All content in this area was uploaded by Bradley Leech on Sep 17, 2020
Content may be subject to copyright.
... For instance, early-life exposure to infections, vaccines (39), and dietary components (40) mold the immunological memory, consequently shaping how the immune system responds to exogenous stimuli later in life (41,42). During the recent decades, the tremendous increase in the prevalence of autoimmune conditions coincides with evolving dietary and hygiene styles in Westernized societies (43), indicating a strong influence of environmental factors on autoimmunity (44)(45)(46)(47)(48)(49). This is particularly important during pandemic eras since the emergence of unprecedented infections such as COVID-19 is thought to predominate among immunocompromised individuals such as those with preexisting autoimmune conditions who are also at an increased risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization (50). ...
The immune system is an efficiently toned machinery that discriminates between friends and foes for achieving both host defense and homeostasis. Deviation of immune recognition from foreign to self and/or long-lasting inflammatory responses results in the breakdown of tolerance. Meanwhile, educating the immune system and developing immunological memory are crucial for mounting defensive immune responses while protecting against autoimmunity. Still to elucidate is how diverse environmental factors could shape autoimmunity. The emergence of a world pandemic such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) not only threatens the more vulnerable individuals including those with autoimmune conditions but also promotes an unprecedented shift in people’s dietary approaches while urging for extraordinary hygiene measures that likely contribute to the development or exacerbation of autoimmunity. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand how environmental factors modulate systemic autoimmunity to better mitigate the incidence and or severity of COVID-19 among the more vulnerable populations. Here, we discuss the effects of diet (macronutrients and micronutrients) and hygiene (the use of disinfectants) on autoimmunity with a focus on systemic lupus erythematosus.
PurposeIncreased gut permeability causes the trespass of antigens into the blood stream which leads to inflammation. Gut permeability reflected by serum zonulin and diversity of the gut microbiome were investigated in this cross-sectional study involving female study participants with different activity and BMI levels. Methods102 women were included (BMI range 13.24–46.89 kg m−2): Anorexia nervosa patients (n = 17), athletes (n = 20), normal weight (n = 25), overweight (n = 21) and obese women (n = 19). DNA was extracted from stool samples and subjected to 16S rRNA gene analysis (V1–V2). Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) was used to analyze data. Zonulin was measured with ELISA. Nutrient intake was assessed by repeated 24-h dietary recalls. We used the median of serum zonulin concentration to divide our participants into a “high-zonulin” (> 53.64 ng/ml) and “low-zonulin” (< 53.64 ng/ml) group. ResultsThe alpha-diversity (Shannon Index, Simpson Index, equitability) and beta-diversity (unweighted and weighted UniFrac distances) of the gut microbiome were not significantly different between the groups. Zonulin concentrations correlated significantly with total calorie-, protein-, carbohydrate-, sodium- and vitamin B12 intake. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) identified Ruminococcaceae (LDA = 4.163, p = 0.003) and Faecalibacterium (LDA = 4.151, p = 0.0002) as significantly more abundant in the low zonulin group. Conclusion
Butyrate-producing gut bacteria such as Faecalibacteria could decrease gut permeability and lower inflammation. The diversity of the gut microbiota in women does not seem to be correlated with the serum zonulin concentration. Further interventional studies are needed to investigate gut mucosal permeability and the gut microbiome in the context of dietary factors.
