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, 26 (3), 314-324

Regional Diversity of the Gastrointestinal Microbiome


Regional Diversity of the Gastrointestinal Microbiome

Kristina Martinez-Guryn et al. Cell Host Microbe.


The role of gut microbes in health and disease has often been surmised from stool, which is easily sampled and rich in microbial diversity, density, and abundance. Microbial analyses of stool have been accepted as measures to determine the relationship of gut microbiomes with host health and disease, based on the belief that it represents all microbial populations throughout the gut. However, functional heterogeneity of each gastrointestinal tract (GIT) segment gives rise to regional differences in gut microbial populations. Herein, we summarize the literature regarding the microbial landscape along the rostral to caudal, i.e., horizontal mouth to anus, axis of the GIT. We aim to identify gaps in the literature, particularly regarding small intestinal microbiota abundance and diversity, highlight the importance of regional microbiota on host health and disease, as well as discuss opportunities to advance this line of research.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

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