More than a decade after the launch of the Human Microbiome Project, research in this field has grown exponentially, with studies associating microbial states or species with disorders including novel infectious etiologies and complex human disease. Scientists are searching for the potential utility of the microbiome (the community of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in an environment), with particular focus on manipulating microbial communities as novel therapeutic modalities. This Viewpoint highlights current applications of microbiome science to human health and examines successes and remaining challenges.

Fecal microbiome transplantation (FMT) has demonstrated the potential for normal human-associated microbes to ameliorate or even cure diseases as to manage recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection

The promising results with CDI have prompted researchers to investigate FMT as a treatment for individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases, generating some modest and mixed results. A multicenter trial randomized 73 patients with ulcerative colitis with mild to moderate disease to receive either donor or autologous FMT.

Also he complexity of microbial communities, in terms of the number and percentage of different species in an environment, could be a critical factor in identifying a tractable intervention to alter microbiomes.

 Researchers need a better understanding of the roles microbiota have in initiation, maintenance, and progression of disease (Figure). Only through basic mechanistic research informed by fundamental clinical questions will the field progress to the large clinical trials needed to understand the translation of microbiome science, achieving the ultimate goal of precision medicine.

Read more :  Jama Network