Conclusion

The different methods of investigating the intestinal microbiota in humans all have their advantages, and their drawbacks as described above. If one desires information about the gastrointestinal tract one should also weigh the benefits of the (research) question, and their financial consequences. Sampling of the gastrointestinal tract in humans is far more difficult than in animal models. The sampled area is relatively small in comparison with the total area. In animal models the animal can be sacrificed so that the complete intestinal tract can be sampled and investigated. Unfortunately, individuals who are killed in accidents are the best source of complete information about microbiota in the gastrointestinal tract (29).

In general, the patient prefers the noninvasive method. Noninvasive methods are of particular importance for very young pediatric patients, pregnant women, and the elderly, as well as for research purposes. The difficulties of sampling the entire gastrointestinal tract are reduced by the noninvasive tests. However, noninvasive methods are often less sensitive and less specific. Invasive methods, such as endoscopy, are extremely unpleasant but are highly sensitive and specific, and have the advantage of sampling at the accurate location. The conditions that have to be satisfied in obtaining an uncontaminated specimen from anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract have to include: (1) strict asepsis of method, which necessitates that the instrument used must be suitable for sterilization by heat or gas; (2) prevention of contamination of the internal channels in which the culture specimen is to be lodged, until the site of sampling is reached, and protection against further contamination on withdrawal of the instrument; and (3) verification of the location from which cultures have been obtained.

As the development of molecular biology techniques increases the current sampling techniques can be revised. The condition of anaerobic sampling is becoming less important. Possible improvement of the current sampling methods only seems possible in small details. Nanotechnology is one of the promising techniques for possible improvement of sampling and analysis of bacteria in the human gastrointestinal tract.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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