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J Med Microbiol. 2005 Dec;54(Pt 12):1239-42.

Investigations into the influence of host genetics on the predominant eubacteria in the faecal microflora of children.

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Wakefield Gastroenterology Research Institute, Wakefield Hospital, Private Bag 7909, Wellington South, New Zealand.


The eubacterial population was studied in faecal samples of related and unrelated children. Temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) provided a snapshot of the bacterial population and allowed calculation of the degree of similarity in the predominant faecal microflora of identical twin pairs, fraternal twin pairs and unrelated paired controls. The highest levels of similarity were found in genetically identical twins. Significant differences were observed between the identical and fraternal twins (P = 0.037), strongly suggesting a genetic influence over the composition of the faecal microflora. The unrelated control group had the lowest similarity and was significantly different from the twins (P = 0.001). The results of this study indicate that host genetics influence the composition of the dominant eubacterial population in children.

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