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March 31 @ 12:00 - 13:30
Quantitative microbiome profiling in health and disease
Speaker: Prof. Jeroen Raes, Phd – Group Leader Bioinformatics and (Eco)-Systems Biology Lab – Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, KU Leuven Belgium – Vice- Director VIB Center for Microbiology Belgium.
Abstract: Alterations in the gut microbiota have been linked to various pathologies, ranging from inflammatory bowel diseases and diabetes to cancer.
Although large numbers of clinical studies aiming at microbiome-based disease markers are currently being performed, our basic knowledge about the normal variability of the human intestinal microbiota and its determining factors remains limited. Here, I will discuss our findings studying a large-scale study (Flemish Gut Flora Project; n=3400) of the gut microbiome variation in a geographically confined region (Flanders, Belgium), in which analysis of microbiome variability in health identified the primary parameters associated to microbiome composition. In this presentation, I will discuss our experiences in large-scale microbiome monitoring, show how the development of dedicated computational approaches can assist in microbiome analysis and interpretation, and which confounders are essential for inclusion in microbiome disease research.
In addition, I will show how Quantitative Microbiome Profiling (QMP; Vandeputte et al. Nature 2017), which combines microbiomics with flow cytometry-based cell counts, is profoundly changing our view on gut microbiota variation and allowed the identification of an inflammation-associated, cross-disease enterotype. Leads from such QMP-based profiling are enabling the development of microbiome modulation strategies.