Metabolism at the centre of the host-microbe relationship

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy and Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


Maintaining homoeostatic host-microbe interactions is vital for host immune function. The gut microbiota shapes the host immune system and the immune system reciprocally shapes and modifies the gut microbiota. However, our understanding of how these microbes are tolerated and how individual, or communities of, gut microbes influence host function is limited. This review will focus on metabolites as key mediators of this complex host-microbe relationship. It will look at the central role of epithelial metabolism in shaping the gut microbiota, how microbial metabolites influence the epithelium and the mucosal and peripheral immune system, and how the immune system shapes microbial composition and metabolism. Finally, this review will look at how metabolites are involved in cross-talk between different members of the microbiota and their role during infections.

Bibliographic note

© 2019 The Authors. Clinical & Experimental Immunology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Society for Immunology.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Early online date20 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • autoimmunity, dysbiosis, host-pathogen interactions, infection, inflammation, physiological hypoxia