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Science. 2005 Jun 10;308(5728):1635-8. Epub 2005 Apr 14.

Diversity of the human intestinal microbial flora.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Room S-169, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford CA 94305-5107, USA. eckburg1@stanford.edu

Abstract

The human endogenous intestinal microflora is an essential "organ" in providing nourishment, regulating epithelial development, and instructing innate immunity; yet, surprisingly, basic features remain poorly described. We examined 13,355 prokaryotic ribosomal RNA gene sequences from multiple colonic mucosal sites and feces of healthy subjects to improve our understanding of gut microbial diversity. A majority of the bacterial sequences corresponded to uncultivated species and novel microorganisms. We discovered significant intersubject variability and differences between stool and mucosa community composition. Characterization of this immensely diverse ecosystem is the first step in elucidating its role in health and disease.

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PMID:
15831718
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1395357
Free PMC Article

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