A healthy human body functions in sync with a wide array of gut microbes collectively known as human gut microbiome. They complement in a number of functions which are essential in our daily life such as in food metabolism. Various illnesses including colon cancer, autism, obesity, and autoimmune diseases have been linked to an imbalanced gut microbiota. Antibiotics are indispensable drug; however, the administration of antibiotics in humans as well as in animal farms has shown to increase antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in gut microbiome. This is of serious concern since the commensals in gut microbiome could capture ARGs through horizontal gene transfer which in turn could cause postsurgical infections. In addition, numerous studies have consistently shown that the gut microbiome is unique to each individual. Hence, in-depth knowledge on the gut microbiota community and the factor responsible for shaping and spreading of ARGs is essential. This would in turn enable the development of custom-tailored personalized food and drugs in the future.
Part of the book: Metagenomics for Gut Microbes