Abstract

Thanks to a phenomenal rate of evolution in the methods available for the detection and accurate annotation of the individual species and strains that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract (Fraher et al. 2012), coupled with the delineation of their metabolic activity and the development of customized bioinformatics approaches which facilitate inter- and intra-subject analysis, there has been an explosion of interest in the microbiota (a term preferred to flora as the former includes archaea, fungi and viruses as well as bacteria), in health and disease (Guarner and Malagelada 2003, Sekirov et al. 2010). In vitro and in vivo studies in a variety of model systems facilitated, for example, by novel imaging methodologies (Cronin et al. 2008), have revealed the nature and the complexity of the interactions between the microbiota and the host. These advances in biology have generated the expectation that the microbiota may provide new avenues for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to a number of gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal disorders (Prakash et al. 2011).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProbiotics and Prebiotics in Food, Nutrition and Health
PublisherCRC Press
Pages258-268
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781466586246
ISBN (Print)9781466586239
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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