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Sci Rep. 2015 Feb 23;5:8397. doi: 10.1038/srep08397.

Diversity in gut bacterial community of school-age children in Asia.

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Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.
Yakult Central Institute, 5-11 Izumi, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8650, Japan.
1] Yakult Central Institute, 5-11 Izumi, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186-8650, Japan [2] Yakult Honsha European Research Center for Microbiology, ESV, Technologiepark 4, 9052 Ghent-Zwijnaarde, Belgium.
Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Yang-Ming University, 155, Sec 2, Li Nong Street, Peitou, Taipei 11221, Taiwan.
Faculty of Agricultural Technology and Center for Food &Nutrition Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.
Department of Biotechnology, Kasetsart University, 50 Ngam Wong Wan Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand.
School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Udayana University, Jalan PB.Sudirman, Denpasar 80230, Bali, Indonesia.
College of Food Science &Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, 17 Qinghua Donglu, Hai Dian District Beijing 100083, P.R. China.
Department of Microbiology, National University of Singapore, 5 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117597, Singapore.
Department of Animal Science and Technology, National Taiwan University, 50 Lane 155, Sec 3, Keelung Road, Taipei 10673, Taiwan.
Food Industry Research &Development Institute, PO Box 246, Hsinchu 30062, Taiwan.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Division of Social Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Maidashi 3-1-1, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.
Fermentation Research Center for Value Added Agricultural Products, Khon Kaen University, 123 Mitrapap Road, Amphur Muang, Khon Kaen, 40002, Thailand.


Asia differs substantially among and within its regions populated by diverse ethnic groups, which maintain their own respective cultures and dietary habits. To address the diversity in their gut microbiota, we characterized the bacterial community in fecal samples obtained from 303 school-age children living in urban or rural regions in five countries spanning temperate and tropical areas of Asia. The microbiota profiled for the 303 subjects were classified into two enterotype-like clusters, each driven by Prevotella (P-type) or Bifidobacterium/Bacteroides (BB-type), respectively. Majority in China, Japan and Taiwan harbored BB-type, whereas those from Indonesia and Khon Kaen in Thailand mainly harbored P-type. The P-type microbiota was characterized by a more conserved bacterial community sharing a greater number of type-specific phylotypes. Predictive metagenomics suggests higher and lower activity of carbohydrate digestion and bile acid biosynthesis, respectively, in P-type subjects, reflecting their high intake of diets rich in resistant starch. Random-forest analysis classified their fecal species community as mirroring location of resident country, suggesting eco-geographical factors shaping gut microbiota. In particular, children living in Japan harbored a less diversified microbiota with high abundance of Bifidobacterium and less number of potentially pathogenic bacteria, which may reflect their living environment and unique diet.

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