Precision Probiotic Therapies—Challenges and Opportunities
Accessed from the world wide web at 09:00 hrs 26.04.22.
Probiotic interventions may potentially offer beneficial effects, such as alleviation of gastrointestinal symptoms; “strengthening” of the immune system; protection against infectious diseases; prevention of metabolic disorders; improved mental health; promotion of early development; and general well-being. However, one major challenge in assessing the effects of probiotic interventions has been the inconsistent results of clinical trials. We now have a better understanding of some of the biological and behavioral factors that might contribute to inconsistent outcomes from probiotic interventions (e.g., differences in gut microbiota, diet, age, and lifestyle). Innovative research approaches are needed to understand the contributions and interactions of these factors and to advance methods for their assessment. There is growing interest in the development of individualized microbial therapeutics for targeted interventions in the probiotics literature, but wide gaps in knowledge still need to be addressed.
The goals of this workshop are to: 1) identify gaps in our current understanding of the biology of the gut microbiota and of probiotics and 2) identify research questions and methodological challenges posed by those gaps. Knowledge developed through these activities will provide a critical foundation for future research efforts to develop “precision probiotic therapies.”