Next-generation therapeutic bacteria for treatment of obesity, diabetes, and other endocrine diseases

Thi Phuong Nam Bui, Willem M. de Vos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The human gut microbiota has appeared as an important factor affecting host health and intestinal bacteria have recently emerged as potential therapeutics to treat diabetes and other endocrine diseases. These mainly anaerobic bacteria have been identified either via comparative “omics” analysis of the intestinal microbiota in healthy and diseased subjects or of data collected by fecal microbiota transplantation studies. Both approaches require advanced and in-depth sequencing technologies to perform massive genomic screening to select bacteria with potential benefits. It has been shown that these potentially therapeutic bacteria can either produce bioactive products that directly influence the host patho-physiology and endocrine systems or produce specific signaling molecules that may do so. These bioactive compounds can be formed via degradation of dietary or host-derived components or the conversion of intermediate compounds produced by fermentation of intestinal bacteria. Several of these bacteria have shown causality in preclinical models and entered clinical phase studies, while their mode of action is being analyzed. In this review, we summarize the research on the most promising bacterial candidates with therapeutic properties with a specific focus on diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101504
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Feb 2021


  • butyrate-producing bacteria
  • host metabolism
  • human microbiota
  • intestinal and anaerobic bacteria
  • short chain fatty acids
  • type 1 diabetes & type 2 diabetes

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