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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2011 Aug;77(2):404-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01120.x. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Distal gut microbiota of adolescent children is different from that of adults.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA.


Human intestinal microbiota plays a number of important roles in human health and is also implicated in several gastrointestinal disorders. Although the diversity of human gut microbiota in adults and in young children has been examined, few reports of microbiota composition are available for adolescents. In this work, we used Microbiota Array for high-throughput analysis of distal gut microbiota in adolescent children 11-18 years of age. Samples obtained from healthy adults were used for comparison. Adolescent and adult groups could be separated in the principal components analysis space based on the relative species abundance of their distal gut microbiota. All samples were dominated by class Clostridia. A core microbiome of 46 species that were detected in all examined samples was established; members of genera Ruminococcus, Faecalibacterium, and Roseburia were well represented among core species. Comparison of intestinal microbiota composition between adolescents and adults revealed a statistically significantly higher abundance of genera Bifidobacterium and Clostridium among adolescent samples. The number of detected species was similar between sample groups, indicating that it was the relative abundances of the genera and not the presence or absence of a specific genus that differentiated adolescent and adult samples. In summary, contrary to the current belief, this study suggests that the gut microbiome of adolescent children is different from that of adults.

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