Functional Profiling for Next-generation Probiotics

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Mining the Gut Microbiome for Next-generation Probiotics (NGPs)

NGPs are microbial groups that meet the traditional definition of probiotics. Several microbial communities have been evaluated as NGPs. Of these, Akkermansia muciniphila, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium hallii, Prevotella copri, Bacteroides spp. are the most promising. NGPs are attracting more and more interest both at academic and industrial research levels. However, there are a few points that need to be addressed before they can be brought to market. First of all, wider and more thorough studies about the safety and tolerability of these novel microbial taxa need to be carried out, by both animal and human trials. In vitro and in vivo trials, as well as genomic screening, are needed, to understand the functional mechanisms leading to a positive effect on human health. In addition, the viability of the strains after the gastrointestinal passage should also be evaluated, as well as the number of cells to be assumed to obtain the desired effects. Multiomics and longitudinal studies are needed to definitively elucidate the functions of these emerging probiotics.

NGPs Target Specific Diseases

The development of NGP is closely associated with targeting specific diseases. From the current in vitro and in vivo data, NGPs hold promise for the treatment of a variety of diseases, and they may be more effective than single or multiple commercial probiotics. NGP development for other disease regions is growing strongly. For example, the development of probiotics intended for pregnant and breastfeeding, prevention of skin allergy and infections and gastrointestinal problems, and childhood allergies and eczema is rapidly growing. Another example is targeting type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). NGP is also being developed as an immunotherapeutic agent in the field of Immuno-oncology and is named antibiotics.

The potential mechanisms of NGPs by which they may be effective in the prevention of cancer development/treatment. Fig.1 The potential mechanisms of NGPs by which they may be effective in the prevention of cancer development/treatment. (Kaźmierczak, 2022)

Functional Profiling at Creative Biolabs

Researchers are just beginning to appreciate the value of microbial ecosystems in determining human health and can measure the use of microbes for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. To truly understand and exploit microbiotas for therapeutic applications, we need extensive interdisciplinary efforts.

The anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics have been studied in vitro, ex vivo, and in animal experiments to assess cytokine production and immune cell proliferation.

The immunomodulatory effect of probiotics is mainly through inducing the release of cytokines such as interleukins, transforming growth factors (TGF), interferons (INFs), tumor necrosis factors (TNFs), and chemokines released by immune cells to further regulate the immune system.

Probiotics compete for supplements to produce certain metabolites that inhibit the growth and colonization of pathogens and interfere with pathogen infection of the gut.

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Reference

  1. Kaźmierczak, S.K.; et al. Next-generation probiotics-do they open new therapeutic strategies for cancer patients? Gut Microbes. 2022, 14(1): 2035659.

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