What is Microbiome?

High-throughput DNA sequencing technologies and advanced computational techniques of the past few decades have allowed significant advancements in knowledge about human-associated microorganisms. Different areas of the human body—digestive tract (gut),  skin, vaginal tract, oral cavity, and others—are home to different communities of microorganisms, called microbiotas. 

  • The word
    microbiome generally refers to the microorganisms in a defined environment (e.g. the human colon) along with the environment itself. While microbiome and microbiota are sometimes used interchangeably, microbiota properly refers to the microorganisms themselves: bacteria, archaea, lower and higher eukaryotes, and viruses in a defined environment. All of these microorganisms comprise the microbiota, even though many “microbiome” studies only focus on the bacterial components.