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Nat Med. 2018 Apr 10;24(4):392-400. doi: 10.1038/nm.4517.

Current understanding of the human microbiome.

Author information

1
Microbiome Center, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
2
Bioscience Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Illinois, USA.
3
Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
4
New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.
5
Pathogen and Microbiome Institute, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.
6
Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA.
7
Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.
8
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.
9
Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.
10
Center for Microbiome Innovation, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.

Abstract

Our understanding of the link between the human microbiome and disease, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and autism, is rapidly expanding. Improvements in the throughput and accuracy of DNA sequencing of the genomes of microbial communities that are associated with human samples, complemented by analysis of transcriptomes, proteomes, metabolomes and immunomes and by mechanistic experiments in model systems, have vastly improved our ability to understand the structure and function of the microbiome in both diseased and healthy states. However, many challenges remain. In this review, we focus on studies in humans to describe these challenges and propose strategies that leverage existing knowledge to move rapidly from correlation to causation and ultimately to translation into therapies.

PMID:
29634682
DOI:
10.1038/nm.4517

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