Gut Microbiota Research Approaches

Trillions of microbes inhabit the human gut, forming a complex ecological community that influences normal physiology and susceptibility to disease through its collective metabolic activities and host interactions. Understanding the factors that influence changes in the composition and function of the gut microbiota will help in the design of treatments for it. Creative Biolabs specializes in live biotherapeutic products (LBP) development. Devoted to providing professional and well-tailored custom services for more than 10 years, we have accumulated profound experience in the study of gut microbiota.

Overview of Human Gut Microbiota

The human digestive tract is home to many microorganisms. The total estimated number of gut microorganisms is somewhere between 1013 and 1014, including diverse populations of bacteria, mainly anaerobes. The total number of species found in the gut microbiota is about 500 to 1000. The majority of bacteria in the adult gut are non-sporing anaerobic bacteria, with the largest number including Bifidobacterium spp., Bacteroides spp., Clostridium spp., Eubacterium spp., Lactobacillus spp., Fusobacterium spp., and various gram-positive cocci. Bacteria that are present in lower numbers include Enterobacteriaceae, Enterococcus spp., methanogens, and dissimilatory sulphate-reducing bacteria. The microbiome provides many benefits to the host through a range of physiological functions, such as strengthening intestinal integrity or shaping intestinal epithelium, gathering energy, defending against pathogens, and regulating host immunity.

The structure of the human intestinal microbiota across the life cycle.Fig.1 The structure of the human intestinal microbiota across the life cycle. (Kostic, 2013)

Factors Shaping the Gut Microbiota

The composition of the microbiota is influenced by host and environmental selection pressures. Studies have shown that diet has a big impact on gut microbiota. Co-operation among gut microbes also allows for a greater diversity of microbes to colonize and form the gut microbiota community. The distribution of bile acids in the small and large intestines also affects the dynamics of the intestinal bacterial community. The microbiota can also be shaped by the host immune system. Several environmental factors affecting microbiota formation include geographical location, surgery, smoking, depression, and living arrangements. Antibiotic treatment significantly disrupts the short - and long-term microbial balance, including a reduction in community richness and diversity.

The influence of external factors determining the composition of the human gut microbiota.Fig.2 The influence of external factors determining the composition of the human gut microbiota. (Lagier, 2012)

Approaches to Study the Gut Microbiota at Creative Biolabs

The application of molecular tools to intestinal microbiology has greatly facilitated the study of the complex microbial community resident in the human intestinal tract, and the classical microbiological techniques are not obsolete but complementary to the molecular techniques being developed.

Overview of some of the most common techniques used to study the human microbiota.Fig.3 Overview of some of the most common techniques used to study the human microbiota. (Harmsen, 2016)

Creative Biolabs can provide the following methods to study the gut microbiota, including but not limited to:

Creative Biolabs is a premier provider of customized solutions for LBP development. We are "LBP Problem-Solvers" focused on delivering best-in-class custom services. If you are interested in our technology for gut microbiota research, please contact us for more. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the ways we can work with you to accomplish your unique goals.

References

  1. Kostic, A.D.; et al. Exploring host-microbiota interactions in animal models and humans. Genes & development. 2013, 27(7): 701-718.
  2. Lagier, J.C.; et al. Human gut microbiota: repertoire and variations. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2012, 2: 136.
  3. Harmsen, H.J.M.; Goffau, M. The human gut microbiota. Microbiota of the human body. 2016: 95-108.

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