Table 1

Ageing-associated changes in alpha diversity of faecal microbiota in elderly and centenarians

(country of study cohort)
Young adultsElderlyGroup being comparedMicrobiota profiling*Elderly†Centenarians‡
Nr.Age range (years)Nr.Age range (years)DiversityRichnessDiversityRichness
Zwielehner49 (Austria)1718–3117 institutional78–94Young adults vs elderlyPCR-DGGE, qPCR, clone librariesn.r.n.a.n.a.
Biagi42 (Italy)2025–404359–78Young adults vs elderly vs centenariansPhylogenetic microarray and qPCRn.r.n.r.
Kong58 (China)4724–645465–83Nonagenarians and centenarians vs young adults and elderlyIllumina MiSeqn.r.n.r.
Biagi43 (Italy)1522–481565–75Young adults vs elderly vs centenariansIllumina MiSeqn.r.n.r.
Wang59 (China)1680–99Elderly vs centenariansIllumina MiSeqn.a.n.a.≈ or ↑§
O’Toole56 (Ireland)28264–102Age associationPyrosequencingn.r.n.r.n.r.
Falony52 (Belgium)1106 (19–85)¶Adults<40 years vs middle-aged 40-59 years vs elderly>60 yearsIllumina MiSeqn.r.n.a.n.a.
Odamaki51 (Japan)367 (0–104)¶Age associationIllumina MiSeq
Jackson53 (UK)728 (42–86)¶Age associationIllumina MiSeqn.a.n.a.
Bian54 (China)1095 (3–100+)¶Age associationIllumina MiSeqn.a.n.r.n.r.
Maffei55 (USA)85 (43–79)¶Age associationIllumina MiSeqn.a.n.a.
  • *16S rRNA (gene)-based.

  • †Microbiota comparison between elderly and young adults.

  • ‡Microbiota comparison between centenarians and elderly/young adults.

  • § Depending on which subgroup of elderly were compared.

  • ¶Studies did not report on the definition of young adult, elderly and centenarian.

  • Nr, number of subjects; centenarian, people aged >100 years; nonagenarian, people aged 90–100 years; PCR-DGGE, PCR denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; qPCR, quantitative PCR; ↓, significant decrease; ↑, significant increase; ≈, not significantly different; n.a, not available; n.r, not reported.