Each human body plays host to a microbial population which is both numerically vast (at around 1014 microbial cells) and phenomenally diverse (over 1,000 species). The majority of the microbial species in the gut have not been cultured but the application of culture-independent approaches for high throughput diversity and functionality analysis has allowed characterisation of the diverse microbial phylotypes present in health and disease. Studies in monozygotic twins, showing that these retain highly similar microbiota decades after birth and initial colonisation, are strongly indicative that diversity of the microbiome is host-specific and affected by the genotype. Microbial diversity in the human body shows both richness and evenness. Diversity increases steeply from birth reaching its highest point in early adulthood, before declining in older age. However, in healthy subjects there appears to be a core of microbial phylotypes which remains relatively stable over time. Studies of individuals from diverse geopraphies suggest that clusters of intestinal bacterial groups tend to occur together, constituting ‘enterotypes’. So variation in intestinal flora is stratified rather than continuous and there may be a limited number of host /microbial states which respond differently to environmental influences. Exploration of enterotypes and functional groups may provide biomarkers for disease and insights into the potential for new treatments based on manipulation of the microbiome.
Human microbiota in health and disease / W.M. de Vos, L. Engstrand, L. Drago, G. Reid, J. Schauber, R. Hay, W. Mendling, M. Schaller, R. Spiller, C. Gahan, I. Rowland. - In: SELFCARE. - ISSN 2042-7018. - 3:S1(2012 Sep), pp. 1-68.
|Titolo:||Human microbiota in health and disease|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore MED/46 - Scienze Tecniche di Medicina di Laboratorio|
|Data di pubblicazione:||set-2012|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|