Professor Concettina Fenga
University of Messina
Beyond the genetics and other individual factors, the so-called external exposome is known to affect the development of several chronic diseases such as cardiometabolic, cerebrovascular, neurological and pulmonary diseases, as well as cancer. All these pathologies represent a growing social and economic burden, especially within the industrialized countries. The external exposome is defined as the whole exposures per single individual, since conception through the entire lifespan. It includes air and water pollutants, disrupting chemicals and organic compounds, metals, radiations, but also occupational background, diet and lifestyle habits. The intestinal microbiota is the main component of the internal exposome and it represents the main interface between the external exposome and the human host. Recently it has been evidenced that the specific composition and functionality of the intestinal microbial community are deeply affected by the nature and time of the environmental exposures. On the other hand, the intestinal microbial health deeply influences the individual response to such exposures, including the development of chronic diseases. Particularly, the maintenance of a status of microbial health or eubiosis may guarantee a better protection against the toxic effects of environmental and occupational detrimental factors. On the contrary the intestinal dysbiosis may be a trigger of development or worsening of chronic diseases. The gut microbiome may become a robust source of novel biomarkers of exposure. Moreover, its active modulation through different approaches (from more holistic nutritional programs to the consumption of specific nutraceuticals or probiotics) may be a non-invasive and effective approach to positively affect the intestinal microbial composition and to defeat the dysbiosis or to maintain the eubiosis. This integrated therapeutic approach may be explored as a potential intervention either to prevent or to ameliorate chronic diseases. This special issue aims to collect papers from basic, to translational and clinical science, having as main goal to characterize the yet uncovered role of intestinal microbiota modulation as effective approach to target chronic diseases.
Submission deadline: 11/07/2023