10 WORLD GASTROENTEROLOGY NEWS JULY 2014 Editorial | Expert Point of View | WDHD News | WGO & WGOF News | WGO Global Guidelines | Calendar of Events biology of re-introductions, as well as developing microbial breeding programs20. Different interventional approaches have emerged, including the use of antibiotics, probiotics, prebiotics, com-binations of probiotics and prebiotics, or techniques for microbial reconsti-tution by fecal transplantation. The referred approaches aim at improving host-microbes symbiosis in the gut by combating overgrowth of opportunistic community members or providing live microorganism or metabolic substrates in order to promote growth and activ-ity of beneficial species. Probiotics were defined as “live micro-organisms which, when admin-istered in adequate amounts as part of food, confer a health benefit on the host” as proposed by the Joint FAO/ WHO Expert Consultation in 2001. Our guideline for the use of probiotics and prebiotics in gastroenterology is available online21, and will be updated later this year. The term prebiotic refers to “a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microbiota that confers benefits upon host well being and health”. Concurrently, a prebiotic should not be hydrolyzed by human intestinal enzymes, it should be selec-tively fermented by beneficial bacteria, and this selective fermentation should result in beneficial effects on health or well-being of the host22. Finally, fecal transplant has emerged as an alternative approach to treat relapsing diarrhea by Clostridium difficile infection. This procedure has shown success in a subset of patients who failed standard treatment, with reported response rates up to 87%23. A total of 239 patients who had undergone fecal transplantation were reported. Seventeen of 22 studies of fecal transplantation were performed in patients with fulminant or refracto-ry Clostridium difficile infection. The major concern about this approach is the potential risk of transmitting infectious diseases23. Conclusions The development of novel gene sequencing technologies as well as the availability of powerful bio-informatic analysis tools have allowed a dramatic proliferation of research work on the human gut microbiota. Large-scale studies are providing a deeper insight on the microbial communities that usually inhabit the human gut, and allow the identification of changes that are associated with disease states. A better knowledge of the contribu-tions of microbial symbionts to host health will certainly help in the design of new potential interventions to im-prove symbiosis and combat disease. 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