On June 27, we celebrate World Microbiome Day, a day dedicated to acknowledging the crucial role that microbes play in our daily lives and, more specifically, in the realm of health. The human gastrointestinal tract is home to a vast community of microbes that shape gut immunity by the production of metabolites and immune mediators. Bacteria, fungi and viruses act by as protecting against pathogen infections, aiding in immune cell development and also in nutrition.

But why are microbes relevant in the context of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

IBD comprises two chronic disorders, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It is a multifactorial disorder that derives from exacerbated immune response against intestinal microbiota, driven by environmental factors (such as diet and tobacco) in a genetic susceptible host.

The causes underlying the perturbation of the symbiotic relationship between microbes and the intestinal immune system remain unknown.

One of the major goals of our project GlycanTrigger EU Project is to understand how glycans (sugars that cover most cells and tissues) can impact the composition of intestinal microbiota and the immune response and how these interactions can dictate the initiation of inflammation.

Since microbes are so important in keeping our gut healthy, let’s properly praise those small big players.