What research question does this study address?

The human gut is inhabited by multiple microbes that directly influence our health. Normally, these microbes are involved in beneficial breakdown of our food, but an imbalance in our gut microbes may lead to disease. Understanding imbalance is thus important to find novel solutions to gut-associated disorders. A numerous but poorly studied type of bacteria-infecting viruses (known as bacteriophages) may be a major player in these processes. The research team propose to study how the composition of gut bacteriophages, and their interaction with gut mucus, associate with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

What are the aims of this project?

The research team hope to find markers that help predict the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, and discover more about how bacteriophages could be used to change the gut microbiome to help prevent and treat bowel diseases.

The research team

This project is led by Dr Franklin Nobrega, a Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Southampton.