Special Issue "The Relations between Nutrition and Infectious Diseases at the Epoch of Microbiota"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Amedeo Amedei
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Experimental and Clinical Internal Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Interests: immunity; microbiota; cancer; gastrointestinal disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Battino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Sez-Biochimica, Faculty of Medicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Ranieri 65, 60100 Ancona, Italy
2. International Research Center for Food Nutrition and Safety, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China
Interests: nutrition; bioactive compounds; polyphenols; antioxidants; free radicals; aging; mitochondrial functionality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrition and human infectious diseases have always been intricately linked. Today, thanks to the next-generation sequencing technologies allowing scientists to identify specific interactions in microbial communities, the microbiota has been emerging as a crucial moderator in the complex interactions between food, our body, and infectious diseases.

Nutrition impacts the development of the human immune system, beginning from the embryonic stage. Additionally, the microbiota plays a fundamental role in the induction, training, and function of the host immune system. Negative effects on the regular development of the immune system compromise its defense against pathogens. Likewise, if food has microbial contamination it can influence the emergence of infectious diseases (e.g., gastrointestinal infections), intestinal diseases (e.g. microbial diarrhea), food poisoning ( botulism), and systemic infectious diseases (brucellosis and typhoid).

Moreover, malnutrition, including overnutrition and undernutrition, can increase the risk of infectious diseases, amplify the severity of an infection, and impair the response to drug treatment. Finally, infectious diseases can increase malnutrition.

Different elements can weaken the body’s ability to fight infection and cause malnutrition, including anorexia; metabolic damage; traditional behaviors; the reduction of intestinal absorption; disorder metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates; and the reduction of vitamins, iron, zinc, and copper. In this contest, the intestinal microbiota represents a newly identified factor that might contribute to the development of malnutrition. On the other hand, research findings into the role of the microbiota in the field of infectious diseases remain rudimentary. Of note, the condition of severe immune deficiency or overeating can influence the outcome of infection diseases.

In this Special Issue, the mentioned aspects of the relationship between nutrition,  infections, and the emerging role of microbiota will be presented. Insights into the more promising approaches in the form of original research articles or reviews on all areas of nutrition and infectious disease with a special focus on microbiome, experimental designs, and therapeutic approaches are welcome.

Prof. Amedeo Amedei
Prof. Maurizio Battino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nutrition
  • Infectious disease
  • Microbiota
  • Malnutrition
  • Immune System

