MetaHIT: The European Union Project on Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract
MetaHIT (http://www.metahit.eu) has as a first objective the creation of a catalog of the microbial genes from our intestinal tract, thus laying foundations for characterization of the gut microbial communities. Next, it aims to explore associations between microbial genes and human phenotypes. For that, it develops, on the one hand, molecular tools for profiling of the intestinal microbial genes that are harbored by any individual, and on the other, a bio-informatics resource to organize and interpret heterogeneous information, including sequencing data and clinical metadata. Moreover, MetaHIT develops approaches to detect and analyze functional interactions of microbes and the human host, focusing on the role of target genes in the microbial cell and the effect of gene products on the human host. MetaHIT targets two pathologies, obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). The studies involve (i) cross-sectional comparisons of healthy and sick individuals; (ii) longitudinal follow-up of patients in clinical remission; (iii) nutritional intervention related to the stability of gut microbial community; and (iv) comparison of patients responding or not to a drug treatment.
KeywordsUlcerative Colitis Microbial Gene Profile Tool Reference Catalog Human Intestinal Microbiota
The research has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013): MetaHIT, grant agreement HEALTH-F4-2007-201052
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