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Economic development is marked by dramatic increases in the incidence of microbiome-associated diseases, such as autoimmune diseases and metabolic syndromes, but the lifestyle changes that drive alterations in the human microbiome are not known. We measured market integration as a proxy for economically related lifestyle attributes, such as ownership of specific market goods that index degree of market integration and components of traditional and nontraditional (more modern) house structure and infrastructure, and profiled the fecal microbiomes of 213 participants from a contiguous, indigenous Ecuadorian population. Despite relatively modest differences in lifestyle across the population, greater economic development correlated with significantly lower within-host diversity, higher between-host dissimilarity, and a decrease in the relative abundance of the bacterium Prevotella. These microbiome shifts were most strongly associated with more modern housing, followed by reduced ownership of traditional subsistence lifestyle-associated items.


Originally published as: Stagaman, Keaton, Tara J. Cepon-Robins, Melissa A. Liebert, Theresa E. Gildner, Samuel S. Urlacher, Felicia C. Madimenos, Karen Guillemin, J. Josh Snodgrass, Lawrence S. Sugiyama, and Brendan J. M. Bohannan. "Market Integration Predicts Human Gut Microbiome Attributes across a Gradient of Economic Development." mSystems, vol. 3, no. 1, 2018, e00122-17. doi: 10.1128/mSystems.00122-17.

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