Xenobiotics and the gut microbiome in health and diseaseSubmit Manuscript on this topic
The human gut is estimated to contain 100 trillion microbes and the types of microbes include not only bacteria but viruses, archea, fungi and protozoa. It is increasingly recognized that the gut microbiome plays an integral role in maintaining normal homeostatic processes and that alterations in the gut microbiome are associated with multiple medical disorders including obesity, diabetes, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease and even central nervous system disorders.
A xenobiotic is generally considered a foreign chemical substance found within the organism that is not normally produced or be expected to be present. Examples include drugs such as antibiotics but can include a wide variety of environmental inputs that are obtained by the organism through ingestion into the alimentary tract; obtained through the airway or even mucosal or skin application. Included in xenobiotics are food molecules, spices and botanicals that likely have significant effects on the gut microbiome. A classic and well established example of a xenobiotic causing disease is antibiotic-induced overgrowth of Clostridium difficile in the gut resulting in an inflammatory colitis. In fact, re-establishing a normal gut microbiome via fecal transplantation resolves the colitis.
There has been an enormous surge in interest in understanding to role of the gut microbiome in health and disease there has been less attention paid to the effect of certain classes of xenobiotics such as medical drugs and food based bioactive molecules. We intend for this topic forum to attract interest in this field to enhance its research base. For this reason, we are interested in a broad scope of topics related to xenobiotics and the gut microbiome. The articles can be reviews or original contributions to the field.