After the success of the first two editions (held in Evian and Madrid in 2012 and 2013 respectively),experts from all over the world are getting ready to head to Miami (USA) for the 2014 edition of the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit, to be held on 8 and 9 March. For two days, scientists from a range of different countries will debate issues relating to the hundreds of trillions of bacteria living in our digestive system that constitute our gut microbiota (previously called ‘gut flora’). Experts will analyse how “humans have evolved to depend on the extended physiology and metabolism that the microbiota provides,” as emphasised by ProfessorGail Hecht of Loyola University Chicago, chair of the summit’s scientific committee.
One of the core issues that will be discussed during the meeting will be how the microbiota can be modulated through diet, antibiotic or probiotic therapy or microbiota transplantation in order to fight disease or simply improve people’s health and quality of life. The scientists attending the event, organised jointly by theAmerican Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the Gut Microbiota and Health section of the European Society for Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM), will also delve deeper into why the results of research into this emerging field, are not easily transferred to clinical practice. In fact, this is one of the main challenges that need to be overcome in the next few years.