The influence of the microbiota on type-1 diabetes: on the threshold of a leap forward in our understanding


Diane Mathis
Division of Immunology
Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology
Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115, USA
Tel.: +1 617 432 7741
Fax: +1 617 432 7744


Summary:  The last several years have seen breakthroughs in techniques to track the symbiont communities that normally colonize mammals (the microbiota) and in cataloguing the universe of the genes they carry (the microbiome). Applying these methods to human patients and corresponding murine models should allow us to decipher just how the microbiota impacts type-1 diabetes, i.e. which particular microbes are responsible and the cellular and molecular processes that are involved. Here, at its threshold, we set the stage for what promises to be an exciting rejuvenated area of investigation.