The interaction between nutrition and human infectious diseases has always been recognized. With the emergence of molecular tools and post-genomics, high-resolution sequencing technologies, the gut microbiota has been emerging as a key moderator in the complex interplay between nutrients, human body, and infections. Much of the host–microbial and nutrition research is currently based on animals or simplistic in vitro models. Although traditional in vivo and in vitro models have helped to develop mechanistic hypotheses and assess the causality of the host–microbiota interactions, they often fail to faithfully recapitulate the complexity of the human nutrient–microbiome axis in gastrointestinal homeostasis and infections. Over the last decade, remarkable progress in tissue engineering, stem cell biology, microfluidics, sequencing technologies, and computing power has taken place, which has produced a new generation of human-focused, relevant, and predictive tools. These tools, which include patient-derived organoids, organs-on-a-chip, computational analyses, and models, together with multi-omics readouts, represent novel and exciting equipment to advance the research into microbiota, infectious diseases, and nutrition from a human-biology-based perspective. After considering some limitations of the conventional in vivo and in vitro approaches, in this review, we present the main novel available and emerging tools that are suitable for designing human-oriented research.
Links between nutrition, infectious diseases, and microbiota: Emerging technologies and opportunities for human-focused research / Cassotta, M.; Forbes-Hernandez, T. Y.; Iglesias, R. C.; Ruiz, R.; Zabaleta, M. E.; Giampieri, F.; Battino, M.. - In: NUTRIENTS. - ISSN 2072-6643. - 12:6(2020), pp. 1-28. [10.3390/nu12061827]