The microbiome explored: recent insights and future challenges

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Mar;11(3):213-7. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2973. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


One of the most exciting scientific advances in recent years has been the realization that commensal microorganisms are not simple 'passengers' in our bodies, but instead have key roles in our physiology, including our immune responses and metabolism, as well as in disease. These insights have been obtained, in part, through the work of large-scale, consortium-driven metagenomic projects. Here, five experts in the field of microbiome research discuss the most surprising and exciting new findings, and outline the future steps that will be necessary to elucidate the numerous roles of the microbiota in human health and disease and to develop viable therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Metagenome*
  • Metagenomics / methods
  • Symbiosis*