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of Exogenous Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products on the Cross-Talk Mechanisms Linking Microbiota to Metabolic Inflammation
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2497; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12092497 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1674
Abstract
Heat-processed diets contain high amounts of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Here we explore the impact of an AGE-enriched diet on markers of metabolic and inflammatory disorders as well as on gut microbiota composition and plasma proteins glycosylation pattern. C57BL/6 mice were allocated [...] Read more.
Heat-processed diets contain high amounts of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Here we explore the impact of an AGE-enriched diet on markers of metabolic and inflammatory disorders as well as on gut microbiota composition and plasma proteins glycosylation pattern. C57BL/6 mice were allocated into control diet (CD, n = 15) and AGE-enriched diet (AGE-D, n = 15) for 22 weeks. AGE-D was prepared replacing casein by methylglyoxal hydroimidazolone-modified casein. AGE-D evoked increased insulin and a significant reduction of GIP/GLP-1 incretins and ghrelin plasma levels, altered glucose tolerance, and impaired insulin signaling transduction in the skeletal muscle. Moreover, AGE-D modified the systemic glycosylation profile, as analyzed by lectin microarray, and increased Nε-carboxymethyllysine immunoreactivity and AGEs receptor levels in ileum and submandibular glands. These effects were associated to increased systemic levels of cytokines and impaired gut microbial composition and homeostasis. Significant correlations were recorded between changes in bacterial population and in incretins and inflammatory markers levels. Overall, our data indicates that chronic exposure to dietary AGEs lead to a significant unbalance in incretins axis, markers of metabolic inflammation, and a reshape of both the intestinal microbiota and plasma protein glycosylation profile, suggesting intriguing pathological mechanisms underlying AGEs-induced metabolic derangements. Full article
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Article
Synergistic Effect of Eugenol and Probiotic Lactobacillus Plantarum Zs2058 against Salmonella Infection in C57bl/6 Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1611; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061611 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1057
Abstract
Previously, we showed the preventive effects of Lactobacillus plantarum ZS2058 (ZS2058) on Salmonella infection in murine models. In this work, we found that eugenol has a selective antibacterial effect, which inhibited Salmonella more than probiotics ZS2058 in vitro. It suggested a synergistic effect [...] Read more.
Previously, we showed the preventive effects of Lactobacillus plantarum ZS2058 (ZS2058) on Salmonella infection in murine models. In this work, we found that eugenol has a selective antibacterial effect, which inhibited Salmonella more than probiotics ZS2058 in vitro. It suggested a synergistic effect of them beyond their individual anti-Salmonella activity. We verified the conjecture in murine models. The results showed that the combination of ZS2058 and eugenol (CLPZE) significantly increased (p = 0.026) the survival rate of Salmonella-infected mice from 60% to 80% and the effect of CLPZE on preventing Salmonella-infection was 2-fold that of ZS2058 alone and 6-fold that of eugenol alone. CLPZE had a synergistic effect on inhibiting ST growth (the coefficient drug interaction ((CDI) = 0.829), reducing its invasiveness (CDI = 0.373) and downregulating virulence genes’ expression in vitro. CLPZE helped the host form a healthier gut ecosystem. CLPZE also elicited a stronger and earlier immune response to systemic infection. In conclusion, these obtained results suggest that ZS2058 and eugenol have a synergistic effect on preventing Salmonella infection and open new perspectives in the strategies of controlling the prevalence of Salmonella by combination of probiotics and functional food components. Full article
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Article
Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Prevent Toxoplasma gondii Infection by Inducing Autophagy via AMPK Activation
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2137; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092137 - 06 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFAs) have potential protective activity in a variety of infectious diseases, but their actions and underlying mechanisms in Toxoplasma gondii infection remain poorly understood. Here, we report that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) robustly induced autophagy in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages [...] Read more.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-PUFAs) have potential protective activity in a variety of infectious diseases, but their actions and underlying mechanisms in Toxoplasma gondii infection remain poorly understood. Here, we report that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) robustly induced autophagy in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). Treatment of T. gondii-infected macrophages with DHA resulted in colocalization of Toxoplasma parasitophorous vacuoles with autophagosomes and reduced intracellular survival of T. gondii. The autophagic and anti-Toxoplasma effects induced by DHA were mediated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling. Importantly, BMDMs isolated from Fat-1 transgenic mice, a well-known animal model capable of synthesizing ω3-PUFAs from ω6-PUFAs, showed increased activation of autophagy and AMPK, leading to reduced intracellular survival of T. gondii when compared with wild-type BMDMs. Moreover, Fat-1 transgenic mice exhibited lower cyst burden in the brain following infection with the avirulent strain ME49 than wild-type mice. Collectively, our results revealed mechanisms by which endogenous ω3-PUFAs and DHA control T. gondii infection and suggest that ω3-PUFAs might serve as therapeutic candidate to prevent toxoplasmosis and infection with other intracellular protozoan parasites. Full article
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Review

