Purpose of review: Recent technological advancements and expanded efforts have led to a tremendous growth in the collective knowledge of the human microbiome. This review will highlight some of the important recent findings in this area of research.
Recent findings: Studies have described the structure and functional capacity of the bacterial microbiome in the healthy state and in a variety of disease states. Downstream analyses of the functional interactions between the host and its microbiome are starting to provide mechanistic insights into these interactions. These data are anticipated to lead to new opportunities for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of a variety of human diseases.
Summary: There is a fast growing collection of data describing the structure and functional capacity of the microbiome in a variety of conditions available to the research community for consideration and further exploration. Ongoing efforts to further characterize the functions of the microbiome and the mechanisms underlying host-microbe interactions will provide a better understanding of the role of the microbiome in health and disease.