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Table 4 Overview of human studies that demonstrate an association between obesity and compositional dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota determined with culture-independent methods

From: Intestinal microbiota in human health and disease: the impact of probiotics

Study material

Population

Analytical methods

Key findings

References

Faeces (3 time points)

12 Obese individuals (on diet)

2 Normal-weight individuals

Clone library sequencing (16S)

Obese individuals compared with lean:

 ↓ Bacteriodetes

 ↑ Firmicutes

Ley et al. (2006)

Faeces (3 time points)

19 Obese individuals (on diet)

FISH

GC

Obese individuals on diet of decreased carbohydrate intake:

 ↓ Roseburia

 ↓ Eubacterium rectale subgroup of cluster XIVa

 ↓ bifidobacteria

Duncan et al. (2007)*

Faeces (2 time points)

18 Obese pregnant women

36 Normal-weight pregnant women

FISH/flow cytometry

qPCR

Overweighed pregnant women:

 ↑ Bacteroides

 ↑ Clostridium

 ↑ Staphylococcus

Collado et al. (2008b)#

Faeces (3 time points)

23 Overweight/obese individuals (on diet)

14 Non-obese individuals

FISH

During weight-loss diet:

 ↔ Bacteriodetes

 ↓ butyrate-producing Firmicutes

Duncan et al. (2008)*

Faeces (2 time points)

25 Overweight/obese children

24 Normal-weight children (prospective study)

FISH/flow cytometry

qPCR

Intestinal microbiota during infancy preceding overweight during childhood:

 ↓ bifidobacteria

 ↑ Staphylococcus aureus

Kalliomäki et al. (2008)

Faeces

20 Obese individuals

9 Individuals with anorexia nervosa

20 Normal-weight individuals

qPCR

Obese individuals:

 ↓ Bacteriodetes

 ↑ Lactobacillus

Anorexic individuals:

 ↑ Methanobrevibacter smithii

Armougom et al. (2009)

Faeces (2 time points)

39 Overweight/obese adolescents (on diet and physical activity)

FISH/flow cytometry

Obese individuals:

 ↑ C. histolyticum

 ↑ E. rectale-C. coccoides

Upon calorie restricted diet:

 ↓ C. histolyticum

 ↓ C. lituseburense

 ↓ E. rectale-C. coccoides

 ↑ Bacteroides-Prevotella group

Nadal et al. (2009)

Faeces (2 time points)

36 Overweight/obese adolescents (on diet and physical activity)

qPCR

Obese adolescents on diet with a high weight-loss:

 ↑ Total bacteria

 ↑ B. fragilis group

 ↑ C. leptum group

 ↑ B. catenulatum group

 ↓ C. coccoides group

 ↓ Lactobacillus group

Santacruz et al. (2009)

Faeces (2 time points)

31 Monozygotic twin pairs

23 Dizygotic twin pairs

46 Mothers of twin pairs

Sanger sequencing (16S)

454 FLX titanium sequencing (metagenome)

Most obesity-associated genes are from:

 Actinobacteria

 Firmicutes

Most lean-enriched genes are from

 Bacteroidetes

Turnbaugh et al. (2009)

Faeces

3 Obese individuals

3 Individuals with a gastric-bypass

3 Normal-weight individuals

Clone library sequencing (16S)

454 FLX titanium sequencing (16S)

qPCR

Obese individuals:

 ↑ H2-producing Prevotellaceae

 ↑ H2-utilizing methanogenic Archaea

Zhang et al. (2009)

Faeces

15 Obese Indian adolescents

13 Non-obese Indian adolescents

qPCR

Obese children:

 ↔ Bacteroides-Prevotella

 ↔ Bifidobacterium

 ↔ L. acidophilus

 ↔ E. rectale

 ↑ F. prausnitzii

Balamurugan et al. (2010)

Faeces (2 time points)

16 Infants of overweight women

26 Infants of normal-weight women

FISH/flow cytometry

qPCR

Infants of overweight mothers:

 ↑ Bacteroides

 ↑ Staphylococcus

Collado et al. (2010)#

Faeces

33 Obese individuals

35 Overweight individuals

30 Normal-weight individuals

qPCR

GC

Obese individuals compared with lean:

 ↑ Bacteriodetes

 ↓ Firmicutes

Schwiertz et al. (2010)

Faeces

16 Overweight pregnant women

34 Normal-weight pregnant women

qPCR

Overweight pregnant women:

 ↓ Bifidobacterium

 ↓ Bacteroides

 ↑ Staphylococcus

 ↑ Enterobacteriaceae

 ↑ E. coli

Santacruz et al. (2010)

  1. All studies have used the body mass index (BMI) to define normal weight, overweight and obesity. Studies that have used subjects from the same cohort are indicated by *, # and
  2. FISH fluorescence in situ hybridisation, GC gas chromatography, qPCR quantitative polymerase chain reaction