Potential associations between environmental conditions and the gut microbiome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers
The gut microbiome has co-evolved with humans over time, adapting according to environmental changes imposed by the host. Rural communities, such as the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania are exposed to unique environmental conditions that differ from those of urban communities. Many of these environmental factors are thought to impact gut microbial composition, which has led to an increased interest surrounding the analysis of the gut microbiome of these individuals. Here, we aimed to uncover the impact of water sources, geographical locations, and wildlife exposure on the gut microbiome of the Hadza people. Following parsing of amplicon sequencing data, analysis of the Hadza gut microbiota did not reveal any strong associations with individual water sources nor bush camp locations. However, similarities between the gut microbiome of the Hadza and of vervet monkeys were identified. These results highlight the complexity of the interplay between environmental factors unique to rural communities and the human gut microbiome. Our analysis of the Hadza gut microbiome adds to the body of knowledge that aims to provide insight into features representative of the ancestral human gut microbiome composition.