In India’s largest intestinal metagenome study, the research team studied the bacterial profiles of 200 intestinal samples taken from humans from several Indian locations.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal have shown differences in the type of intestinal bacteria between the Indian and Western populations. These variations stem from differences in dietary patterns in these two regions – Indian foods are richer in carbohydrates and fiber than those in the West.
Researchers have found that the microbiome of the Indian gut has the highest abundance of the bacterium Privotella genus, especially a species called Privotella capri. The bacterium also dominates other populations that consume carbohydrate- and fiber-rich foods, such as Italians, Madagascarians, Peruvians, and Tanzanians. In Western countries, such as the United States, human intestinal microbiome is influenced by bacterioids.
To understand the functional role of Privotella type bacteria, researchers have performed genomic analysis and found that bacteria have a specific location (“loci”) in their genome that is responsible for complex plant carbohydrate and fiber metabolism. Thus it is logical that such bacteria predominate in the intestinal microbiome of healthy Indian and non-Western populations who consume foods rich in plant sugars and fiber.
Another interesting observation of the group was that other privotella species such as p. Intermedia and p. Negresence has been found in the courage of the western people. These bacteria are usually found in the mouth, pointing to the intestinal axis of the mouth. These bacterial species are inflammatory and contain high viruses and antibiotic resistance genes. These species make Western populations more susceptible to inflammatory bowel disease.
Talking about the practical implications of his work, Dr. Sharma said, “Our insights will help in the development of new probiotics and prebiotics for various health-related conditions associated with the much-needed intestinal tract in Western populations.”