Dr. Liwei Xie, the co-founder of the Research Group of Gut Microbiome and Health recently published a research article entitled with “'Fecal microbiota as a noninvasive biomarker to predict the tissue iron accumulation in intestine epithelial cells and liver” on FASEB J. In this research article, they developed a noninvasive and convenient approach to estimate tissue iron levels based on microbial data by utilizing in-house developed machine learning approach.
It is generally agreed that iron exerts a great influence on host growth, metabolism, and immune response. Dysregulation of iron homeostasis may result in a wide range of diseases, e.g. inflammatory bowel diseases and cancers. The emerging evidence suggests that iron imbalance could lead to the alteration of gut microbiota. However, previous studies could not establish potential link between iron and diversity of gut microbiota. In the present investigation, Dr. Xie’s group employed high-throughput sequencing technology and innovated bioinformatic algorithms to systemically explore the effect of iron on gut microbiota, which, in turn, could interfere with the host health and systemic metabolism. Furthermore, a noninvasive and convenient approach to estimate the iron levels in tissues was developed based on microbial data. We believe the present study could provide a new perspective for interpreting the relationship between iron levels and microbial dysbiosis and help develop new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for iron dysregulation-related diseases by taking advantage of the information from gut microbiota.