Gut Prevotella as a possible biomarker of diet and its eubiotic versus dysbiotic roles: a comprehensive literature review

Br J Nutr. 2019 Jul 28;122(2):131-140. doi: 10.1017/S0007114519000680. Epub 2019 Jun 28.


The gut microbiota has a profound impact on human health. Emerging data show that dietary patterns are associated with different communities of bacterial species within the gut. Prevotella species have been correlated with plant-rich diets, abundant in carbohydrates and fibres. Dysbiosis within the gut ecosystem has been associated with the development of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, the metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer, type 1 diabetes, allergies and other diseases. The purpose of this comprehensive literature review was to evaluate the available data on the impact of diet on the Prevotella genus, as a dietary fibre fermenter in the gut as well as its implications as a potential biomarker for homeostasis or disease state through its metabolite signature. Studies were identified by conducting PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection and Google Scholar electronic searches. We found eighty-five publications reporting the impact of dietary patterns on gut microbial communities, including Prevotella or Prevotella/Bacteroides ratio in particular. Moreover, the role of Prevotella species on health status was also evaluated. Prevotella possess a high genetic diversity, representing one of the important groups found in the oral cavity and large intestine of man. The gut commensal Prevotella bacteria contribute to polysaccharide breakdown, being dominant colonisers of agrarian societies. However, studies also suggested a potential role of Prevotella species as intestinal pathobionts. Further metagenomic studies are needed in order to reveal health- or disease-modulating properties of Prevotella species in the gut.

Keywords: Dietary patterns; Gut microbiota; Prevotella.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / microbiology
  • Obesity / microbiology
  • Plants, Edible
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • Prevotella / physiology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Polysaccharides