Temporal Changes in Gut Microbiome in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Relationship to Host Genetics and Diet

The Gut Microbiome Lab's project on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), genetics and diet is focused on changes in the gut microbiome in patients who have IBS and the role of these changes in pathogenesis of IBS.

The stability of the gut microbiome is affected by environmental factors such as diet. The changes in gut microbiome can in turn affect host gene expression, resulting in symptoms that are caused by changes in the host physiology. Dr. Kashyap's lab is studying how the gut microbiome changes over time and how the relationship between the microbiome and environmental factors affects host physiology.

IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects as many as 1 in 5 people in North America, predominantly females. While it is not associated with increased mortality, it imposes a significant health burden with an increase in morbidity and annual costs reaching $20 billion. Patients with IBS have changes in their gut microbiomes that have often been implicated in the pathogenesis of the syndrome, but so far, there is very little data to support this connection.

An important aim of this project is to understand how diet affects the gut microbiome, resulting in changes in host function and symptoms in IBS. This information will help develop novel prebiotics and probiotics for treatment of IBS.