Microbiology & Immunology Publications
Perspectives on Microbiome Manipulation in People of Developing Countries
The Gut-Brain Axis Dietary, Probiotic, and Prebiotic Interventions on the Microbiota
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Although most studies on the human microbiome and the application of probiotics and prebiotics designed to modulate disease have emanated from resource-rich centers, some of the more interesting findings and applications present themselves in the developing world. Despite there being no clear distinguishing factor that defines a developing country, it generally refers to a country with low gross domestic product; high unemployment; many people below the poverty line; and inadequate social, educational, and medical infrastructure. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa are regarded as fitting into this category, with many facing enormous additional challenges around malnutrition and infectious diseases. Parts of India, China, and South America would also be regarded as developing, but many modern cities are emerging. Nevertheless, for the purpose of this review, all of these regions will be regarded as developing. As reported by a summary of a recent workshop on the African microbiome (Reid et al., 2014), few studies have been performed on microbial diversity in African humans, soil, insects, birds, fish, and animals. Nevertheless, data on the human microbiome are emerging, and opportunities exist to undertake more to better understand the relationship between microbes and health.