Communications along the brain-gut axis involve neural pathways
as well as immune and endocrine mechanisms. The two
branches of the autonomic nervous system are integrated anatomically
and functionally with visceral sensory pathways, and are responsible
for the homeostatic regulation of gut function. The
autonomic nervous system is also a major mediator of the visceral
response to central influences such as psychological stress. As defined,
functional disorders comprise a constellation of symptoms,
some of which suggest the presence of altered perception, while
other symptoms point to disordered gastrointestinal function as
the cause of the symptoms. A growing number of reports have
demonstrated disordered autonomic function in subgroups of
functional bowel patients. While a number of different methods
were used to assess autonomic function, the reports point to a generally
decreased vagal (parasympathetic) outflow or increased
sympathetic activity in conditions usually associated with slow or
decreased gastrointestinal motility, while other studies found either
an increased cholinergic activity or a decreased sympathetic
activity in patients with symptoms compatible with an increased
motor activity. Under certain conditions, altered autonomic balance
(including low vagal tone and increased sympathetic activity)
may alter visceral perception. Autonomic dysfunction may
also represent the physiological pathway accounting for many of
the extraintestinal symptoms seen in irritable bowel syndrome patients
and some of the frequent gastrointestinal complaints reported
by patients with disorders such as chronic fatigue and
Throughout evolution, microbial genes and metabolites have become integral to virtually all aspects of host physiology, metabolism and even behaviour. New technologies are revealing sophisticated ways in which microbial communities interface with the immune system, and how modern environmental changes may be contributing to the rapid rise of inflammatory noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) through declining biodiversity. The implications of the microbiome extend to virtually every branch of medicine, biopsychosocial and environmental sciences. Similarly, the impact of changes at the immune-microbiota interface are directly relevant to broader discussions concerning rapid urbanization, antibiotics, agricultural practices, environmental pollutants, highly processed foods/beverages and socioeconomic disparities—all implicated in the NCD pandemic. Here, we make the argument that dysbiosis (life in distress) is ongoing at a micro- and macro-scale and that as a central conduit of health and disease, the immune system and its interface with microbiota is a critical target in overcoming the health challenges of the twenty-first century.
The ‘microgenderome’ provides a paradigm shift that highlights the role of sex differences in the host-microbiota interaction relevant for autoimmune and neuro-immune conditions. Analysis of cross-sectional self-report and faecal microbial data from 274 patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) suggests that commensal gut microorganisms may play both protective and deleterious roles in symptom expression. Results revealed significant sex-specific interactions between Firmicutes (Clostridium, Streptococcus, Lactobacillus and Enterococcus) and ME/CFS symptoms (including neurological, immune and mood symptoms), regardless of compositional similarity in microbial levels across the sexes. Extending animal studies, we provide support for the microgenderome in a human clinical population. Applied and mechanistic research needs to consider sex-interactions when examining the composition and function of human microbiota.
Recent evidence regarding celiac disease has increasingly shown the role of innate immunity in triggering the immune response by stimulating the adaptive immune response and by mucosal damage. The interaction between the gut microbiota and the mucosal wall is mediated by the same receptors which can activate innate immunity. Thus, changes in gut microbiota may lead to activation of this inflammatory pathway. This paper is a review of the current knowledge regarding the relationship between celiac disease and gut microbiota. In fact, patients with celiac disease have a reduction in beneficial species and an increase in those potentially pathogenic as compared to healthy subjects. This dysbiosis is reduced, but might still remain, after a gluten-free diet. Thus, gut microbiota could play a significant role in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, as described by studies which link dysbiosis with the inflammatory milieu in celiac patients. The use of probiotics seems to reduce the inflammatory response and restore a normal proportion of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Additional evidence is needed in order to better understand the role of gut microbiota in the pathogenesis of celiac disease, and the clinical impact and therapeutic use of probiotics in this setting.
The pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease affecting the brain and spinal cord, remains poorly understood. Patients with MS typically present with recurrent episodes of neurological dysfunctions such as blindness, paresis, and sensory disturbances. Studies on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal models have led to a number of testable hypotheses including a hypothetical role of altered gut microbiota in the development of MS. To investigate whether gut microbiota in patients with MS is altered, we compared the gut microbiota of 20 Japanese patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) MS (MS20) with that of 40 healthy Japanese subjects (HC40) and an additional 18 healthy subjects (HC18). All the HC18 subjects repeatedly provided fecal samples over the course of months (158 samples in total). Analysis of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene by using a high-throughput culture-independent pyrosequencing method provided evidence of a moderate dysbiosis in the structure of gut microbiota in patients with MS. Furthermore, we found 21 species that showed significant differences in relative abundance between the MS20 and HC40 samples. On comparing MS samples to the 158 longitudinal HC18 samples, the differences were found to be reproducibly significant for most of the species. These taxa comprised primarily of clostridial species belonging to Clostridia clusters XIVa and IV and Bacteroidetes. The phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that none of the clostridial species that were significantly reduced in the gut microbiota of patients with MS overlapped with other spore-forming clostridial species capable of inducing colonic regulatory T cells (Treg), which prevent autoimmunity and allergies; this suggests that many of the clostridial species associated with MS might be distinct from those broadly associated with autoimmune conditions. Correcting the dysbiosis and altered gut microbiota might deserve consideration as a potential strategy for the prevention and treatment of MS.
