The new research has revealed that the gut microbiota is even more diverse than our thought. This new study published in the journal Nature has discovered nearly 2,000 new gut bacterial strains that were never known before.
The research team of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Wellcome Sanger Institute have obtained these new bacterial species from a collaborative study project. They used computational analysis to estimate gut microbiome samples from the international participants.
In scientific methodology, a computational method helps to understand and analyze bacteria that are otherwise difficult to culture in the laboratory. The experts use metagenomics to construct the same bacterial genome again to get a realistic image.
For this particular project, this study is an initial step. There are yet so many tools to try that may help to expose new insights into the human gut biome.
What does this new study tell?
The team, as a whole, analyzed 11,850 samples of gut microbiota from all around the world and reconstructed 92,143 genomes from these samples. The results helped to identify nearly 1,952 bacterial species of gut bacteria that were new to everyone. these bacterial strains were not known before this study.
These bacterial strains are sensitive and mild. They were found in considerably low amount in the gut and there are high chances that they may never survive outside the gut.
The study has still not added these new strains to the “known list” of gut bacteria. The reason is that the researchers from this study want to work more on these strains and try a combination of computational methods. It will help to design a comprehensive “inside map” of the human gut bacteria.
How is this study helpful?
This study has used one of the biggest public databases of gastrointestinal bacteria. The aim of the project was to discover new strains of gut bacteria if any. The analysis methods used were highly reproducible and the same can be applied to an even bigger database for future studies. The researchers believe that a bigger sample size will surely reveal more about the human gut.
The research team is hopeful that this study and similar researches will help to understand the human gut, which, in turn, will help to formulate and design better medicines and treatments.
At the same time, this present study highlights that there is a lot more to know, thus demanding more extensive research. Relatively there is less information on bacterial species and their roles in the human gut. There are chances that this gut microbiome is different as per different populations. It is better to consider data from diverse regions while extending the sample size.
This data collection from less studied and under-represented populations will depict a relatively true picture of the bacterial composition of the human gut. This point urges the researchers to keep the focus more on more diverse cohort studies for the future.