Human Microbiome Acquisition and Bioinformatic Challenges in Metagenomic Studies

Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan 27;19(2):383. doi: 10.3390/ijms19020383.


The study of the human microbiome has become a very popular topic. Our microbial counterpart, in fact, appears to play an important role in human physiology and health maintenance. Accordingly, microbiome alterations have been reported in an increasing number of human diseases. Despite the huge amount of data produced to date, less is known on how a microbial dysbiosis effectively contributes to a specific pathology. To fill in this gap, other approaches for microbiome study, more comprehensive than 16S rRNA gene sequencing, i.e., shotgun metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, are becoming more widely used. Methods standardization and the development of specific pipelines for data analysis are required to contribute to and increase our understanding of the human microbiome relationship with health and disease status.

Keywords: 16S rRNA analysis; bioinformatics; data analysis; human microbiome; metagenomics; metrascriptomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Genomics / methods*
  • Genomics / standards
  • Humans
  • Metagenome*
  • Transcriptome