Human Gut Microbiome
The relation between dietary regime, lifestyle, and composition of the gut microbiome in humans is a well studied field of modern microbiology. Still, a correct understanding of the relations occurring between the different microbial groups, the effects caused by differences in each person's gut microbial community composition, the selective impact of drugs on the ecological features of the community itself are largely unknown.
The MEG in cooperation with the IZSVe of Padua and with the ISS Rome is carrying on a large survey on the correlation between dietary regime (vegetarian, omnivorous, vegan), the lifestyle, and the fate and the persistence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and resistance genes in the bacterial communities of the gut of about 150 volunteer. The project is financed by the Italian Ministry of Health in the frame of the annual call for finalized researches.
We are assessing the largest dataset on human gut microbiomes (obtained by HTS, Illumina) ever produced in Italy, and all in all the most detailed dataset on human's gut resistome (14 ARGs screened by PCR and quantified when present in RT-PCR) nowadays available.
The results of this study, soon available as publications and online, will be the first ever presented assessing potential correlation between detailed information on the lifestyle of each volunteer, the dietary regime (defined not only as belonging to one of the three main groups but assessed in quantitative terms of macronutrients), and the features of the microbial community of its gut, with a specific glance on the presence of ARGs.
Applying an ecological approach to the study of the human microbiome, as we are trying, will possibly allow a better understanding of the dynamics controlling the interactions among different bacterial strains and, at the end, a correct view of the "ecosystem gut" in all its complexity.