The human gastrointestinal tract is colonized by a dense population of microbes that outnumber host cells 10-fold, which form communities of bacteria, viruses and microbial eukaryotes that are specific to people of different ages, diet habits, and health conditions.
The composition of human gut microbiota changes prominently with age, there are clear differences in the composition of gut microbiota among infants, toddlers, adults and the elderly. Gut microbiota composition of newborns is dramatically shaped by the mode of birth and the mother's microbiota, and later varies depending on what the infant is fed on, a significant shift will occur when the infant transitions to a more solid and varied diet. The gut microbiota composition is quite unstable during infanthood and early childhood. Then microbiota becomes more stable under routine and health conditions during adulthood and contributes to cellular and tissue homeostasis. The microbiota of older people displays greater inter-individual variation than that of younger adults.
Figure 1. The gut microbiota undergoes dynamic changes during host aging. (Aleman 2019)
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The advance of multi-omics applied in gut microbiota facilitates the studies of the link between gut microbiota and the onset of age-related diseases that may including cancer, obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). And there are more exciting applications to explore – such as if the microbiota participates in triggering host aging or exacerbating the cellular, tissue, and systemic changes that occur during host aging, then it is possible to slow down the process or attenuate aging-related pathologies by targeting the related microbes. We provide solutions including comprehensive multi-omics techniques, powerful bioinformatics, and a variety of model organisms to address these issues:
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1. Aleman FDD, Valenzano DR. Microbiome evolution during host aging. PLOS Pathogens. 2019, 15(7).
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