Researchers consider low levels of the genus Alistipes to be commensal bacteria in the human gut microbiome. Small numbers of these bacteria may indicate good gut health. Alistipes are, however, seen in decreased numbers in plant-based diets and thrive on high-fat diets. They also grow particularly strong colonies in the guts of obese patients. Alistipes are particularly sensitive to antibiotic treatments, which might indicate an obesity therapy. They can also be observed in higher abundances in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) as well as in autism.