The Indigenous Human Microbiota
Adam M. Nelson and Vincent B. Young
from: Emerging Trends in Antibacterial Discovery: Answering the Call to Arms (Edited by: Alita A. Miller and Paul F. Miller). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)
Recent technological advances have expanded the tools available for study of the indigenous human microbiota. One of the early limitations in this field was the difficulty in recovering most residents of the community via standard culture-based methods. Many residents of the flora are anaerobic or microoxic, require specific nutrients, or are dependant on microbe-microbe/microbe-host interactions that are difficult to replicate in vitro, thus making their cultivation difficult. Naturally, the easiest species to grow in the laboratory have been the best studied. However, these cultivatable species are only a fraction of the total population of the microbiota. This chapter will introduce both the culture and non-culture based techniques being used to look deeper into the population structure both on a temporal and spatial scale. It will also discuss how disruptions (including those mediated by the administration of antibiotics) of the microbiota can produce changes in human health, and outline ongoing efforts by the National Institutes of Health and international investigators to study the indigenous microbiota read more ...