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The diversity and basic functional attributes of the gut microbiome of healthy Indians is not well understood. This study investigated the gut microbiome of three Indian communities: individuals residing in rural and urban (n = 49) sea level Ballabhgarh areas and in rural high altitude areas of Leh, Ladakh in North India (n = 35). Our study revealed that the gut microbiome of Indian communities is dominated by Firmicutes followed by Bacteroidetes, Actinobateria and Proteobacteria. Although, 54 core bacterial genera were detected across the three distinct communities, the gut bacterial composition displayed specific signatures and was observed to be influenced by the topographical location and dietary intake of the individuals. The gut microbiome of individuals living in Leh was observed to be significantly similar with a high representation of Bacteroidetes and low abundance of Proteobacteria. In contrast, the gut microbiome of individuals living in Ballabhgarh areas harbored higher number of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria and is enriched with microbial xenobiotic degradation pathways. The rural community residing in sea level Ballabhgarh areas has unique microbiome characterized not only by a higher diversity, but also a higher degree of interindividual homogeneity.

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Sci Rep

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