The human gut microbiota has become the subject of extensive research in recent years and our knowledge of the resident species and their potential functional capacity is rapidly growing. Our gut harbours a complex community of over 100 trillion microbial cells which influence human physiology, metabolism, nutrition and immune function while disruption to the gut microbiota has been linked with gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Here, we review the many significant recent studies that have centred on further enhancing our understanding of the complexity of intestinal communities as well as their genetic and metabolic potential. These have provided important information with respect to what constitutes a ‘healthy gut microbiota’ while furthering our understanding of the role of gut microbes in intestinal diseases. We also highlight recently developed genomic and other tools that are used to study the gut microbiome and, finally, we consider the manipulation of the gut microbiota as a potential therapeutic option to treat chronic gastrointestinal disease.
- Diet alters entero-mammary signaling to regulate the breast microbiome and tumorigenesis
- Prevotella diversity, niches and interactions with the human host
- Intestinal microbiota influences clinical outcome and side effects of early breast cancer treatment
- Human and preclinical studies of the host–gut microbiome co-metabolite hippurate as a marker and mediator of metabolic health
- Modulation of immune responses to vaccination by the microbiota: implications and potential mechanisms