Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 June 2020
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including obesity, diabetes, and allergy are chronic, multi-factorial conditions that are affected by both genetic and environmental factors. Over the last decade, the microbiome has emerged as a possible contributor to the pathogenesis of NCDs. Microbiome profiles were altered in patients with NCDs, and shift in microbial communities was associated with improvement in these health conditions. Since the genetic component of these diseases cannot be altered, the ability to manipulate the microbiome holds great promise for design of novel therapies in the prevention and treatment of NCDs. Together, the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept and the microbial hypothesis propose that early life exposure to environmental stimuli will alter the development and composition of the human microbiome, resulting in health consequences. Recent studies indicated that the environment we are exposed to in early life is instrumental in shaping robust immune development, possibly through modulation of the human microbiome (skin, airway, and gut). Despite much research into human microbiome, the origin of their constituent microbiota remains unclear. Dust (also known as particulate matter) is a key determinant of poor air quality in the modern urban environment. It is ubiquitous and serves as a major source and reservoir of microbial communities that modulates the human microbiome, contributing to health and disease. There are evidence that reported significant associations between environmental dust and NCDs. In this review, we will focus on the impact of dust exposure in shaping the human microbiome and its possible contribution to the development of NCDs.