Microbiome as an Immunological Modifier

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2055)


Humans are living ecosystems composed of human cells and microbes. The microbiome is the collection of microbes (microbiota) and their genes. Recent breakthroughs in the high-throughput sequencing technologies have made it possible for us to understand the composition of the human microbiome. Launched by the National Institutes of Health in USA, the human microbiome project indicated that our bodies harbor a wide array of microbes, specific to each body site with interpersonal and intrapersonal variabilities. Numerous studies have indicated that several factors influence the development of the microbiome including genetics, diet, use of antibiotics, and lifestyle, among others. The microbiome and its mediators are in a continuous cross talk with the host immune system; hence, any imbalance on one side is reflected on the other. Dysbiosis (microbiota imbalance) was shown in many diseases and pathological conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and cancer. The microbial composition mirrors inflammation variations in certain disease conditions, within various stages of the same disease; hence, it has the potential to be used as a biomarker.

Key words

Microbiome Microbiota Metagenomics Dysbiosis Microbe–immune cell interactions 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Translational Medicine, Research DepartmentSidra MedicineDohaQatar
  2. 2.Cancer and Inflammation Program, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer InstituteNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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