The stomach is traditionally regarded as a hollow muscular sac that initiates the second phase of digestion. Yet this simple view ignores the fact that it is the most sophisticated endocrine organ with unique physiology, biochemistry, immunology and microbiology. All ingested materials, including our nutrition, have to negotiate this organ first, and as such, the stomach is arguably the most important segment within the GI tract. The unique biological function of gastric acid secretion not only initiates the digestive process but also acts as a first line of defence against food-borne microbes. Normal gastric physiology and morphology may be disrupted by Helicobacter pylori infection, the most common chronic bacterial infection in the world and the aetiological agent for most peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. In this state-of-the-art review, the most relevant new aspects of the stomach in health and disease are addressed. Topics include gastric physiology and the role of gastric dysmotility in dyspepsia and gastroparesis; the stomach in appetite control and obesity; there is an update on the immunology of the stomach and the emerging field of the gastric microbiome. H. pylori-induced gastritis and its associated diseases including peptic ulcers and gastric cancer are addressed together with advances in diagnosis. The conclusions provide a future approach to gastric diseases underpinned by the concept that a healthy stomach is the gateway to a healthy and balanced host. This philosophy should reinforce any public health efforts designed to eradicate major gastric diseases, including stomach cancer.
Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
The 1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR; formerly, the American Rheumatism Association) classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been criticized for their lack of sensitivity in early disease. This work was undertaken to develop new classification criteria for RA.
A joint working group from the ACR and the European League Against Rheumatism developed, in 3 phases, a new approach to classifying RA. The work focused on identifying, among patients newly presenting with undifferentiated inflammatory synovitis, factors that best discriminated between those who were and those who were not at high risk for persistent and/or erosive disease—this being the appropriate current paradigm underlying the disease construct “rheumatoid arthritis.”
In the new criteria set, classification as “definite RA” is based on the confirmed presence of synovitis in at least 1 joint, absence of an alternative diagnosis that better explains the synovitis, and achievement of a total score of 6 or greater (of a possible 10) from the individual scores in 4 domains: number and site of involved joints (score range 0–5), serologic abnormality (score range 0–3), elevated acute-phase response (score range 0–1), and symptom duration (2 levels; range 0–1).
This new classification system redefines the current paradigm of RA by focusing on features at earlier stages of disease that are associated with persistent and/or erosive disease, rather than defining the disease by its late-stage features. This will refocus attention on the important need for earlier diagnosis and institution of effective disease-suppressing therapy to prevent or minimize the occurrence of the undesirable sequelae that currently comprise the paradigm underlying the disease construct “rheumatoid arthritis.”
Abnormal composition of intestinal bacteria-"dysbiosis"-is characteristic of Crohn's disease. Disease treatments include dietary changes and immunosuppressive anti-TNFα antibodies as well as ancillary antibiotic therapy, but their effects on microbiota composition are undetermined. Using shotgun metagenomic sequencing, we analyzed fecal samples from a prospective cohort of pediatric Crohn's disease patients starting therapy with enteral nutrition or anti-TNFα antibodies and reveal the full complement and dynamics of bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses during treatment. Bacterial community membership was associated independently with intestinal inflammation, antibiotic use, and therapy. Antibiotic exposure was associated with increased dysbiosis, whereas dysbiosis decreased with reduced intestinal inflammation. Fungal proportions increased with disease and antibiotic use. Dietary therapy had independent and rapid effects on microbiota composition distinct from other stressor-induced changes and effectively reduced inflammation. These findings reveal that dysbiosis results from independent effects of inflammation, diet, and antibiotics and shed light on Crohn disease treatments.