Modelling host-microbe interactions in vitro: how new models are bridging the gap between the bench and bedside

Humans play host to a large and diverse microbial community. The gut microbiome itself harbors more than 95% of the microbes that live on the human body. We have a complex and intimate relationship with our gut microbiota; As we have evolved, so have our gut microbes.

Because of this co-evolution, changes in our environment and behavior, including diet and stress, affect our microbes and our microbes, in return, influence our health creating bidirectional communication between us and our gut flora. Change due to altered gut microbial populations is known as dysbiosis.

The list of diseases associated with dysbiosis is large and growing, but it can be very challenging to draw causative conclusions from associative data. As such, models and approaches that allow for interrogation of host-microbe interactions are critically useful in our ability to understand the mechanistic contribution of the gut microbiome to health and disease.

Dr Hannah Wardill and Mr Raphael Fagundes will discuss their experiences in overcoming these challenges with specific reference to their fields of expertise - oncogastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease – respectively.