The gut microbiota is associated with immune cell dynamics in humans.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The gut microbiota influences development1-3 and homeostasis4-7 of the mammalian immune system, and is associated with human inflammatory8 and immune diseases9,10 as well as responses to immunotherapy11-14. Nevertheless, our understanding of how gut bacteria modulate the immune system remains limited, particularly in humans, where the difficulty of direct experimentation makes inference challenging. Here we study hundreds of hospitalized-and closely monitored-patients with cancer receiving haematopoietic cell transplantation as they recover from chemotherapy and stem-cell engraftment. This aggressive treatment causes large shifts in both circulatory immune cell and microbiota populations, enabling the relationships between the two to be studied simultaneously. Analysis of observed daily changes in circulating neutrophil, lymphocyte and monocyte counts and more than 10,000 longitudinal microbiota samples revealed consistent associations between gut bacteria and immune cell dynamics. High-resolution clinical metadata and Bayesian inference allowed us to compare the effects of bacterial genera in relation to those of immunomodulatory medications, revealing a considerable influence of the gut microbiota-together and over time-on systemic immune cell dynamics. Our analysis establishes and quantifies the link between the gut microbiota and the human immune system, with implications for microbiota-driven modulation of immunity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schluter, J; Peled, JU; Taylor, BP; Markey, KA; Smith, M; Taur, Y; Niehus, R; Staffas, A; Dai, A; Fontana, E; Amoretti, LA; Wright, RJ; Morjaria, S; Fenelus, M; Pessin, MS; Chao, NJ; Lew, M; Bohannon, L; Bush, A; Sung, AD; Hohl, TM; Perales, M-A; van den Brink, MRM; Xavier, JB

Published Date

  • December 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 588 / 7837

Start / End Page

  • 303 - 307

PubMed ID

  • 33239790

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7725892

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1476-4687

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41586-020-2971-8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England