Methods of analysis of gut microorganism – actual state of knowledge
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University of Medical Sciences, Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Metabolic Diseases, Poznań, Poland
Institute for Microecology Poznań, Poland
Departament of Biotechnology and Food Microbiology, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poland
Patrycja Szachta   

Institute for Microecology Poznań, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(4):799–803
Microbiota plays an integral part in maintaining organism homeostasis, through eliminat pathogens, anti-cancer activity, synthesis of digestive enzymes and vitamins, maintaining the continuity of the intestinal epithelium and stimulation of the gastrointestinal immune system, and encourage a quicker and more efficient immune response. Changes in the microbiota composition is often observed in patients with allergy, atopy, irritable bowel syndrome and other diseases, which is the reason for a growing interest in methods of identification of the gut microbial complex.

The aim of the study was to compare the state of current knowledge about two methods used in the study of intestinal microorganisms complex: the traditional culture method and genetic analysis.

Description of the state of knowledge:
Both techniques have advantages and disadvantages. The biggest limitation of the culture method is its inability to detect a significant number of the intestinal microbes. Using the microbiological technique we can only detect identifiable bacteria that can be grown on available substrates. For an accurate quantitative and qualitative investigation of the total microbiota, the more expensive genetic method is required. Due to genetic analysis it is possible to identify the vast number of new microorganisms and identify the dominant bacterial groups in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

Each of the presented techniques plays specific role in medicine and science. The combination of both methods may become a critical element for understanding the ecosystem of intestinal bacteria.

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