|Partner Organization||Partner Country|
|University of Bonn||Germany|
|University of Florence-Meyer Children Hospital||Italy|
Important gaps remain in our understanding how diet and the composition of the gut microbiota influence the function of our immune system. TransMic focused on communities in sub-Saharan Africa that are in different stages of urbanization and a nutrition and epidemiologic transition. These communities offer unique opportunities to investigate the ‘diet-microbiome-health’ axis for the following reasons: a) differences in diet (‘Westernized’ vs traditional) and lifestyle (urban vs rural) are more extreme than in European populations; b) the traditional African diet is rich in plant-based fibers and immunomodulatory molecules (such as polyphenols), but also in fermented products rich in environmental microbes, which have been lost in the industrialized world and are increasingly recognized to positively influence host defense mechanisms.
Data from cohorts from Tanzania (urban versus rural dwellers; Work Package1), Burkina Faso (rural, semi-urban, urban families; WP2) and Europe were used and analyzed using a multi-omics approach (WP3). In addition, a two-week dietary intervention was performed in healthy young Tanzanian men who were switched from a 'Western' to a traditional diet and vice versa or were exposed to a traditional fermented banana beverage (WP4). Omics-based data, including microbiome composition, genetics, transcriptome, metabolome and plasma proteome were integrated with functional immune data.
Key findings were that changing a traditional plant-rich diet to a calorie-dense ‘Westernized’ diet affects plasma metabolites, the composition of the gut microbiome and the function of the immune and coagulation system. The intervention study confirmed the causal effects of diet on immune function and showed the immunomodulatory effects of a switch from an urban (‘high caloric, western style’) to a rural (‘traditional plant-rich’) diet and vice versa, and a strong immune effect of intake of a traditional fermented banana brew.
Overall, TransMic shows that the switch from a traditional – largely plant-based – diet to a high-calorie 'Western' diet has a marked influence on the function of the immune- and coagulation system, via changes in active metabolites in the blood and the composition of the gut microbiome. These changes lead to an increased activation of the immune system. In Europe, the transition to a 'western' diet has had a negative effect on the diversity of the microbiome. TransMic shows that dietary interventions can contribute to the restoration of a healthy microbiome composition and a more balanced immune system.
The TransMic project shows that rural-to-urban transition in Tanzania and Burkina Faso is associated with a switch in diet from a traditional – largely plant-based – African diet rich in fermented products to a high-calorie 'Western-style' diet. This switch has a marked influence on the function of the immune- and coagulation system via changes in active metabolites in the blood and the composition of the gut microbiome. A short dietary intervention study in healthy men in Tanzania confirmed that a switch from a urban to a traditional diet or the intake of a fermented banana beverage reduced inflammation and improved blood markers of cardiometabolic health. TransMic also shows that the genetic regulation of the immune system in East African individuals differs from that of people in Western Europe with East African individuals having a more activated immune and coagulation system. Sticking to a traditional, immunomodulatory diet may therefore be of extra importance for African communities in order to curb the present surge in inflammation-related conditions.
|Authors||Title||Year, Issue, PP||Partners Number||Doi|
|Temba GS*, Kullaya V*, Pecht T*, Mmbaga BT, Aschenbrenner AC*, Ulas T*, Kibiki G, Lyamuya F, Boahen CK*, Kumar V*, Joosten LAB*, Schultze JL*, van der Ven AJ*, Netea MG*, de Mast Q*.||Urban living in healthy Tanzanians is associated with an inflammatory status driven by dietary and metabolic changes.||2021 Mar;22(3):287-300.||2||doi: 10.1038/s41590-021-00867-8||Download|
|Stražar M, Temba GS*, Vlamakis H, Kullaya VI*, Lyamuya F, Mmbaga BT, Joosten LAB*, van der Ven AJAM*, Netea MG*, de Mast Q*, Xavier RJ||Gut microbiome-mediated metabolism effects on immunity in rural and urban African populations||2021; 11;12(1):4845||1||10.1038/s41467-021-25213-2|
