This FASEB SRC will bring nutritionists, immunologists and microbiologists together to learn about recent scientific advances and the cutting edge experimental approaches being used at the intersections of these fields of research. This cross-disciplinary SRC is a unique opportunity for experts in nutrition, immunology and microbiology to interact and develop new ideas in a small and intimate environment. The objective for this meeting is to help attendees better understand the mechanisms whereby host diet and nutritional status influence the gut microbiota and the immune system to maintain health, optimize resistance to infectious diseases and decrease the risk or progression of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, immune-senescence, chronic inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune diseases and asthma.
A broad range of recent research will be covered in nine oral sessions and in two poster sessions. From these sessions, attendees will learn how diet in early infancy, particularly the availability of human milk oligosaccharides from breastmilk, affects the establishment of the gut microbial community during infancy with an additional focus on how antibiotics can disrupt this balance and affect the risk of enteric, bacterial disease.
Recent research on the effect of early life diet and microbial communities on immunologic programming, vaccine responses and risk of chronic, immune-mediated disease will be presented. The role of probiotics and microbial metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids in promoting intestinal immunity and decreasing the risk of enteric and allergic disease diseases will be a focus. Many nutrients affect the immune system via nutrient-sensing nuclear receptors and recent advances in this area will include studies on vitamin A, vitamin D, fatty acids and metabolites that act via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Minerals also affect the immune system directly and recent advances involving the effects of iron, zinc and selenium metabolism on host immunity will be addressed. Host macronutrient metabolism can directly affect cells of the immune system and recent work on immunometabolism will be presented. Finally, mammals and other species invest substantial dietary resources in immunity and recent work focusing on a cost-benefit analysis of the immune system, for individuals and for species, will be presented. At the end of the meeting attendees will have gained first hand information from the leaders in the field of nutrition, immunology and microbiology on the complex interactions of nutrients with host immunity and the microbiota.