Extensive efforts have focused on investigating the contributions of the intestinal microbiome to health and disease, including immunomodulation [1, 2]. While the term “microbiome” technically refers to microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and parasites, the majority of studies focus on the bacteriome [3]. Although the bacteriome constitutes >99% of the microbiome [4] (which is potentially the reason most studies focus on the bacteriome), it is irrefutable that the commensal fungi, or the “mycobiome,” alongside the other microorganisms, coexist and interact ways that can be beneficial or detrimental to the host [5–7]. Emerging research has focused on how the bacteriome relates to gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, cancer therapy–related toxicities, and stem-cell transplantation outcomes; including correlations with infection, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), tumorigenesis, cancer relapse, and mortality [8–11]. Thus far, there has been a lack of dedicated research focusing on the influence of mycobiome-associated immunomodulation in patients with cancer and other states of immunosuppression. Herein, by focusing on the gut ecosystem, we discuss the role of fungi in various patient populations, the importance of bacterial-fungal dysbiosis, and offer ideas for future investigations regarding the role of mycobiome.

 

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Citation Galloway-Peña JR, Kontoyiannis DP (2020) The gut mycobiome: The overlooked constituent of clinical outcomes and treatment complications in patients with cancer and other immunosuppressive conditions. PLoS Pathog 16(4): e1008353. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008353