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Gut microbiota research: Pinpointing a moving target

(27 February 2013) Although considerable progress has been made in determining the impact of the gut microbiota on the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, the detailed study and understanding of the composition and effects of this intestinal community still faces numerous methodological and empirical challenges.

"Improvement of study design and sample collection, as well as a more precise understanding of the various genetic and environmental influences, are asked for," says Professor Dirk Haller (Technical University Munich, Germany), who addressed some of the central issues that make up the agenda of future research. Further information on this issue — one of many topics presented at the 2nd World Summit "Gut Microbiota For Health" in Madrid, Spain, from 24 to 26 February 2013 — can be found at

To keep themselves up to date on the rapidly increasing advances in the field of gut microbiota research, scientists and health-care professionals came together at the 2nd Gut Microbiota For Health World Summit. This year, the event was hosted by the Gut Microbiota & Health Section of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM) — a member of United European Gastroenterology (UEG) — and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), with the support of Danone Dairy.

A recent overview of gut microbiota research titled "Gut microbiota and gastrointestinal health: current concepts and future directions" has been published in Neurogastroenterology and Motility (Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 4–15, January 2013), the official journal of the ESNM and the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANMS). The article is the first publication of ESNM's Gut Microbiota & Health Section and can be downloaded at

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