Growing evidence indicates that the composition of the gut microbiome is altered in complex diseases. Qin et al. carried out a metagenome-wide association study of the gut microbiome from 345 Chinese individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and identified approximately 60,000 microbial markers for the disease. They also developed a new concept for classifying metagenomic data: the metagenomic linkage group, which provides a species-level description of the data without the need for traditional taxonomy. Data analysis indicated that patients with T2D have only moderate intestinal dysbiosis but that butyrate-producing bacteria (which are potentially beneficial) are less abundant and opportunistic pathogens are more abundant in these individuals than in healthy controls. Although a causal link between the observed microbiome changes and T2D has not been shown, the gut microbiome could be used to monitor the risk of T2D development.
ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Qin, J. et al. A metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes. Nature 26 Sep 2012 (doi:10.1038/nature11450)
About this article
Cite this article
Kåhrström, C. Gut microbiome as a marker for diabetes. Nat Rev Microbiol 10, 733 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro2903