Scientists have found that reshaping gut microbiome could lead to newer ways of treatment of bowel diseases in humans.
The human gut microbiome is unique to each individual and can include more than one thousand different species.
Studies have shown that disruptions to the homeostasis of the gut microbiome play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases, and transplantation of gut microbiota from a healthy donor to an ill recipient has shown promise in several cases.
Now, scientists from Spain and the United States have now employed metagenomics to analyze the extent to which gut microbial diversity can be reshaped by transplantation alone or in combination with antibiotic treatment.
They found that not only could gut microbial diversity be successfully reshaped to resemble that of the donor, but that these changes are long-term, persisting three months after transplantation.
"Our work showed that it is possible to introduce new species in the intestinal microbial composition ... without the need of eliminating first the endogenous bacteria by antibiotic treatment," said Chaysavanh Manichanh of the University Hospital Vall d'Hebron Research Institute.
The research will be extremely valuable to researchers designing novel approaches using bacteriotherapy as an effective treatment for intestinal diseases.
The study is published online today in Genome Research.