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We read with interest the editorial by Baralle and Ismail exploring the utility of next-generation sequencing in paediatric clinical genetics.1 The other major use of this technology, which has emerged over the last decade, is in cataloguing complex microbial communities, for instance the different human microbiomes. The microbiome describes the diverse range of microorganisms found in and on the human body and their complex interaction network. It is generally considered as comprising viruses, bacteria, archaea and fungi. The human gut contains the most complex microbial ecosystem and has been most extensively investigated to date, particularly the gut bacterial microbiota.
Briefly, two main approaches are used to identify and describe bacterial communities using next-generation sequencing: amplicon sequencing (metataxonomics) and metagenomics.2 Amplicon sequencing relies on PCR amplification …
Collaborators Gut Microbiota for Health expert panel of British Society of Gastroenterology.
Contributors All authors contributed equally.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests RH has received consultancy fees and conference travel support from 4D Pharma and Nutricia. GLH has received consultancy fees and conference travel support from Ferring and Proctor & Gamble. GLH is also a member of Enterobiotix scientific advisory panel. KG has received research grants, speaker’s and consultancy fees from Nestle Health Science, Nutricia-Danone, Mylan, Abbott and Baxter. THI has received speaker’s fees from Vifor, Pharmacosmosos, Shield, Takeda, Roche and Ferring. JRM has received consultancy fees from Enterobiotix.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.