Understanding the role of Gut Microbiota in Drug Response

In the search for new drugs and therapies, and as part of the drug discovery and development process, much consideration in toxicity and efficacy is given to the genetic complement of the subject (animal or man) under study. In contrast virtually no thought is given to the individual microbiome or species variations in microbiome that might contribute to the interaction of the drug with the global system. However, the increasing evidence of the involvement of the gut bacteria in disease development and progression (e.g. diabetes), combined with the available evidence of the involvement of these organisms in processing xenobiotics mean that this approach may well miss important interactions. We would suggest that, for the purposes of drug discovery and development, animals and human beings should be considered as a poorly understood and rather complex ‘superorganism’ rather than as individuals.

I.D. Wilson and J.K. Nicholson. The Role of Gut Microbiota in Drug Response. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2009, 15, 1519-1523 1519 1381-6128/09 $55.00+.00 © 2009 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

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