Current Capabilities of Gut Microbiome-Based Diagnostics and the Promise of Clinical Application

J Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 16;223(12 Suppl 2):S270-S275. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa689.


There is increasing evidence for the importance of the gut microbiome in human health and disease. Traditional and modern technologies - from cell culture to next generation sequencing - have facilitated these advances in knowledge. Each of the tools employed in measuring the microbiome exhibits unique capabilities that may be leveraged for clinical diagnostics. However, much still needs to be done to standardize the language and metrics by which a microbiome is characterized. Here we review the capabilities of gut microbiome-based diagnostics, review selected examples, and discuss the outlook towards clinical application.

Keywords: 16S amplicon sequencing; diagnostics; metagenomic sequencing; microbiome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques*
  • Computational Biology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Metagenomics