Presentation title: Impact of dietary factors and ingested bacteria on gut microbiota and immune functions
Åsa Håkansson is an Associate Professor in Food Hygiene at the Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, and she addresses diet-induced changes in the intestinal microbiota, dietary feed supplements, gastrointestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis as well as fermented foods and food hygiene.
Åsa is working with clinical trials and has developed special knowledge in setting up and evaluating animal models. Åsa is the leader of the research group “Food hygiene” and has close collaboration with industry, with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and with the Medical Faculty, Lund University, within the area of gastrointestinal surgery, gastroenterology as well as pediatrics.
The gut microbiome has attracted increasing attention in the areas of scientific and medical research and ingestion of probiotics and fermented food products are found to cause significant positive improvements in balancing intestinal permeability, the barrier function and immune reactions. At the same time foodborne illnesses are a growing global concern and foodborne bacteria can temporarily integrate into the gut microbiome and constitute what can be called the transient microbiome, that has a significant role on the overall gut microbiota community structure and function. For humans, the interdependence of diet, immune and commensal interactions is of utmost importance and in our studies, we identify bacterial communities and taxa associated with development of disease and evaluate the cellular interactions between the occurring microbiome dysbiosis and the immune reactions.