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The microbiome comprises all of the genetic material within a microbiota (the entire collection of microorganisms in a specific niche, such as the human gut). This can also be referred to as the metagenome of the microbiota.
Metabolic labelling can be used to simultaneously tag peptidoglycan, lipopolysaccharide and capsular polysaccharide of live gut bacteria, and to label peptidoglycan in vivo, revealing host–bacteria interactions within the living mammalian host.
The advent of molecular methods for the identification and characterization of the microbiome has led researchers to understand the role of the microbiota in various clinical conditions. Research by Cavarretta and colleagues has revealed the presence of microbial dysbiosis and its potential relationship with pathophysiology in the prostate tumour microenvironment. This finding could potentially enable future investigations that clarify the role of the microbiota in the development of prostate cancer and its future management, from a different perspective.
This month's Genome Watch highlights how whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and epidemiological studies can be combined to explore the link between colonization and infection by Klebsiella pneumoniae in patients who are hospitalised.