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The gut microbiota is increasingly considered as a symbiotic partner in the maintenance of good health. Metagenomic approaches could help to discover how the complex gut microbial ecosystem participates in the control of the host's brain development and function, and could be relevant for future therapeutic developments, such as probiotics, prebiotics and nutritional approaches for psychiatric disorders. Previous reviews focused on the effects of microbiota on the central nervous system in in vitro and animal studies. The aim of the present review is to synthetize the current data on the association between microbiota dysbiosis and onset and/or maintenance of major psychiatric disorders, and to explore potential therapeutic opportunities targeting microbiota dysbiosis in psychiatric patients. (C) 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.