Microbial community and population structure associated with IBS
We examined the microbial community of different sections of the large bowl of healthy and IBS-induced rats on the phylogenetic level using a comprehensive, high density DNA microarray (Phylochip). Our results revealed a significantly increased overall diversity in the microbial communities in the IBS-induced rats. Even more striking was the dramatic change in the ratio of Firmicutes relative to Bacteroidetes, where IBS-induced rats were enriched more with Bacteriodetes and also contained a different composition of species within this phylum. Our study also revealed differences at the level of bacterial families and species, suggesting that this rat model system may be a useful experimental platform to study the causes and consequences of changes in microbial community composition associated with IBS. We are extending these studies by using metabolomics and metatranscriptomic approaches to investigate the flux of carbon and electrons in the intestinal community, and how alterations are either cause or consequence of the IBS disease.
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