Eukaryotes are an important component of the human gut, and their relationship with the human host varies from parasitic to commensal. Understanding the diversity of human intestinal eukaryotes has important significance for human health. In the past few decades, most of the multitudes of techniques that are involved in the diagnosis of the eukaryotic population in the human intestinal tract were confined to pathological and parasitological aspects that mainly rely on traditionally based methods. However, development of culture-independent molecular techniques comprised of direct DNA extraction from faeces followed by sequencing, offer new opportunities to estimate the occurrence of eukaryotes in the human gut by providing data on the entire eukaryotic community, particularly not-yet-cultured or fastidious organisms. Further broad surveys of the eukaryotic communities in the gut based on high throughput tools such as next generation sequencing might lead to uncovering the real diversity of these ubiquitous organisms in the human intestinal tract and discovering the unrecognized roles of these eukaryotes in modulating the host immune system and inducing changes in host gut physiology and ecosystem.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.