Gut communities form a history of connection

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Science  13 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6321, pp. 144-145
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6321.144-f

An individual's gut microbial community is nested within a “cloud” of the shared microbiota of relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Unique combinations of selective pressures, including antibiotics and diet, shape an individual's microbiota. Using gnotobiotic mice as a lens for humans, Griffin et al. observed the effect of plantrich, calorie-restricted diets on microbiota establishment and metabolic responses in fecal transplant experiments. The calorie-restricted participants had far richer and more diverse communities that even lean people on western diets. Cohousing and cross-diet experiments in the mice showed the relative influences of microbial exchange and diet diversity on indicator species and the role a western diet may play in extirpation of key microbiota taxa.

Cell Host Microbe 10.1016/j.chom.2016.12.006 (2017).

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