Scientific Article

Microbiome risk profiles as biomarkers for inflammatory and metabolic disorders


The intestine harbours a complex array of microorganisms collectively known as the gut microbiota. The past two decades have witnessed increasing interest in studying the gut microbiota in health and disease, largely driven by rapid innovation in high-throughput multi-omics technologies. As a result, microbial dysbiosis has been linked to many human pathologies, including type 2 diabetes mellitus and inflammatory bowel disease. Integrated analyses of multi-omics data, including metagenomics and metabolomics along with measurements of host response and cataloguing of bacterial isolates, have identified many bacteria and bacterial products that are correlated with disease. Nevertheless, insight into the mechanisms through which microbes affect intestinal health requires going beyond correlation to causation. Current understanding of the contribution of the gut microbiota to disease causality remains limited, largely owing to the heterogeneity of microbial community structures, interindividual differences in disease evolution and incomplete understanding of the mechanisms that integrate microbiota-derived signals into host signalling pathways. In this Review, we provide a broad insight into the microbiome signatures linked to inflammatory and metabolic disorders, discuss outstanding challenges in this field and propose applications of multi-omics technologies that could lead to an improved mechanistic understanding of microorganism–host interactions.

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Metwaly, A., Reitmeier, S. & Haller, D. Microbiome risk profiles as biomarkers for inflammatory and metabolic disorders. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (2022).

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