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Accounting for reciprocal host–microbiome interactions in experimental science

Nature volume 534, pages 191199 (09 June 2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Mammals are defined by their metagenome, a combination of host and microbiome genes. This knowledge presents opportunities to further basic biology with translation to human diseases. However, the now-documented influence of the metagenome on experimental results and the reproducibility of in vivo mammalian models present new challenges. Here we provide the scientific basis for calling on all investigators, editors and funding agencies to embrace changes that will enhance reproducible and interpretable experiments by accounting for metagenomic effects. Implementation of new reporting and experimental design principles will improve experimental work, speed discovery and translation, and properly use substantial investments in biomedical research.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8118, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St Louis, Missouri 63110, USA

    • Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck
    •  & Herbert W. Virgin

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Contributions

Both authors contributed equally to planning and writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck or Herbert W. Virgin.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature18285

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