A complex microworld in the gut: Gut microbiota and cardiovascular disease connectivity : Nature Medicine

Millions of healthy bacteria colonize our guts from the moment we are born. Changes in the composition and abundance of these commensals affect the entire immune system and can predispose us to a variety of diseases, including intestinal infections, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, and cancer. The gut microbiome interacts not only with the host mucosa but also with potential pathogens; understanding what interactions and pathways are crucial for maintaining homeostasis and protecting the host from harmful bacteria and diseases can open new avenues to developing gut microbiota–based therapeutic approaches. In 'Bench to Bedside', Michael R. Howitt and Wendy S. Garrett examine the importance of metabolic crosstalk between the microbiota and the host in human metabolism and the development of cardiovascular disease. This adds one more layer of complexity to understanding what contributes to this pathology and how to harness the microbiota and their metabolic pathways to prevent it. In 'Bedside to Bench', Nobuhiko Kamada, Grace Chen and Gabriel Núñez discuss how targeting interactions between commensals and bacteria causing intestinal disease can lead to effective therapies to control these infections, which currently seem to lack an adequate treatment. Unraveling how commensals help the host prevent or block colonization of these pathogens can suggest new ways to increase our armamentarium to deal with these sometimes deadly intestinal infections.
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