Community Health Care: Therapeutic Opportunities in the Human Microbiome

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Science translational medicine (Impact Factor: 15.84). 04/2011; 3(78):78ps12. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001626
Source: PubMed


We are never alone. Humans coexist with diverse microbial species that live within and upon us--our so-called microbiota. It is now clear that this microbial community is essentially another organ that plays a fundamental role in human physiology and disease. Basic and translational research efforts have begun to focus on deciphering mechanisms of microbiome function--and learning how to manipulate it to benefit human health. In this Perspective, we discuss therapeutic opportunities in the human microbiome.

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    • "Most of the results published so far are from individuals living on food based on a few carbohydrates (wheat, rice, corn, and potatoes). The need for studies in larger groups of individuals followed over longer periods of time is obvious, as well as the need for data from cohorts living on other sources of carbohydrates (82, 83); more information is also needed about microbiota in various intestinal compartments. In addition, accepting the lifelong cross-talks that take place between a host and its microbiota and the adaptability of the microflora to local or regional food, we should start thinking about the sustainability of intestinal microbiota in cohorts of people not living on a ‘Westernized diet’, and attempts should be made to investigate or at least save feces from groups of people living on such food. "
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