A research article written by Anirudra Parajuli et al. has been published in Science of the Total Environment. The article is based on the fact that gut microbes play an essential role in the development and functioning of the human immune system. A disturbed gut microbiota composition is often associated with a number of health disorders including immune-mediated diseases. The authors investigated the association between living environment and gut microbiota in a homogenous western population along an urban-rural gradient. They obtained stool samples from 48 elderly Finns in province Päijät-Häme and identified the bacterial phylotypes using 16S rRNA Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Diverse yard vegetation was associated with a reduced abundance of Clostridium sensu stricto and an increased abundance of Faecalibacterium and Prevotellaceae. The abundance of Bacteroides was positively and strongly associated with the built environment. These results suggest that diverse vegetation around homes is associated with health-related changes in gut microbiota composition. Manipulation of the garden diversity, possibly jointly with urban planning, is a promising candidate for future intervention studies that aim to maintain gut homeostasis.
Science of the Total Environment: Yard vegetation is associated with gut microbiota composition