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IgA-coated bacteria in the gut (IgA-biome) provide a homeostatic function in healthy people through inhibition of microbial invaders and by protecting the epithelial monolayer of the gut. The laboratory methods used to detect this group of bacteria require flow cytometry and DNA sequencing (IgA-Seq). With dysbiosis (reduced diversity of the microbiome), the IgA-biome also is impaired. In the presence of enteric infection, oral vaccines, or an intestinal inflammatory disorder, the IgA-biome focuses on the pathogenic bacteria or foreign antigens, while in other chronic diseases associated with dysbiosis, the IgA-biome is reduced in capacity. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), the use of fecal product from well-screened, healthy donors administered to patients with dysbiosis, has been successful in engrafting the intestine with healthy microbiota and metabolites leading to improve health. Through FMT, IgA-coated bacteria have been transferred to recipients retaining their immune coating. The IgA-biome should be evaluated in FMT studies as these mucosal-associated bacteria are more likely to be associated with successful transplantation than free luminal organisms. Studies of the microbiome pre- and post-FMT should employ metagenomic methods that identify bacteria at least at the species level to better identify organisms of interest while allowing comparisons of microbiota data between studies.


secretory IgA, IgA-coated bacteria, IgA-biome, IgA-Seq dysbiosis, fecal microbiota transplantation

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