The Transformative Possibilities of the Microbiota and Mycobiota for Health, Disease, Aging, and Technological Innovation
The gut microbiota is extremely important for the health of the host across its lifespan. Recent studies have elucidated connections between the gut microbiota and neurological disease and disorders such as depression, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease (AD), autism, and a host of other brain illnesses. Dysbiosis of the normal gut flora can have negative consequences for humans, especially throughout key periods during our lifespan as the gut microbes change with age in both phenotype and number of bacterial species. Neurologic diseases, mental disorders, and euthymic states are influenced by alterations in the metabolites produced by gut microbial milieu. We introduce a new concept, namely, the mycobiota and microbiota-gut-brain neuroendocrine axis and discuss co-metabolism with emphasis on means to influence or correct disruptions to normal gut flora throughout the lifespan from early development to old age. These changes involve inflammation and involve the permeability of barriers, such as the intestine blood barrier, the blood–brain barrier, and others. The mycobiota and microbiota–gut–brain axis offer new research horizons and represents a great potential target for new therapeutics, including approaches based around inflammatory disruptive process, genetically engineered drug delivery systems, diseased cell culling "kill switches", phage-like therapies, medicinal chemistry, or microbial parabiosis to name a few.