List of questions
What criteria should we use to pick out potentially useful species from the breast milk / infant intestinal microbiota to supplement infants we know to be lacking a healthy gut microbiome?
The gut microbial communities developed from birth are increasingly associated with a range of clinical indications, with research suggesting a robust infant microbiome significantly offsets the chance of developing chronic diseases later on in life. Infancy has a critical window for microbiome development, with breastfeeding contributing to >40% of the microbiota living in the infant gut. The microbiomes of formula-fed babies, preterm babies and breastfed babies have been shown to differ substantially. Formula-fed babies are shown to be at higher risk of obesity, type I & type 2 diabetes, leukaemia and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Mothers of premature babies often cannot provide sufficient milk for their baby’s nutritional requirements. Up to 20% of premature infants can develop necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). NEC is linked to an inappropriate microbiome developing from opportunistic pathogenic bacteria being sourced from the NICU, where often babies who have not had adequate supply of mother’s milk have little microbiome defense. As not all mothers can breastfeed, and donated breast milk is always sterilised, infants without access to their mother’s milk are undoubtedly disadvantaged in setting up their gut microbiome. A solution for this could be probiotics for formula fed and premature babies, but which microbes to choose? The breast milk microbiome has had over 200 species isolated from it, and undoubtedly many more are in the community. Infant probiotic products most often use Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains. While these are in breast milk and must play an important role, there are many other genera being sidelined for probiotic use. Would an ecological metabolic assessment of the interactions between microbiome components be a better approach than the trial-and-error route of testing one or two probiotic species at a time to see if infant microbiome development can improve? If so, what factors should be considered between the interplay of these bacteria, and would it be possible to produce a list keystone species which can aid set up of the infant microbiome?
What are the challenges associated with the application of microbiome data into the clinical space?
There is a lot of data being generated but how do we know if is accurate and how does it impact clinical development?
How do you overcome the challenges of integrating sample collection and data across multiple “OMICS” since the microbiome is only one piece of the puzzle?
The microbiome may be the most popular but metabolomics and proteomics are attracting interest
What currently inaccessible gut microbiome biomarkers become essential in the discovery of phenotypic signatures to better explain variance in human health and disease?
Enteromics introduces a remote microbiome monitoring platform for sustainable healthcare. Our platform allows users to monitor their personal microbiome through the use of an ingestible device, which is paired to their smartphone through a digital application. The data gathered from the gut microbiome is then transmitted in real-time to provide actionable insights. We provide intelligent and user-friendly analytics that can be used to empower individuals to monitor and manage their health, and to enable our partners to develop effective therapeutics and interventions.
Deep Culturing and Precision Metagenomics for Live Bacterial Therapeutic and Biomarker Discovery
What evidence is there that a skin microbiome dysbiosis causes skin problems?
There is clear evidence that dysbiosis of the skin microbiome can correlate with unhealthy skin, but evidence for a causative link of skin microbiome dysbiosis on the skin is limited: the only data being in the specific cases of acne and atopic dermatitis. Is there a role for the skin microbiome in non-medical skin issues, such as dry skin, sensitive skin and redness? Would modulating a dysbiotic microbiome be of benefit to the consumer? The concept of 'Microbiome Friendly' is gaining acceptance within skincare, but how much damage, and with what duration, would a product need to do to the microbiome to lead to a noticeable change in skin condition?
How can our knowledge of the human microbiome be leveraged in the fight against infectious diseases such as influenza and coronavirus?
The gut has been identified as the centre of the human immune system, and there is some evidence that probiotic supplements can be linked to a decrease in the length and severity of respiratory tract infections. What evidence is there to support a proven ‘immunity boosting’ benefit, and what additional data is required to justify this claim? Can this benefit be best achieved by modulating the commensal gut bacteria (by prebiotics and diet) or by using oral probiotics? In addition to boosting the immune system, how else can the human microbiome be leveraged in the fight against bacterial and viral infections?