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The human endogenous intestinal microflora is an essential "organ" in providing nourishment, regulating epithelial development, and instructing innate immunity; yet, surprisingly, basic features remain poorly described. We examined 13,355 prokaryotic ribosomal RNA gene sequences from multiple colonic mucosal sites and feces of healthy subjects to improve(More)
Massively parallel pyrosequencing of hypervariable regions from small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) genes can sample a microbial community two or three orders of magnitude more deeply per dollar and per hour than capillary sequencing of full-length SSU rRNA. As with full-length rRNA surveys, each sequence read is a tag surrogate for a single microbe.(More)
The human intestinal microbiota is composed of 10(13) to 10(14) microorganisms whose collective genome ("microbiome") contains at least 100 times as many genes as our own genome. We analyzed approximately 78 million base pairs of unique DNA sequence and 2062 polymerase chain reaction-amplified 16S ribosomal DNA sequences obtained from the fecal DNAs of two(More)
Almost immediately after a human being is born, so too is a new microbial ecosystem, one that resides in that person's gastrointestinal tract. Although it is a universal and integral part of human biology, the temporal progression of this process, the sources of the microbes that make up the ecosystem, how and why it varies from one infant to another, and(More)
The human intestinal microbiota is essential to the health of the host and plays a role in nutrition, development, metabolism, pathogen resistance, and regulation of immune responses. Antibiotics may disrupt these coevolved interactions, leading to acute or chronic disease in some individuals. Our understanding of antibiotic-associated disturbance of the(More)
The gastrointestinal microbiome undergoes shifts in species and strain abundances, yet dynamics involving closely related microorganisms remain largely unknown because most methods cannot resolve them. We developed new metagenomic methods and utilized them to track species and strain level variations in microbial communities in 11 fecal samples collected(More)
The indigenous human microbiota is essential to the health of the host. Although the microbiota can be affected by many features of modern life, we know little about its responses to disturbance, especially repeated disturbances, and how these changes compare with baseline temporal variation. We examined the distal gut microbiota of three individuals over(More)
Transmission is an essential stage of a pathogen's life cycle and remains poorly understood. We describe here a model in which persistently infected 129X1/SvJ mice provide a natural model of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium transmission. In this model only a subset of the infected mice, termed supershedders, shed high levels (>10(8) CFU/g) of(More)
Smallpox virus (variola) poses a significant threat as an agent of bioterrorism. To mitigate this risk, antiviral drugs and an improved vaccine are urgently needed. Satisfactory demonstration of protective efficacy against authentic variola will require development of an animal model in which variola produces a disease course with features consistent with(More)
Despite the critical role of the human microbiota in health, our understanding of microbiota compositional dynamics during and after pregnancy is incomplete. We conducted a case-control study of 49 pregnant women, 15 of whom delivered preterm. From 40 of these women, we analyzed bacterial taxonomic composition of 3,767 specimens collected prospectively and(More)