Culture-based knowledge on biodiversity, development and stability of human gastrointestinal microflora

Birgitta Kleessen (Corresponding Author), Eugenia Bezirtzoglou, Jaana Mättö

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The human large intestine harbours an abundant and extremely diverse microflora with more than 400-500 microbial species estimated. The dominant microflora in faecal samples is obligately anaerobic: Especially Bacteroides spp., Eubacterium spp., Bifidobacterium spp., lactobacilli, anaerobic cocci and Clostridium spp. are detected in high numbers by bacterial culture. In addition, facultatively anaerobic organisms such as Escherichia coli, enterococci and streptococci are commonly encountered. Although several thorough studies on the diversity of the faecal flora has been performed during 1970's, investigation of intestinal flora by culture-based methods has several limitations: The lack of culture media supporting the growth of some components of dominant flora, difficulties in identification of bacteria by traditional phenotypic methods and continuous changes in taxonomy complicate studies on the intestinal flora by bacterial culture. Since invasive sampling techniques are required to obtain intestinal samples, most studies on human intestinal flora have been restricted mainly to the analysis of the faecal flora. A faecal sample seems to represent the microflora in the large intestine, whereas the microflora in the upper parts of the intestinal tract is sparse and less diverse. During the development of the intestinal flora in newborns, facultatively anaerobic species, especially E. coli, staphylococci and streptococci are colonising first and subsequently obligate anaerobes including Bacteroides spp., Bifidobacterium spp. and Clostridium spp. appear in faeces within few days. By the end of the second year of life the faecal flora resembles that of adults. Although a great variation in the flora composition exists between individuals, the faecal microflora in adults is relatively stable. However, several factors such as changes in age, diet, geographic location and disease may influence the composition of the normal intestinal flora.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53 - 63
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobial Ecology in Health and Disease
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fingerprint

Biodiversity
Human Development
Bacteroides
Bifidobacterium
Clostridium
Large Intestine
Streptococcus
Eubacterium
Escherichia coli
Geographic Locations
Enterococcus
Lactobacillus
Staphylococcus
Feces
Culture Media
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Diet
Bacteria
Growth

Keywords

  • bacteria
  • cultural
  • methods
  • faecal
  • microflora
  • gut microflora
  • ecology
  • intestinal microbiota

Cite this

Kleessen, Birgitta ; Bezirtzoglou, Eugenia ; Mättö, Jaana. / Culture-based knowledge on biodiversity, development and stability of human gastrointestinal microflora. In: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease. 2000 ; Vol. 12, No. 2. pp. 53 - 63.
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Culture-based knowledge on biodiversity, development and stability of human gastrointestinal microflora. / Kleessen, Birgitta (Corresponding Author); Bezirtzoglou, Eugenia; Mättö, Jaana.

In: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2000, p. 53 - 63.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Culture-based knowledge on biodiversity, development and stability of human gastrointestinal microflora

AU - Kleessen, Birgitta

AU - Bezirtzoglou, Eugenia

AU - Mättö, Jaana

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N2 - The human large intestine harbours an abundant and extremely diverse microflora with more than 400-500 microbial species estimated. The dominant microflora in faecal samples is obligately anaerobic: Especially Bacteroides spp., Eubacterium spp., Bifidobacterium spp., lactobacilli, anaerobic cocci and Clostridium spp. are detected in high numbers by bacterial culture. In addition, facultatively anaerobic organisms such as Escherichia coli, enterococci and streptococci are commonly encountered. Although several thorough studies on the diversity of the faecal flora has been performed during 1970's, investigation of intestinal flora by culture-based methods has several limitations: The lack of culture media supporting the growth of some components of dominant flora, difficulties in identification of bacteria by traditional phenotypic methods and continuous changes in taxonomy complicate studies on the intestinal flora by bacterial culture. Since invasive sampling techniques are required to obtain intestinal samples, most studies on human intestinal flora have been restricted mainly to the analysis of the faecal flora. A faecal sample seems to represent the microflora in the large intestine, whereas the microflora in the upper parts of the intestinal tract is sparse and less diverse. During the development of the intestinal flora in newborns, facultatively anaerobic species, especially E. coli, staphylococci and streptococci are colonising first and subsequently obligate anaerobes including Bacteroides spp., Bifidobacterium spp. and Clostridium spp. appear in faeces within few days. By the end of the second year of life the faecal flora resembles that of adults. Although a great variation in the flora composition exists between individuals, the faecal microflora in adults is relatively stable. However, several factors such as changes in age, diet, geographic location and disease may influence the composition of the normal intestinal flora.

AB - The human large intestine harbours an abundant and extremely diverse microflora with more than 400-500 microbial species estimated. The dominant microflora in faecal samples is obligately anaerobic: Especially Bacteroides spp., Eubacterium spp., Bifidobacterium spp., lactobacilli, anaerobic cocci and Clostridium spp. are detected in high numbers by bacterial culture. In addition, facultatively anaerobic organisms such as Escherichia coli, enterococci and streptococci are commonly encountered. Although several thorough studies on the diversity of the faecal flora has been performed during 1970's, investigation of intestinal flora by culture-based methods has several limitations: The lack of culture media supporting the growth of some components of dominant flora, difficulties in identification of bacteria by traditional phenotypic methods and continuous changes in taxonomy complicate studies on the intestinal flora by bacterial culture. Since invasive sampling techniques are required to obtain intestinal samples, most studies on human intestinal flora have been restricted mainly to the analysis of the faecal flora. A faecal sample seems to represent the microflora in the large intestine, whereas the microflora in the upper parts of the intestinal tract is sparse and less diverse. During the development of the intestinal flora in newborns, facultatively anaerobic species, especially E. coli, staphylococci and streptococci are colonising first and subsequently obligate anaerobes including Bacteroides spp., Bifidobacterium spp. and Clostridium spp. appear in faeces within few days. By the end of the second year of life the faecal flora resembles that of adults. Although a great variation in the flora composition exists between individuals, the faecal microflora in adults is relatively stable. However, several factors such as changes in age, diet, geographic location and disease may influence the composition of the normal intestinal flora.

KW - bacteria

KW - cultural

KW - methods

KW - faecal

KW - microflora

KW - gut microflora

KW - ecology

KW - intestinal microbiota

U2 - 10.1080/089106000750060305

DO - 10.1080/089106000750060305

M3 - Review Article

VL - 12

SP - 53

EP - 63

JO - Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease

JF - Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease

SN - 0891-060X

IS - 2

ER -