Recent 16S ribosomal RNA gene (rRNA) molecular profiling of the stomach mucosa revealed a surprising complexity of microbiota. Helicobacter pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use are two main contributors to gastritis and peptic ulcer. However, little is known about the association between other members of the stomach microbiota and gastric diseases. In this study, cloning and sequencing of the 16S rRNA was used to profile the stomach microbiota from normal and gastritis patients. One hundred and thirty three phylotypes from eight bacterial phyla were identified. The stomach microbiota was found to be closely adhered to the mucosa. Eleven Streptococcus phylotypes were successfully cultivated from the biopsies. One to two genera represented a majority of clones within any of the identified phyla. We further developed two real-time quantitative PCR assays to quantify the relative abundance of the Firmicutes phylum and the Streptococcus genus. Significantly higher abundance of the Firmicutes phylum and the Streptococcus genus within the Firmicutes phylum was observed in patients with antral gastritis, compared with normal controls. This study suggests that the genus taxon level can largely represent much higher taxa such as the phylum. The clinical relevance and the mechanism underlying the altered microbiota composition in gastritis require further functional studies.