Send to

Choose Destination
Cell. 2011 Sep 30;147(1):44-56. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2011.09.009.

Metagenomics and personalized medicine.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


The microbiome is a complex community of Bacteria, Archaea, Eukarya, and viruses that infect humans and live in our tissues. It contributes the majority of genetic information to our metagenome and, consequently, influences our resistance and susceptibility to diseases, especially common inflammatory diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease. Here we discuss how host-gene-microbial interactions are major determinants for the development of these multifactorial chronic disorders and, thus, for the relationship between genotype and phenotype. We also explore how genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are uncovering mechanism-based subtypes for these disorders. Applying these emerging concepts will permit a more complete understanding of the etiologies of complex diseases and underpin the development of both next-generation animal models and new therapeutic strategies for targeting personalized disease phenotypes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center