Document Type


Source of Publication

Frontiers in Microbiology

Publication Date



Background: Growing evidence supports the role of gut microbiota in obesity, yet exact associations remain largely unknown. Specifically, very little is known about this association in the Emirati population. Methods: We explored differences in gut microbiota composition, particularly the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes (F/B) ratio, between 43 obese and 31 lean adult Emirate counterparts, and its association with obesity markers, by using V3-V4 regions of 16 S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing data. Furthermore, we collected anthropometric and biochemical data. Results: The two major phyla in obese and lean groups were Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. We observed a significantly lower alpha diversity (Shannon index) in obese subjects and a significant difference in beta diversity and phylum and genus levels between the two groups. The obese group had higher abundances of Verrucomicrobia and Saccharibacteira and lower abundances of Lentisphaerae. Acidaminococcus and Lachnospira were more abundant in obese subjects and positively correlated with adiposity markers. No correlations were found between the gut microbiota and biochemical variables, such as fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Conclusion: We reveal significant differences in the gut microbiota between obese and lean adult Emiratis and an association between certain microbial genera of the gut microbiota and obesity. A better understanding of the interactions between gut microbes, diet, lifestyle, and health is warranted.




Frontiers Media SA




Life Sciences


16S rRNA, bacteroidetes, firmicutes, gut microbiota, obesity, United Arab Emirates

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Open Access


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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series

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Life Sciences Commons