Host-Microbe Interaction Technology

The human body harbors diverse sets of microbial ecosystems on different body sites, termed the human microbiome. The microbiome intensely interacts with our body and thereby has the potency to modulate health (both positively and negatively), for instance by helping digest dietary fiber, stimulating our immune system or regulating our energy metabolism. Researchers try to understand the mechanism behind these health-modulatory processes, yet several of the body sites of intense host-microbe interactions are difficult to access or prone to variability.

The Host-Microbe Interaction Technology Group therefore develops enabling technologies that mimic the specific micro-environments, encountered in different body sites: the gut mucosa, oral cavity, respiratory tract, vaginal epithelium... Following validation with the in vivo situation, our technology is ideally suited to test novel hypotheses of host-microbe interactions, to screen new candidate drugs, test next generation probiotics or monitor microbiome dynamics during colonization of the neonate or upon perturbations later in life like antibiotic treatment, pathogen colonization or sickness.

These technologies help in obtaining a mechanistic understanding of the host-microbiome interaction and also shape future preventive and therapeutic strategies to support human health.

ZAP involved: