Population-based metagenomics analysis reveals markers for gut microbiome composition and diversity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Alexandra Zhernakova
  • Alexander Kurilshikov
  • Marc Jan Bonder
  • Ettje F. Tigchelaar
  • Melanie Schirmer
  • Zlatan Mujagic
  • Arnau Vich Vila
  • Gwen Falony
  • Sara Vieira-Silva
  • Jun Wang
  • Floris Imhann
  • Eelke Brandsma
  • Soesma A. Jankipersadsing
  • Marie Joossens
  • Maria Carmen Cenit
  • Patrick Deelen
  • Morris A. Swertz
  • Rinse K. Weersma
  • Edith J M Feskens
  • Mihai G. Netea
  • Dirk Gevers
  • Daisy Jonkers
  • Lude Franke
  • Yurii S. Aulchenko
  • Curtis Huttenhower
  • Jeroen Raes
  • Marten H. Hofker
  • Ramnik J. Xavier
  • Cisca Wijmenga
  • Jingyuan Fu

Research units

  • Wageningen University & Research
  • Novosibirsk State University
  • University of Groningen
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Broad Institute
  • Maastricht University
  • VIB
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Hospital Universitario Dr. Peset
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • RAS - Siberian Branch
  • KU Leuven
  • CSIC
  • University of Edinburgh
  • PolyOmica
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Deep sequencing of the gut microbiomes of 1135 participants from a Dutch population-based cohort shows relations between the microbiome and 126 exogenous and intrinsic host factors, including 31 intrinsic factors, 12 diseases, 19 drug groups, 4 smoking categories, and 60 dietary factors. These factors collectively explain 18.7% of the variation seen in the interindividual distance of microbial composition.We could associate 110 factors to 125 species and observed that fecal chromogranin A (CgA), a protein secreted by enteroendocrine cells, was exclusively associated with 61 microbial species whose abundance collectively accounted for 53% of microbial composition. Low CgA concentrations were seen in individuals with a more diverse microbiome. These results are an important step toward a better understanding of environment-diet-microbe-host interactions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-569
Number of pages5
Issue number6285
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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