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The intestinal microbiota: a burgeoning research subject

06 Jan 2016 | By Inserm (Newsroom) | International

Interest in the intestinal microbiota, or intestinal flora, has grown considerably in recent years. In 2015, over 4,500 scientific studies on the subject were published in PubMed.


The intestinal microbiota is an ecosystem made up of 100,000 billion bacteria that colonise our digestive tract from the time we are born. Each host has his/her own unique intestinal flora. The composition of this flora depends on genetic, nutritional and environmental factors, and can change in the course of a lifetime.

Throughout the year, Inserm researchers are involved in research on the microbiota, which constitutes one of the three main cross-cutting scientific programmes in Inserm’s strategic plan for 2016-2020.

Recent studies have thus focused on the effects of the microbiota on health, and have revealed its role in autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, as well as its role in the regulation of iron in the body, and in the success of immunotherapy in oncology.

For your interviews and reporting needs, see the ”Microbiota press-kit,” available as a download opposite, for a listing of the contact details of specialists in this discipline, together with the latest news from Inserm on the subject.