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European funding for better management of liver diseases


Europe is committed to better diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients with severe forms of cirrhosis. It finances the MICROB-PREDICT consortium, which aims to better understand the role of the human microbiome in the pathogenesis and evolution of cirrhosis. Final goal is to conceive future personalized therapeutic strategies and diagnostic tools. The SPI (Service de Pharmacologie et Immunoanalyse) from DMTS department (Joliot Institute) is the main project lead for the CEA. 
Published on 1 February 2019

​Worldwide every year, 1.2 million people die of severe end-stage chronic liver disease (decompensated cirrhosis and acute or chronic liver failure). The main causes of the disease are alcoholism and viral infections (hepatitis), some factors such as diabetes and obesity aggravating the prognosis. Among recent advances in understanding the disease, the role of the intestinal microbiota1 (formerly known as intestinal flora) in the pathogenesis and evolution of the disease is of great interest. Quantitative and qualitative differences in its composition exist between cirrhotic and healthy people. There are related to the migration of certain microorganisms from or to other microbiota of the body (salivary, circulatory microbiota ...). The study of the microbiota, or rather the microbiome2, must therefore make it possible, on the one hand, to predict and prevent the occurrence and/or aggravation of cirrhosis and, on the other hand, to propose appropriate therapeutic solutions and custom.

The MICROB-PREDICT consortium,  is funded by the European Union for six years. This pan-European research project will integrate data from some 10,000 patients, previously collected in other large-scale studies, providing a baseline of more than 100,000 data points, including stool, blood, saliva, mucosa and urine samples over the course of the disease, allowing for a novel longitudinal analysis. The consortium wants to identify and valdiate microbiome based individual biomarkers and predictors from different stages of the disease. Gained knowledge will be translated into clinical testes for doctors and everyday tools for liver-disease patients such a Point Of Care (POC) diagnostic tests. 

Labs from the CEA are part of the project. The SPI (Pharmacology and Immunoanalysis Service) is the main project lead for the CEA. It will focus on the role of the microbiome in the interaction between liver and guts and  on the identification and validation of biomarkers, thanks to its metabolomic facility.

[1] A microbiota is all the microorganisms (baceria, viruses, fungi, archae) that are present in a specific environment. Human body hosts several microbiota (cutaneous, circulatory, salivary, vaginal...). 

[2] Initialy, microbiome describes the collective genomes of the microorganisms from a microbiota. With omics technologies, microbiome encompasses today transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome from a single microbiota.

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