The human microbiota is the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body. An imbalance or dysbiosis in these microbial communities can be associated with a wide variety of human diseases (Petersen and Round, 2014; Pham and Lawley, 2014; Zaura et al., 2014). Moreover, when the microbiota of the same body sites is compared between different healthy individuals, specific microbial community features are apparent (Li et al., 2012; Yatsunenko et al., 2012; Oh et al., 2014; Relman, 2015). In addition, specific selective pressures are found at distinct body sites leading to different patterns in microbial community structure and composition (Costello et al., 2009; Consortium, 2012b; Zhou et al., 2013). Because of these natural variations, a comprehensive characterization of the healthy microbiota is critical for predicting alterations related to diseases. This characterization should be based on a broad healthy population over time, geography, and culture (Yatsunenko et al., 2012; Shetty et al., 2013; Leung et al., 2015; Ross et al., 2015). The study of healthy individuals representing different ages, cultural traditions, and ethnic origins will enable to understand how the associated microbiota varies between populations and respond to different lifestyles. It is important to address these natural variations in order to later detect variations related to disease.
Keywords: South America; amplicon sequencing; dysbiosis; healthy microbiota; human microbiome.