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Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2014 Feb;21(1):15-21. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000032.

Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and the microbiome.

Author information

1
Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Unit, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The review aims to update the reader on current developments in our understanding of how the gut microbiota impact on inflammatory bowel disease and the irritable bowel syndrome. It will also consider current efforts to modulate the microbiota for therapeutic effect.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Gene polymorphisms associated with inflammatory bowel disease increasingly suggest that interaction with the microbiota drives pathogenesis. This may be through modulation of the immune response, mucosal permeability or the products of microbial metabolism. Similar findings in irritable bowel syndrome have reinforced the role of gut-specific factors in this 'functional' disorder. Metagenomic analysis has identified alterations in pathways and interactions with the ecosystem of the microbiome that may not be recognized by taxonomic description alone, particularly in carbohydrate metabolism. Treatments targeted at the microbial stimulus with antibiotics, probiotics or prebiotics have all progressed in the past year. Studies on the long-term effects of treatment on the microbiome suggest that dietary intervention may be needed for prolonged efficacy.

SUMMARY:

The microbiome represents 'the other genome', and to appreciate its role in health and disease will be as challenging as with our own genome. Intestinal diseases occur at the front line of our interaction with the microbiome and their future treatment will be shaped as we unravel our relationship with it.

PMID:
24296462
PMCID:
PMC3871405
DOI:
10.1097/MED.0000000000000032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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