Editorial: Differences in Intestinal Microbial Composition in Children With IBS—What Does It All Mean?
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Humans harbor complex microbial communities that cover the skin and the mucosal surfaces, including the gastrointestinal mucosa. The intestinal microbiota has coevolved with humans and has a key role in immune and functional gut maturation, maintenance of homeostasis as well as regulation of functions beyond the gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand it is becoming apparent that compositional, metabolic, or genetic changes in this ecosystem (dysbiosis) are associated with disease. The development of high-throughput approaches to analyze the intestinal microbiota has increased markedly our knowledge of the intestinal microbiome. Although distinct associations between gut microbial communities and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and celiac disease (CD) have been identified in adult individuals, no direct causal link to disease has been established. The relationship between dysbiosis and gastrointestinal diseases remains, thus far, circumstantial. This emphasizes the importance of studying the composition, diversity, and metabolic capacity of the intestinal microbiota in the context of mechanisms of disease and clinical phenotypes.