The gut microbiota—Masters of host development and physiology

1] Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. [2] Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.
Nature Reviews Microbiology (Impact Factor: 23.57). 02/2013; 11(4). DOI: 10.1038/nrmicro2974
Source: PubMed


Establishing and maintaining beneficial interactions between the host and its associated microbiota are key requirements for host health. Although the gut microbiota has previously been studied in the context of inflammatory diseases, it has recently become clear that this microbial community has a beneficial role during normal homeostasis, modulating the host's immune system as well as influencing host development and physiology, including organ development and morphogenesis, and host metabolism. The underlying molecular mechanisms of host-microorganism interactions remain largely unknown, but recent studies have begun to identify the key signalling pathways of the cross-species homeostatic regulation between the gut microbiota and its host.

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Available from: Felix Sommer, Mar 11, 2015
    • "The characterization of GIT microbiota using culture-free molecular methodologies, in particular high-throughput sequencing approaches, has been extensively reported in humans and rodents (Sommer and Backhed 2013). Within birds, only chicken microbiota has been studied in detail with other species investigated in only a few published studies, for example in the kakapo, emu, and turkey (Waite and Taylor 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) plays an essential role in the health and well-being of the host. With the exception of chickens, this area has been poorly studied within birds. The avian GIT harbours unique microbial communities. Birds require rapid energy bursts to enable energy-intensive flying. The passage time of feed through the avian GIT is only 2-3.5 h, and thus requires the presence of microbiota that is extremely efficient in energy extraction. This investigation has used high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing to explore the GIT microbiota of the flighted bird, the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). We are reporting, for the first time, the diversity of bacterial phylotypes inhabiting all major sections of the quail GIT including mouth, esophagus, crop, proventriculus, gizzard, duodenum, ileum, cecum, large intestine and feces. Nine phyla of bacteria were found in the quail GIT; however, their distribution varied significantly between GIT sections. Cecal microbiota was the most highly differentiated from all the other communities and showed highest richness at an OTU level but lowest richness at all other taxonomic levels being comprised of only 15 of total 57 families in the quail GIT. Differences were observed in the presence and absence of specific phylotypes between sexes in most sections.
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    • "Although, the term is restricted to gastro-intestinal (GI) tract only and does not involve other organs (Bischoff, 2011). The gut is the primary site for multitude of processes such as, digestion, fermentation, nutrient absorption, nutrient metabolism, intestinal integrity, immune recognition, immune regulation and development of immune tolerance (Sommer and Backhed, 2013). Gut is mainly composed of physical, chemical, immunological and microbiological components and acts as a selective barrier between the tissues of the bird and its luminal environment (Yegani and Korver, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: 'Gut health' is a term currently gaining much more attentions in veterinary literature especially in poultry. It covers multiple positive aspects of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, such as the effective digestion by absorption of food, absence of GI illness, normal and stable intestinal microbiota, effective immune status and a state of well-being. Any disturbance or imbalance in above said aspects may influence the gut health. Thus it is necessary to maintain the balance of all possible associated factors related to gut health. Although till date this is being achieved in poultry farming by Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs). However, the growing concern over the transmission and the proliferation of resistant bacteria in human via the food chain has led to a ban of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP) in livestock feed within the European Union since, 2006. As a result, new commercial additives derived from nature have been examined as part of alternative feed strategies for the future. Such products have several advantages over commonly used commercial antibiotics since they are residue free and recognized as safe items in the food industry. Certain natural alternatives recognized by scientific community as Natural Growth Promoters (NGPs) to preserve and maintain the balance of gut microbiota in poultry are summarized in present communication. The article is also enriched with possible mechanisms of action of NGPs with relevant examples by citing research results obtained by various authors in past and current years.
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    • "Given the importance of normal vagal function is it conceivable that disorders of the gut-brain axis may be rooted in early-life developmental abnormalities of enteric vagal innervation potentially due to inappropriate microbial colonization (Ratcliffe et al., 2011). Moreover, the microbiota influences the maturation of many aspects of the GI tract (Lomasney et al., 2014) which are innervated by the vagal nerve and may provide migratory signals for the developing axons (Sommer and Backhed, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Many childhood diseases such as autism spectrum disorders, allergic disease, and obesity are on the increase. Although environmental factors are thought to play a role in this increase. The mechanisms at play are unclear but increasing evidence points to an interaction with the gastrointestinal microbiota as being potentially important. Recently this community of bacteria and perturbation of its colonization in early life has been linked to a number of diseases. Many factors are capable of influencing this colonization and ultimately leading to an altered gut microbiota which is known to affect key systems within the body. The impact of the microbial composition of our gastrointestinal tract on systems outside the gut is also becoming apparent. Here we highlight the factors that are capable of impacting on microbiota colonization in early-life and the developing systems that are affected and finally how this may be involved in the manifestation of childhood diseases. Birth Defects Research (Part C), 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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