Approaches to analyse dynamic microbial communities such as those seen in cystic fibrosis lung.

Melissa Doud, Erliang Zeng, Lisa Schneper, Giri Narasimhan, Kalai Mathee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Microbial communities play vital roles in many aspects of our lives, although our understanding of microbial biogeography and community profiles remains unclear. The number of microbes or the diversity of the microbes, even in small environmental niches, is staggering. Current microbiological methods used to analyse these communities are limited, in that many microorganisms cannot be cultured. Even for the isolates that can be cultured, the expense of identifying them definitively is much too high to be practical. Many recent molecular technologies, combined with bioinformatic tools, are raising the bar by improving the sensitivity and reliability of microbial community analysis. These tools and techniques range from those that attempt to understand a microbial community from their length heterogeneity profiles to those that help to identify the strains and species of a random sampling of the microbes in a given sample. These technologies are reviewed here, using the microbial communities present in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients as a paradigm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalHuman genomics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery


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