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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2013 Aug 25;62(2):85-91.

[The intestinal microbiota and human disease].

[Article in Korean]

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Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Children's Hospital, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.


Advances in sequencing technology and the development of metagenomics have opened up new ways to investigate the microorganisms inhabiting the human gut. The intestinal microbiota confer protection against pathogens, contribute to the maturation of the immune system, and regulate host metabolism. The composition of gut microbiota in early life is influenced by mode of birth, diet, and antibiotics. Decreased biodiversity and alterations in the composition of the intestinal microbiota have been observed in many diseases including obesity, neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Therapeutic options for the diseases linked to imbalance in the microbiota include modifying the gut microbiota through diet, probiotics, and fecal transplants.

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