
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (680 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Clostridium difficile is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing over 400,000 infections and approximately 29,000 deaths in the United States alone each year. C. difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in the developed world, and, in recent [...] Read more.
Clostridium difficile is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing over 400,000 infections and approximately 29,000 deaths in the United States alone each year. C. difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in the developed world, and, in recent years, the emergence of hyper-virulent (mainly ribotypes 027 and 078, sometimes characterised by increased toxin production), epidemic strains and an increase in the number of community-acquired infections has caused further concern. Antibiotic therapy with metronidazole, vancomycin or fidaxomicin is the primary treatment for C. difficile infection (CDI). However, CDI is unique, in that, antibiotic use is also a major risk factor for acquiring CDI or recurrent CDI due to disruption of the normal gut microbiota. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative, non-antibiotic therapeutics to treat or prevent CDI. Here, we review a number of such potential treatments which have emerged from advances in the field of microbiome research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Human Microbiome)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview A Role for the Intestinal Microbiota and Virome in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(6), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5060055
Received: 18 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 6 June 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous disorder of significant societal impact that is proposed to involve both host and environmentally derived aetiologies that may be autoimmune in nature. Immune-related symptoms of at least moderate severity persisting for prolonged periods of time [...] Read more.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous disorder of significant societal impact that is proposed to involve both host and environmentally derived aetiologies that may be autoimmune in nature. Immune-related symptoms of at least moderate severity persisting for prolonged periods of time are common in ME/CFS patients and B cell depletion therapy is of significant therapeutic benefit. The origin of these symptoms and whether it is infectious or inflammatory in nature is not clear, with seeking evidence of acute or chronic virus infections contributing to the induction of autoimmune processes in ME/CFS being an area of recent interest. This article provides a comprehensive review of the current evidence supporting an infectious aetiology for ME/CFS leading us to propose the novel concept that the intestinal microbiota and in particular members of the virome are a source of the “infectious” trigger of the disease. Such an approach has the potential to identify disease biomarkers and influence therapeutics, providing much-needed approaches in preventing and managing a disease desperately in need of confronting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Human Microbiome)
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