Global investigation of composition and interaction networks in gut microbiomes of individuals belonging to diverse geographies and age-groups
Factors like ethnicity, diet and age of an individual have been hypothesized to play a role in determining the makeup of gut microbiome. In order to investigate the gut microbiome structure as well as the inter-microbial associations present therein, we have performed a comprehensive global comparative profiling of the structure (composition, relative heterogeneity and diversity) and the inter-microbial networks in the gut microbiomes of 399 individuals of eight different nationalities.
... The study identified certain geography-specific trends with respect to composition, intra-group heterogeneity and diversity of the gut microbiomes. Interestingly, the gut microbial association/mutual-exlusion networks were observed to exhibit several cross-geography trends. It was seen that though the composition of gut microbiomes of the American and European individuals were similar, there were distinct patterns in their microbial interaction networks. Amongst European gut-microbiomes, the co-occurrence network obtained for the Danish population was observed to be most dense. Distinct patterns were also observed within Chinese, Japanese and Indian datasets. While performing an age-wise comparison, it was observed that the microbial interactions increased with the age of individuals. Furthermore, certain bacterial groups were identified to be present only in the older age groups. Conclusions: The trends observed in gut microbial networks could be due to the inherent differences in the diet of individuals belonging to different nationalities. For example, the higher number of microbial associations in the Danish population as compared to the Spanish population, may be attributed to the evenly distributed diet of the later. This is in line with previously reported findings which indicate an increase in functional interdependency of microbes in individuals with higher nutritional status. To summarise, the present study identifies geography and age specific patterns in the composition as well as microbial interactions in gut microbiomes.