Intest Res  
Characterization of the fecal microbiota differs between age groups in Koreans
Sun-Young Kook1, Yunjeong Kim1, Ben Kang2, Yon Ho Choe2, Young-Ho Kim3, Seokjin Kim1
1Probioticslab R&D Institute, Bioeleven Co., Seoul, Departments of 2Pediatric and 3Internal Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Seokjin Kim, Probioticslab R&D Institute, Bioeleven Co., 6 Teheran-ro 34-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06220, Korea. Tel: +82-70-4099-8887, Fax: +82-2-543-1649, E-mail:
Received: April 30, 2017; Revised: October 19, 2017; Accepted: October 20, 2017; Published online: December 19, 2017.
© Korean Association for the Study of Intestinal Diseases. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background/Aims: Tens of trillions of microorganisms constitute the gut microbiota of the human body. The microbiota plays a critical role in maintaining host immunity and metabolism. Analyses of the gut microbial composition in Korea are limited to a few studies consisting of small sample sizes. To investigate the gut microbial community in a large sample of healthy Koreans, we analyzed the 16S ribosomal RNA of 4 representative bacterial genera Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, and Clostridium. Methods: A total of 378 DNA samples extracted from 164 infants and 214 adults were analyzed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: Analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA of 4 representative bacterial genera Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides, and Clostridium showed that the gut microbiota in infants had higher relative abundances of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus than that in adults, which was dominated by Bacteroides and Clostridium. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this was the first study evaluating the distinct characteristics of the microbial community of Korean infants and adults. The differences between the 2 populations suggest that external factors such as age, diet, and the environment are important contributing factors to the change in gut microbial composition during development.
Keywords: RNA, ribosomal, 16S; Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; Bifidobacterium; Bacteroides

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