Other - Micrbiota and auto-inflammatory diseases
A high prevalence of autoinflammatory diseases (ADs), such as IBD, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes and Asthma, exists in Canada, with a 3- to 5-fold increase in incidence being observed over the last 30-50 years. A changing environment, as well as inappropriate immune responses to microbiota, may contribute to such a sharp rise in disease incidence. Microbiome disturbances (also known as “dysbiosis”) have been associated with ADs.
A previous study by our team showed that South-Asians that have immigrated to Ontario are protected from developing autoimmune disease. However, 2nd generation South-Asians born in Ontario lose this protection (1). To assess what might be driving this increased risk of disease, we have been recruiting first and second generation healthy South Asians from the Toronto area (“The GEMINI study”, n=174 collected to date), to assess differences in genetics, diet, the microbiome and immune responses in these two subject groups<./p>
Using a metagenomic sequencing approach, our preliminary data examining a small sub-cohort of 106 stool samples from 1st (GEN1) and 2nd (GEN2) generation subjects show that several bacterial taxa are differentially abundant. My work focuses on measuring immune responses to differentially abundant taxa in both first and second generation South Asians using banked peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In summary, the GEMINI study aims to discover how early life exposures in the Ontarian environment influence immune/microbiome detente in order to gain insights into environmental impacts on AD.