Gut Microbiota for Health
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 17:14 UTC
The mammalian gut microbiome is a complex community in which the virome plays an important role in regulating immunity and homeostasis. Nevertheless, recent data indicate that the enteric virome has been profoundly underestimated and researchers say enteric viruses (poliovirus, retrovirus, norovirus, reovirus) can interact with other microbial constituents that inhabit the intestine through both direct and indirect mechanisms. The coordinated interactions between these different microbial kingdoms - including viruses, bacteria, fungi, eukaryotes and helminths (termed "transkingdom interactions") - have important effects on enteric and systemic immune responses. Genetic variations in the host also affect these interactions and can influence the occurrence of enteric viral diseases.
In the review, researchers highlight several ways in which gut microbes influence viral infection and transmission. By using germ-free and antibiotic-treated mice infected with human and murine viruses, particular focus has been placed on mechanisms by which bacteria and other components of the microbiome promote enteric virus replication and transmission. For instance, gut bacteria are required for efficient mouse mammary tumour virus (MMTV) transmission from mother to offspring. Interestingly, the effects of microbiota on enteric viruses depend on the virus' route of transmission, with the natural oral route the most appropriate. In addition, several enteric viruses may induce host immune tolerance through attachment to bacterial constituents such as lipopolysaccharide, resulting in viral replication and transmission.
Furthermore, the authors note that bacterial microbiota has an essential role in maintaining antiviral intestinal immune responses. In this context, the presence of an innate immunity in the gut environment contributes to viral clearance. As a result, strategies that enhance these innate immune mechanisms may be useful in controlling viral infections.
In conclusion, all microbial communities and immune cells in the gut depend on each other for survival and may play an essential role in dictating responses to infectious agents. These interactions could be a target for further research concerning the effects of microbiota on human health and disease.
Pfeiffer JK, Virgin HW. Transkingdom control of viral infection and immunity in the mammalian intestine. Science. 2016;351(6270):aad58721-5.
Comment: For more information on how to heal your microbiome, listen to our radio show Some of my best friends are germs:
Download: OGG, MP3
The human body is teeming with billions -- nay, TRILLIONS -- of microbes with over a thousand different species populating the gut alone. We are covered with bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, inside and out. How did we come to be populated with such a vast array of these little beasties and what's their purpose? What influence do they exert on our physical and mental health and, more importantly, what can we do (and what can we avoid doing) to keep our microbial community happy and in balance?
Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we take a look at the role these microbiota play from infancy to adulthood, in sickness and in health. Learn how to create poo you can be proud of and a microbiome that works in your favor. Cause -- let's face it -- germs are here to stay!