What is the human gut microbiota?
The microbiota is the set of microorganisms associated with a certain ecosystem (for example, our intestine). In particular, our gut microbiota is constituted by more than microorganisms. Its composition is unique for each individual, and influenced by age, genetic factors and diet & lifestyle.
Even though there is a natural equilibrium in the frequencies of all the members of our gut microbiota, some conditions such as stress, antibiotics intake, etc. can induce imbalances in these communities. Indeed, particular patterns of gut microorganisms have been linked with alterations of the immune system, obesity, inflammation, and many other aspects.
The massive sequencing of the genetic material of the microbiota (what we call microbiome) allows us to know the identity, diversity and abundance of the species inhabiting our gut, and to detect possible deviations with respect to the normal (healthy) state.
Through the sequencing of the total DNA present in a certain sample, we can identify and quantify all the microbial species present (bacteria, fungi and other eukaryotes). This technology is applicable to the study of any microbiome (soil, water, food, human intestine…). We offer different sequencing strategies (metabarcoding, true metagenomics), and will recommend you the most appropriate depending on your objectives.