An Update on the Status of Current Research on the Mammalian Microbiome.
ILAR journal. 2015-01-01; 56.2: 163-8.
The microbiome refers to the thousands of microbial species that inhabit a specific host or environment. Extensive microbiome surveys have been conducted for soils, the built environment, and our oceans. In addition, extensive studies of the human microbiome have revealed significant microbial diversity across all body sites and have hinted at new opportunities for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to addressing human health and disease. Mammals in general are known to hold a complicated mix of species within their gastrointestinal tracts, including virus, archaea, bacteria, and fungi. These microbial species present beneficial aspects to the host species through the production of vitamins, metabolism of plant structural compounds and sugars, and education of the immune system. In addition to a vast number of studies on humans, studies of the mammalian microbiome have been performed, with several publications on a variety of animal species currently available. These have included studies on the microbiome of companion animals, animals used for research, and animals used for agricultural and food purposes, and various human/animal models.