Faecal microbiota transplantation as an elixir of youth

Craig Haifer, Sudarshan Paramsothy, Rupert W. Leong


The intestinal microbiota has been increasingly seen to be responsible for various gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (1). However, their effects on systemic physiological processes unrelated to the intestinal tract are of increasing interest. In this issue of Nature Medicine, Bárcena et al. investigated whether intestinal microbiota might influence aging (2). Using 16S RNA and metagenomic sequencing on mouse models and humans with progeroid syndrome compared to healthy centenarian controls with a prolonged lifespan, the authors identified that a loss of Akkermansia muciniphila and Dehalobacterium and enrichment of Parabacteroides and Prevotella spps to be significantly associated with the aging process. There was consistency of the two cohorts in terms of differences in microbial composition with suppressed or enriched species.