Correlating the Gut Microbiome to Health and Disease

T.M. Marques, S. Holster, R. Wall, J. König, R.J. Brummer, Willem de Vos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem consisting of a diverse population of prokaryotes that has a symbiotic relationship with its host; thus it plays a vital role for the host's health. Our understanding of the effect of the gut microbiome in health and disease has grown substantially over the past 2 decades, mostly because of recent advances in sequencing and other high-throughput technologies. Given its high metabolic potential, close proximity to the intestinal mucosa, and interaction with the immune system, it is not surprising that the gut microbiome is an important partaker in human health. Evidence to the importance of the gut microbiome in human health and disease is the growing number of conditions now linked to changes in the resident gut microbiota, including recurrent Clostridium difficile infections, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colorectal cancer, allergies, neurological diseases, and metabolic diseases. Research into this field of the association of the gut microbiome with health and disease continues to expand at a rapid pace as we come to accept the gut microbiome as our "second genome." Targeting the gut microbiome to restore/modulate its composition with the use of antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, and even fecal microbiota transplantation is considered a promising future strategy for the development of new solutions in the treatment of various diseases associated with an imbalance in microbiota composition and functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Gut-Brain Axis Dietary, Probiotic, and Prebiotic Interventions on the Microbiota
PublisherElsevier Inc. Academic Press
ISBN (Print)9780128025444, 9780128023044
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Gut microbiota
  • Immune system-related diseases
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Nervous system-related diseases
  • Therapies for gut microbiota modulation


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