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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