Modulating microbiome-immune axis in the deployment-related chronic diseases of Veterans: report of an expert meeting

Gut Microbes. 2023 Dec;15(2):2267180. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2023.2267180.Epub 2023 Oct 16.


Jun Sun 1 2M Nedim Ince 3 4Clara Abraham 5Terrence Barrett 6 7Lisa A Brenner 8 9Yingzi Cong 10Reza Dashti 11Pradeep K Dudeja 1 2David Elliott 3 4Thomas S Griffith 12 13Peter S Heeger 14Andrew Hoisington 8 9Kaikobad Irani 4Tae Kon Kim 15 16Neeraj Kapur 6 7Joseph Leventhal 17Mansour Mohamadzadeh 18Ece Mutlu 1Rodney Newberry 19Jonathan U Peled 20Israel Rubinstein 1 2Salyka SengsayadethChen Sabrina Tan 3 4Xiao-Di Tan 1 2Eric Tkaczyk 6Jason Wertheim 21 22Zheng Jenny Zhang 17


Author information

1Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA.

2Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Departments of Medicine, Microbiology/Immunology, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

3Iowa City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lowa city, IA, USA.

4Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

5Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.

6Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

7Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

8Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Aurora, CO, USA.

9Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.

10Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX, USA.

11Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA.

12Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

13Urology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

14Medicine/Nephrology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

15Tennessee Valley Healthcare System-Nashville VA, Nashville, TN, USA.

16Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.

17Surgery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.

18Microbiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA, TX, San Antonio.

19Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

20Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

21Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

22Tucson VA Medical Center, Tucson, AZ, USA.


The present report summarizes the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) field-based meeting titled "Modulating microbiome-immune axis in the deployment-related chronic diseases of Veterans." Our Veteran patient population experiences a high incidence of service-related chronic physical and mental health problems, such as infection, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), various forms of hematological and non-hematological malignancies, neurologic conditions, end-stage organ failure, requiring transplantation, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We report the views of a group of scientists who focus on the current state of scientific knowledge elucidating the mechanisms underlying the aforementioned disorders, novel therapeutic targets, and development of new approaches for clinical intervention. In conclusion, we dovetailed on four research areas of interest: 1) microbiome interaction with immune cells after hematopoietic cell and/or solid organ transplantation, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft rejection, 2) intestinal inflammation and its modification in IBD and cancer, 3) microbiome-neuron-immunity interplay in mental and physical health, and 4) microbiome-micronutrient-immune interactions during homeostasis and infectious diseases. At this VA field-based meeting, we proposed to explore a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, collaborative strategy to initiate a roadmap, specifically focusing on host microbiome-immune interactions among those with service-related chronic diseases to potentially identify novel and translatable therapeutic targets.

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