Learning from clinical microbiologists – culturomics and metagenomics

In recent years there has been significant interest in the sequencing of the human microbiome and what can be learned from this project. One particular area of interest is those normally occurring microorganisms in the human gut.


It is believed that the human gut microbiota is responsible for maintaining health as well as disease pathogenesis.The study of gut microbiota has necessitated the development of new culture and evaluation methods – Lagier, et alindicated that as many as ~80 percent of the human gut bacteria were unknown and considered “unculturable.” This term is similar to the one used by many pharmaceutical microbiologists – viable but not culturable (VBNC). To remedy this, clinical microbiologists started using new, non-conventional methods – a practice termed the “rebirth of culture in microbiology.”1

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