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Pediatr Res. 2014 Jul;76(1):2-10. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.49. Epub 2014 Apr 14.

The human gut microbiota: a dynamic interplay with the host from birth to senescence settled during childhood.

Author information

1
1] Unit of Parasitology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy [2] Unit of Metagenomics, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
2
1] Unit of Parasitology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy [2] Unit of Metagenomics, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy [3] Department of Diagnostic Science, Sant'Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy.
3
1] Unit of Parasitology, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy [2] Unit of Metagenomics, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy [3] Interdipartimental Centre for Industrial Research-CIRI-AGRIFOOD, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
4
Scientific Directorate, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

The microbiota "organ" is the central bioreactor of the gastrointestinal tract, populated by a total of 10(14) bacteria and characterized by a genomic content (microbiome), which represents more than 100 times the human genome. The microbiota plays an important role in child health by acting as a barrier against pathogens and their invasion with a highly dynamic modality, exerting metabolic multistep functions and stimulating the development of the host immune system, through well-organized programming, which influences all of the growth and aging processes. The advent of "omics" technologies (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics), characterized by complex technological platforms and advanced analytical and computational procedures, has opened new avenues to the knowledge of the gut microbiota ecosystem, clarifying some aspects on the establishment of microbial communities that constitute it, their modulation and active interaction with external stimuli as well as food, within the host genetic variability. With a huge interdisciplinary effort and an interface work between basic, translational, and clinical research, microbiologists, specialists in "-omics" disciplines, and clinicians are now clarifying the role of the microbiota in the programming process of several gut-related diseases, from the physiological symbiosis to the microbial dysbiosis stage, through an integrated systems biology approach.

PMID:
24732106
DOI:
10.1038/pr.2014.49
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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