In this commentary, we will review some of the early efforts aimed at understanding the role of the enteric microbiota in the causality of inflammatory bowel diseases. By examining these studies and drawing on our own experiences bridging clinical gastroenterology and microbial ecology as part of the NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project (Turnbaugh et al., 2007), we hope to help define some of the “growing pains” that have hampered these initial efforts. It is our sincere hope that this discussion will help advance future efforts in this area by identifying current challenges and limitations and by suggesting strategies to overcome these obstacles.
Keywords: inflammatory bowel diseases, human enteric microbiome, microbial dysbiosis, microbial ecology, new generation DNA sequencing
Citation: Young VB, Kahn SA, Schmidt TM and Chang EB (2011) Studying the enteric microbiome in inflammatory bowel diseases: getting through the growing pains and moving forward. Front. Microbio. 2:144. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2011.00144
Received: 18 April 2011; Paper pending published: 02 May 2011;
Accepted: 16 June 2011; Published online: 05 July 2011.
Edited by:Peter J. Turnbaugh, Harvard University, USA
Reviewed by:Alain Stintzi, Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Canada
Copyright: © 2011 Young, Kahn, Schmidt and Chang. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.
*Correspondence: Eugene B. Chang, Martin Boyer Professor of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, 900 E 57th Street, Room 9130, Chicago, IL, USA. e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org