Quantifying microbiota-host metabolic interaction
The gut microbiota plays an essential role in host health, helping to catabolize indigestible nutrients and engaging in host metabolism. However, quantifying microbiota-host metabolic interactions is challenging due to the complexity of host-microbiota relationships and the fact that most metabolites are indistinguishable between organisms. To disentangle microbiota and host contributions to the metabolism of medical drugs and dietary compounds, we combine controlled gnotobiotic mouse experiments and multiomics data integration with mathematical modelling and metabolic network analysis. To identify bacterial players and their pathways responsible for the microbiota-associated metabolism, we combine high-throughput bacterial genetics and metabolomics screens in vitro. This combination of experimental and computational approaches unravels mechanistic links between drugs, diet, microbiota and the host, and provides insights into how compositional shifts and metabolic adaptation of single bacteria might affect community metabolism.
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