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Review
The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 886; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13030886 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
Infectious diseases and infections remain a leading cause of death in low-income countries and a major risk to vulnerable groups, such as infants and the elderly. The immune system plays a crucial role in the susceptibility, persistence, and clearance of these infections. With [...] Read more.
Infectious diseases and infections remain a leading cause of death in low-income countries and a major risk to vulnerable groups, such as infants and the elderly. The immune system plays a crucial role in the susceptibility, persistence, and clearance of these infections. With 70–80% of immune cells being present in the gut, there is an intricate interplay between the intestinal microbiota, the intestinal epithelial layer, and the local mucosal immune system. In addition to the local mucosal immune responses in the gut, it is increasingly recognized that the gut microbiome also affects systemic immunity. Clinicians are more and more using the increased knowledge about these complex interactions between the immune system, the gut microbiome, and human pathogens. The now well-recognized impact of nutrition on the composition of the gut microbiota and the immune system elucidates the role nutrition can play in improving health. This review describes the mechanisms involved in maintaining the intricate balance between the microbiota, gut health, the local immune response, and systemic immunity, linking this to infectious diseases throughout life, and highlights the impact of nutrition in infectious disease prevention and treatment. Full article
Review
Modulation of the Gut Microbiota by Olive Oil Phenolic Compounds: Implications for Lipid Metabolism, Immune System, and Obesity
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2200; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12082200 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
There is extensive information of the beneficial effects of virgin olive oil (VOO), especially on cardiovascular diseases. Some VOO healthy properties have been attributed to their phenolic-compounds (PCs). The aim of this review is to present updated data on the effects of olive [...] Read more.
There is extensive information of the beneficial effects of virgin olive oil (VOO), especially on cardiovascular diseases. Some VOO healthy properties have been attributed to their phenolic-compounds (PCs). The aim of this review is to present updated data on the effects of olive oil (OO) PCs on the gut microbiota, lipid metabolism, immune system, and obesity, as well as on the crosstalk among them. We summarize experiments and clinical trials which assessed the specific effects of the olive oil phenolic-compounds (OOPCs) without the synergy with OO-fats. Several studies have demonstrated that OOPC consumption increases Bacteroidetes and/or reduces the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio, which have both been related to atheroprotection. OOPCs also increase certain beneficial bacteria and gut-bacteria diversity which can be therapeutic for lipid-immune disorders and obesity. Furthermore, some of the mechanisms implicated in the crosstalk between OOPCs and these disorders include antimicrobial-activity, cholesterol microbial metabolism, and metabolites produced by bacteria. Specifically, OOPCs modulate short-chain fatty-acids produced by gut-microbiota, which can affect cholesterol metabolism and the immune system, and may play a role in weight gain through promoting satiety. Since data in humans are scarce, there is a necessity for more clinical trials designed to assess the specific role of the OOPCs in this crosstalk. Full article
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Review
Links between Nutrition, Infectious Diseases, and Microbiota: Emerging Technologies and Opportunities for Human-Focused Research
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1827; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12061827 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2081
Abstract
The interaction between nutrition and human infectious diseases has always been recognized. With the emergence of molecular tools and post-genomics, high-resolution sequencing technologies, the gut microbiota has been emerging as a key moderator in the complex interplay between nutrients, human body, and infections. [...] Read more.
The interaction between nutrition and human infectious diseases has always been recognized. With the emergence of molecular tools and post-genomics, high-resolution sequencing technologies, the gut microbiota has been emerging as a key moderator in the complex interplay between nutrients, human body, and infections. Much of the host–microbial and nutrition research is currently based on animals or simplistic in vitro models. Although traditional in vivo and in vitro models have helped to develop mechanistic hypotheses and assess the causality of the host–microbiota interactions, they often fail to faithfully recapitulate the complexity of the human nutrient–microbiome axis in gastrointestinal homeostasis and infections. Over the last decade, remarkable progress in tissue engineering, stem cell biology, microfluidics, sequencing technologies, and computing power has taken place, which has produced a new generation of human-focused, relevant, and predictive tools. These tools, which include patient-derived organoids, organs-on-a-chip, computational analyses, and models, together with multi-omics readouts, represent novel and exciting equipment to advance the research into microbiota, infectious diseases, and nutrition from a human-biology-based perspective. After considering some limitations of the conventional in vivo and in vitro approaches, in this review, we present the main novel available and emerging tools that are suitable for designing human-oriented research. Full article
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Review
Effect of Probiotics on Oral Candidiasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2449; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11102449 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
Oral candidiasis (OC) is an increasing health problem due to the introduction of new drugs, population aging, and increasing prevalence of chronic illness. This study systematically reviews the effects of the oral intake of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on Candida spp. counts (colony-forming [...] Read more.
Oral candidiasis (OC) is an increasing health problem due to the introduction of new drugs, population aging, and increasing prevalence of chronic illness. This study systematically reviews the effects of the oral intake of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on Candida spp. counts (colony-forming units (CFU)/mL) in oral and palatal samples. A literature search was conducted. Twelve studies, eight randomized clinical trials (RCTs), and four pre-post studies, resulted as eligible for the meta-analysis, which was performed through a Bayesian random-effects model. All studies analyzed probiotics, and none of them analyzed prebiotics or synbiotics. The treatments effects were measured in terms of odds ratio (OR) of OC (CFU/mL >102, 103, or 104). The meta-analytic OR was 0.71 (95% credibility interval (CrI): 0.37, 1.32), indicating a beneficial effect of treatment; the I2 index was 56.3%. Focusing only on RCTs, the OR was larger and more precise at 0.53 (95% CrI: 0.27, 0.93). The effect of treatment appeared to be larger on denture wearers. Our findings indicate that the intake of probiotics can have a beneficial effect on OC and that the effects could vary according to the patients’ characteristics. Due to the presence of medium–high-risk studies, the results should be interpreted with caution. Full article
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