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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Composition of the mucosa-associated microbiota along the entire gastrointestinal tract of human individuals

Vuik, F. E. R.; Dicksved, J.; Lam, S. Y.; Fuhler, G. M.; van der Laan, L. J. W.; van de Winkel, A.; Konstantinov, S. R.; Spaander, M. C. W.; Peppelenbosch, M. P.; Engstrand, L.; Kuipers, E. J.


Background:Homeostasis of the gastrointestinal tract depends on a healthy bacterial microbiota, with alterations in microbiota composition suggested to contribute to diseases. To unravel bacterial contribution to disease pathology, a thorough understanding of the microbiota of the complete gastrointestinal tract is essential. To date, most microbial analyses have either focused on faecal samples, or on the microbial constitution of one gastrointestinal location instead of different locations within one individual. Objective:We aimed to analyse the mucosal microbiome along the entire gastrointestinal tract within the same individuals. Methods:Mucosal biopsies were taken from nine different sites in 14 individuals undergoing antegrade and subsequent retrograde double-balloon enteroscopy. The bacterial composition was characterised using 16 S rRNA sequencing with Illumina Miseq. Results:At double-balloon enteroscopy, one individual had a caecal adenocarcinoma and one individual had Peutz-Jeghers polyps. The composition of the microbiota distinctively changed along the gastrointestinal tract with larger bacterial load, diversity and abundance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the lower gastrointestinal tract than the upper gastrointestinal tract, which was predominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Conclusions We show that gastrointestinal location is a larger determinant of mucosal microbial diversity than inter-person differences. These data provide a baseline for further studies investigating gastrointestinal microbiota-related disease.


Colonic microflora; gastrointestinal tract; intestinal microbiology; small bowel; colon

Published in

United European Gastroenterology journal
2019, Volume: 7, number: 7, pages: 897-907

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Microbiology in the medical area

    Publication Identifiers


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