Helminths and microbes within the vertebrate gut – not all studies are created equal
Cambridge University Press
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Cantacessi, C. (2019). Helminths and microbes within the vertebrate gut – not all studies are created equal. Parasitology, 146 (11), 1371-1378. https://doi.org/10.1017/S003118201900088X
The multifaceted interactions occurring between gastrointestinal (GI) parasitic helminths and the host gut microbiota are emerging as a key area of study within the broader research domain of host-pathogen relationships. Over the past few years, a wealth of investigations has demonstrated that GI helminths interact with the host gut flora, and that such interactions result in modifications of the host immune and metabolic statuses. Nevertheless, whilst selected changes in gut microbial composition are consistently observed in response to GI helminth infections across several host-parasite systems, research in this area to date is largely characterised by inconsistent findings. These discrepancies are particularly evident when data from studies of GI helminth-microbiota interactions conducted in humans from parasite-endemic regions are compared. In this review, we provide an overview of the main sources of variance that affect investigations on human-helminth-gut microbiota interactions and propose a series of methodological approaches that, whilst accounting for the inevitable constraints of human fieldwork, are aimed at minimising confounding factors and draw biologically meaningful interpretations from highly variable datasets.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S003118201900088X
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/293973
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