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Research Project: CLINICAL NUTRITION IN CHILDREN

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography

Author
item Yatsunenko, Tanya - Washington University School Of Medicine
item Rey, Federico - Washington University School Of Medicine
item Manary, Mark - Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Trehan, Indi - Washington University School Of Medicine
item Dominquez-bello, Maria - University Of Puerto Rico
item Contreras, Monica - Venezuelan Institute Of Scientific Research
item Magris, Magda - Amazonic Center For Research And Control Of Tropical Diseases (CAICET)
item Hidalgo, Glida - Amazonic Center For Research And Control Of Tropical Diseases (CAICET)
item Baldassano, Robert - Children's Hospital - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
item Anokhin, Andrey - Washington University School Of Medicine
item Heath, Andrew - Washington University School Of Medicine
item Warner, Barbara - Washington University School Of Medicine
item Reeder, Jens - University Of Colorado
item Kuczynski, Justin - University Of Colorado
item Caporaso, J - Northern Arizona University
item Lozupone, Catherine - University Of Colorado
item Lauber, Christian - University Of Colorado
item Clemente, Jose - University Of Colorado
item Knights, Dan - University Of Colorado
item Knight, Rob - University Of Colorado
item Gordon, Jeffrey - Washington University School Of Medicine

Submitted to: Nature
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2012
Publication Date: 6/14/2012
Citation: Yatsunenko, T., Rey, F.E., Manary, M.J., Trehan, I., Dominquez-Bello, M.G., Contreras, M., Magris, M., Hidalgo, G., Baldassano, R.N., Anokhin, A.P., Heath, A.C., Warner, B., Reeder, J., Kuczynski, J., Caporaso, J.G., Lozupone, C.A., Lauber, C., Clemente, J.C., Knights, D., Knight, R., Gordon, J.I. 2012. Human gut microbiome viewed across age and geography. Nature. 486(7402):222-227.

Interpretive Summary: How do gut microbiomes evolve within a lifespan, vary between populations, and respond to changing lifestyles? Fecal samples were obtained from individuals in Venezuela, Malawi, and the United States. Shared features of the gut microbiome were identified in the first three years of life in all three populations, and notable differences were detected between U.S residents and those in the other two countries in early infancy as well as adulthood. This shows that consideration must be given to the microbiome when evaluating human development, nutrition, and global policies.

Technical Abstract: Gut microbial communities represent one source of human genetic and metabolic diversity. To examine how gut microbiomes differ among human populations, we characterized bacterial species in fecal samples from 531 individuals, plus the gene content of 110 of them. The cohort encompassed healthy children and adults from the Amazonas of Venezuela, rural Malawi, and US metropolitan areas, and included mono- and dizygotic twins. Shared features of the functional maturation of the gut microbiome were identified during the first three years of life in all three populations, including age-associated changes in the genes involved in vitamin biosynthesis and metabolism. Pronounced differences in bacterial assemblages and functional gene repertoires were noted between US residents and those in the other two countries. These distinctive features are evident in early infancy as well as adulthood. Our findings underscore the need to consider the microbiome when evaluating human development, nutritional needs, physiological variations, and the impact of westernization.