In this work, we propose that for further studies of the physiopathology and treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases, an integral view of the conditions, including the triad of microbiota-heat shock proteins (HSPs)-probiotics, ought to be considered. Microbiota is the complex microbial flora that resides in the gut, affecting not only gut functions but also the health status of the whole body. Alteration in the microbiota's composition has been implicated in a variety of pathological conditions (e.g., ulcerative colitis, UC), involving both gut and extra-intestinal tissues and organs. Some of these pathologies are also associated with an altered expression of HSPs (chaperones) and this is the reason why they may be considered chaperonopathies. Probiotics, which are live microorganisms able to restore the correct, healthy equilibrium of microbiota composition, can ameliorate symptoms in patients suffering from UC and modulate expression levels of HSPs. However, currently probiotic therapy follows ex-adiuvantibus criteria, i.e., treatments with beneficial effects but whose mechanism of action is unknown, which should be changed so the probiotics needed in each case are predetermined on the basis of the patient's microbiota. Consequently, efforts are necessary to develop diagnostic tools for elucidating levels and distribution of HSPs and the microbiota composition (microbiota fingerprint) of each subject and, thus, guide specific probiotic therapy, tailored to meet the needs of the patient. Microbiota fingerprinting ought to include molecular biology techniques for sequencing highly conserved DNA, e.g., genes encoding 16S RNA, for species identification and, in addition, quantification of each relevant microbe.
- Immunology and Allergy
- Microbiology (medical)