Background: There is increasing evidence regarding the influence of the intestinal microbiota
on the disease processes of various organs and systems. Dysbiosis, that is, alteration of the
composition and function of the microbiota may constitute an important risk factor for the development
of mental disorders, namely, schizophrenia.
Objective: This works aims to review current evidence regarding the pathological mechanisms leading
from dysbiosis to schizophrenia and in particular the deficit syndrome in schizophrenia.
Methods: Scientific articles from PubMed, SCOPUS, EMBASE, and Web of Science Core Collection
published between September 2017 and December 2020 were included in this review.
Results: The commensal intestinal flora plays an important role in neurodevelopment. In the presence
of dysbiosis, this maturation gets disturbed, resulting in the modification of brain structures
and inflammatory responses at the intestinal, systemic, and Central Nervous System (CNS) levels.
These disturbances may be linked to the development of symptoms of the disease. The microbiota
exerts its influence on the CNS through several pathways, however, in this paper we focused on the
membrane hypothesis and the inflammatory hypothesis. We explored the evidence concerning the
use of probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal transplants.
Conclusion: Although there is no consensus regarding the alterations that could constitute a risk
factor for schizophrenia, some of the species appear to be more frequently altered, and their relationship
with the host is dysregulated in patients at risk and with established schizophrenia, particularly
in deficit schizophrenia.