Purpose of review: The importance of the gut microbiome in human health is being increasingly recognized. The purpose of this review is to examine the existing literature pertaining to alterations in the gut microbiome and the utility of microbiome restoration therapies in gastrointestinal disorders. Recent findings: Imbalance and maladaptation of the microbiome, termed dysbiosis, has been associated with several disease states such as irritable bowel syndrome, Clostridium difficile infection, inflammatory bowel diseases, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and obesity among others. The possibility of restoration of normal microbiota has become an attractive concept for diseases in which the normal microbiome is perturbed. The rationale of using fecal microbiota transplantation to treat disease has been validated by its successful use in treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection, which occurs as a result of decreased microbial diversity in the gut, most often in the setting of recent antibiotic treatment. Similar strategies may be applicable to other disorders. Summary: Alterations in the gut microbiome are associated with several disorders, and microbiome restoration based therapies such as fecal microbiota transplantation may be an adjunct to conventional treatments but more investigation is needed.
- Fecal microbiota transplantation
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas