IMR Press / FBL / Volume 14 / Issue 8 / DOI: 10.2741/3436

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Microbial functionality in the human intestinal tract
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1 Department of Basic Veterinary Medicine, Division of Microbiology and Epidemiology, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, FI00014, Helsinki, Finland
2 Laboratory of Microbiology, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 10, 6703 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands

Academic Editor: Marco Ventura

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2009, 14(8), 3074–3084;
Published: 1 January 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and genomics of probiotic bacteria)

The extent of metabolic interactions between symbiotic intestinal microbes and the human host, and their system-wide effects on the host physiology are beginning to be understood. The metabolic capacity encoded by the intestinal microbiome significantly extends that of the host, making many of man's physiological characteristics an outcome of a human-microbe co-metabolism. A detailed characterization of the composition and function of the gut microbial ecosystem is required to foster the understanding of its mechanisms and impact. The most recent research on the intestinal ecosystem is reviewed here, with specific attention to the ecological aspects including the anticipated effects of probiotics and prebiotics. Finally, the post-genomics approaches that advance discovering the functionality of intestinal bacteria are addressed.

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