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, 7, e7502

Factors Affecting the Composition of the Gut Microbiota, and Its Modulation


Factors Affecting the Composition of the Gut Microbiota, and Its Modulation

Nihal Hasan et al. PeerJ.


Gut microbiota have important functions in the body, and imbalances in the composition and diversity of those microbiota can cause several diseases. The host fosters favorable microbiota by releasing specific factors, such as microRNAs, and nonspecific factors, such as antimicrobial peptides, mucus and immunoglobulin A that encourage the growth of specific types of bacteria and inhibit the growth of others. Diet, antibiotics, and age can change gut microbiota, and many studies have shown the relationship between disorders of the microbiota and several diseases and reported some ways to modulate that balance. In this review, we highlight how the host shapes its gut microbiota via specific and nonspecific factors, how environmental and nutritional factors affect it, and how to modulate it using prebiotics, probiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation.

Keywords: AMPs; Antibiotics; Diet; FMT; Gut microbiota; Prebiotics; Probiotics; miRNA.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Factors affecting gut microbiota and ways to modulate it.
(A) Factors affecting gut microbiota. (B) Ways to modulate gut microbiota. AMPs, antimicrobial peptides; IgA, immunoglobulin A; miRNA, microRNA; FMT, fecal microbiota transplantation.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Timeline: FMT development studies.
Yellow arrow showed time-base, and FMT development studies were described in text box.
Figure 3
Figure 3. The pathways of FMT.
Several pathways of FMT are shown in the schematic diagram.

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Grant support

The study was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central universities (2572017DA07), and the Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, China (LC2016005). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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