|Temba GS*, Vadaq N*, Wan J, Kullaya V*, Huskens D, Pecht T*, Jaeger M, Boahen CK, Matzaraki V, Broeders W, Joosten LAB*, Faradz SMH, Kibiki G, Middeldorp S, Cavalieri D*, Lionetti P*, de Groot PG, Schultze JL*, Netea MG*, Kumar V*, de Laat B, Mmbaga BT, van der Ven AJ*, Roest M, de Mast Q*.||Differences in thrombin and plasmin generation potential between East African and Western European adults: The role of genetic and non-genetic factors.||2022 May;20(5):1089-1105||3||10.1111/jth.15657|
|Boahen CK*, Temba GS*, Kullaya VI*, Matzaraki V, Joosten LAB*, Kibiki G, Mmbaga BT, van der Ven A*, de Mast Q*, Netea MG*, Kumar V*.||A functional genomics approach in Tanzanian population identifies distinct genetic regulators of cytokine production compared to European population||2022 Mar 3;109(3):471-485||1||10.1016/j.ajhg.2022.01.014|
|Casari S*, Di Paola M*, Banci E, Diallo S, Scarallo L, Renzo S, Gori A, Renzi S, Paci M, de Mast Q*, Pecht T,* Derra K, Kaboré B, Tinto H, Cavalieri D*, Lionetti P*||Changing Dietary Habits: The Impact of Urbanization and Rising Socio-Economic Status in Families from Burkina Faso in Sub-Saharan Africa||2022 Apr 24;14(9):1782||3||10.3390/nu14091782|
|Target group||Authors||Means of communication||Hyperlink|
|Scientists/medical professionals||Godfrey S. Temba, Vesla Kullaya, Tal Pecht, Blandina T. Mmbaga, Anna C. Aschenbrenner, Thomas Ulas, Joachim L. Schultze, Andre van der Ven, Mihai G. Netea, Quirijn de Mast. Partners: Radboudumc, Limes Bonn, KCMC. Title: The impact of urbanization, diet and serum metabolites on innate immune responses in healthy Tanzanian individuals. Meeting: New Frontiers in Innate Immune Memory. October 2019, Nijmegen, The Netherlands||Oral presentation at international conference. Awarded by Nature Immunology Best Oral Presentation Award.|
|General public Tanzania||Vesla Kullaya and Godfrey Temba (Radboudumc). Publication date Febr 17th 2021||Radio interview on local radio station for Northern Tanzania (Sauti ya Injili) about results of TransMic project, emphasizing the important beneficial health effects of a traditional Tanzanian diet. Broadcasted Febr 17th 2021||Download|
|General public Tanzania||Vesla Kullaya and Godfrey Temba (Radboudumc). Publication date Febr 19th 2021||Newspaper article in national newspaper Tanzania about results of TransMic project (WP1), emphasizing the important beneficial health effects of a traditional Tanzanian diet.||Download|
|General public Tanzania||Vesla Kullaya and Godfrey Temba (Radboudumc), March 2nd 2021||News item on national TV station (Azam TV) regarding the results of TransMic with interviews TransMic researchers, emphasizing the important health effects of traditional diets.||Download|
|General public||Radboudumc and LIMES institute||Press release by partners (Radboudumc and LIMES institute) regarding results WP 1 of TransMic, which was picked up by different sites, e.g. Sciencedaily||Link||Download|
|General public, policy makers, researchers||Q. de Mast, Radboudumc. Interview about TransMic in Mediator, journal of ZonMW. Wat een westers dieet precies doet in het lichaam Studie in Afrika toont biologische processen bij diverse eetpatronen. Jan 2020||Interview||Link|
|Scientists/medical professionals/policy makers||Temba GS,... de Mast Q. Differences in thrombin and plasmin generation potential between East African and Western European adults: The role of genetic and non-genetic factors. Presentation by G. Temba at the '3rd National Non- Communicable Diseases Scientific Conference 2021'. 11 en 12 Nov 2021. Arusha. Tanzania||Presentation at conference in Tanzania|
|Scientist/medical professionals.||Temba GS,... de Mast Q. Differences in thrombin and plasmin generation potential between East African and Western European adults: The role of genetic and non-genetic factors. Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis 17-21 July 2021||Poster presentation|
|Scientists/medical professionals/policy makers||Godfrey S. Temba*, Nadira Vadaq, Vesla Kullaya, Tal Pecht*, Paolo Lionetti*, Duccio Cavalieri*, Joachim L. Schultze*, Reginald Kavishe, Leo A.B. Joosten*, Andre J. van der Ven*, Blandina T. Mmbaga, Mihai G. Netea*, Quirijn de Mast*. Differences in the inflammatory proteome of East African and Western European adults and associations with environmental and dietary factors. 21st Annual Joint Scientific Conference in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania on 18-05-2022||Oral presentation|
|General public||Thessa Lageman. Wat wij kunnen leren van traditionele Afrikaanse diëten. Interview Quirijn de Mast. ZonMW website. Jan 2022||Interview website|
|Patent licence||Partners involved||Year||International eu or national patent||Comment|