Published online Mar 28, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i12.1478
Peer-review started: November 22, 2018
First decision: December 12, 2018
Revised: January 11, 2019
Accepted: January 26, 2019
Article in press: January 26, 2019
Published online: March 28, 2019
Studies on gut microbiota are growing rapidly, as the gut microbiota has been associated with various diseases. There are numerous factors influencing gut microbiota composition; hence, further research is needed. Indonesia has a high diversity of tribes and lifestyles. Therefore, it is expected that each tribe has its specific gut microbiota. Thus, a deeper insight into the composition of gut microbiota can be further used to determine the condition of gut microbiota in Indonesians and assess which treatment may be suitable and effective to improve health status.
This research aimed to investigate gut microbiota composition in two different groups in relation to age and tribe. The results obtained may be further used to determine the condition of gut microbiota in Indonesians and to assess which treatment may be suitable and effective to improve health status.
The objective of this study was to compare gut microbiota composition in Indonesian subjects represented by two different age groups (elderly and young) from the Javanese and Balinese tribes, by the analysis of fecal samples. The results obtained may be further used to determine the condition of gut microbiota in Indonesians and to assess which treatment may be suitable and effective to improve health status.
Fecal samples were collected from a total of 80 subjects with 20 in each young group ranging from 25-45 years and elderly group ranging from 70 years or more from two different regions, Yogyakarta and Bali. The collection of fecal samples was performed at the end of the assessment period (day 14 ± 1 d) and during this period, the subjects were not allowed to consume probiotic and antibiotic products. The quantification of various Clostridium subgroups, Lactobacillus subgroups, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus; Bacteroides fragilis group and Prevotella, Bifidobacterium and Atopobium cluster; Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas was performed using the Yakult intestinal flora-scan (YIF-SCAN).
Bacteria populations in younger subjects’ feces were higher than in elderly subjects. The most abundant bacteria in both age groups were Clostridium, followed by Prevotella, Atopobium, Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides. In the elderly, an increase in Enterobacteriaceae, Coliform and E. coli was found. In terms of bacterial counts in Yogyakarta, total bacteria, Clostridium coccoides group, Bifidobacterium, Prevotella, Lactobacillus plantarum subgroup, and Streptococcus were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in younger than in elderly subjects, while the counts for Lactobacillus gasseri subgroup, Lactobacillus casei subgroup, and Lactobacillus reuteri subgroup were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the younger group. In Balinese subjects, total bacteria, Clostridium coccoides group, Clostridium leptum subgroup, Bacteroides fragilis group, and Prevotella were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in younger compared to elderly subjects, while the counts for Lactobacillus ruminis subgroup and Enterobacteriaceae were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in younger subjects. The results also revealed that the Clostridium perfringens count in Balinese subjects was 10 times that in Yogyakarta subjects. This may have been a response to the lifestyles of the different tribes although this phenomenon requires further extensive study.
Bacterial populations were higher in younger than in elderly subjects. The most dominant bacterial groups in these subjects were Clostridium followed by Prevotella, Atopobium, Bifidobacterium, and Bacteroides. The gut microbiota of the two tribes in this study were similar, but it was observed that Clostridium perfringens in Yogyakarta subjects was almost ten times lower than that in Balinese due to lifestyle and diet. However, the effect of lifestyle and diet on gut microbiota composition requires further investigation.
These results proved that gut microbiota composition within different age groups and tribes is different. Different tribes may have different lifestyles and diets; therefore, future studies should investigate how different diets contribute to gut microbiota composition.