Microbiota 14 - December 2021
Dear readers, every day we learn more about the central role that the different microbiota play in our health. Mechanisms of action, links between dysbiosis and certain pathologies, the preventive role of the microbiota, interaction and connection between the different microbiota in our body, synergy of action between the microbiota and certain drugs... Not a week goes by without a new study describing the importance of the microbiota. And the pace has even accelerated with the pandemic. Recently published studies have shed new light on how the gut microbiota may be affected by the virus (see Microbiota 11, 12 and 13). However, to date, no study has examined the role of the gut microbiota on the efficacy of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
It is well known that vaccination serves to activate the specific response of the immune system. There is even a correlation between the immune response to vaccination and the composition of the intestinal microbiota. This immune response varies from one individual to another (state of health, chronic pathologies, age, stress, etc.). But some grey areas remain. What makes this response vary? What exact role does the gut microbiota play? Genelle Healey’s article in this issue gradually lifts the veil on the factors that can influence the vaccine response. According to the author, “it is possible that dysbiosis of the gut microbiome caused by host factors may be involved in the different vaccine responses observed”. The author goes even further, «certain bacterial profiles of the gut microbiota (i.e., higher abundance of Actinobacteria, Clostridium cluster XI and Proteobacteria) are associated with a better vaccine response against certain viral diseases such as HIV, influenza and rotavirus.
It is now an undisputed fact that vaccines are the main hope for controlling SARS-CoV-2, but the heterogeneity of vaccine responses may compromise the fight against COVID-19. What if the gut microbiota were to become the best ally of vaccination? To be continued...
In the meantime, enjoy your reading.