Clinical Implementation of High-Throughput Sequencing

  • Andreas Hiergeist
  • André GessnerEmail author


Rapid advances in high-throughput sequencing-based technologies and computational tools have opened up entirely new strategies for extensively characterizing the microbial ecology of human body habitats, independent of laboratory cultivation. Several large-scale seminal studies have revealed that various human diseases are closely associated with compositional changes in the intestinal microbiota. However, the causal connection between these microbial imbalances and clinical symptomology and the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of microbial-host interactions are still essentially unknown for many pathologies. The transfer of findings from basic biomedical research into clinical application is one of the major challenges in microbiome research and is impeded by large interindividual variations and the lack of knowledge about potential confounding factors such as diet or host and environmental influences. Clinical application of microbiome analyses requires a diligent implementation of quality-controlled standardized wet lab and bioinformatic protocols, as well as continuous quality monitoring and accreditation in addition to well-controlled cohort studies. Furthermore, additional tools for the functional analysis of microbiome signatures are needed. Only if these conditions are met can high-throughput sequencing-based quantitative metagenomics be successfully applied as a prognostic tool in clinical practice or for improving the development of individualized therapies based on microbiota profiles.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Clinical Microbiology and Hygiene, University Hospital RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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