The ecology of human microbiota: dynamics and diversity in health and disease.


Social welfare, better health care, and urbanization have greatly improved human health and well-being. On the other hand, Western societies suffer from the downsides of the elevated standard of living. Among other factors, the Western diet (poor in dietary fiber), lack of contact with natural biodiversity, and excessive antibiotic use are known to be associated with the increase in chronic inflammatory disorders. Limited exposure to microbial biodiversity, in combination with severe lifestyle-related disturbances to commensal microbial communities, especially during early life, is changing the diversity and composition of human microbiota. In this review, we try to promote and apply ecological theory to understand the dynamics and diversity of human commensal microbiota. In this context, we explore the changes in the microbiota that are relevant to human health, especially in light of the rise of chronic inflammatory disorders. We try to elucidate the underlying ecological mechanisms behind these disorders and provide potential solutions for their avoidance.

DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13326

Cite this paper

@article{Karkman2017TheEO, title={The ecology of human microbiota: dynamics and diversity in health and disease.}, author={Antti Karkman and Jenni Lehtim{\"a}ki and L Ruokolainen}, journal={Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences}, year={2017}, volume={1399 1}, pages={78-92} }