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Bibliography on: Metagenomics

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Sep 2020 at 01:31 Created: 


While genomics is the study of DNA extracted from individuals — individual cells, tissues, or organisms — metagenomics is a more recent refinement that analyzes samples of pooled DNA taken from the environment, not from an individual. Like genomics, metagenomic methods have great potential in many areas of biology, but none so much as in providing access to the hitherto invisible world of unculturable microbes, often estimated to comprise 90% or more of bacterial species and, in some ecosystems, the bulk of the biomass. A recent describes how this new science of metagenomics is beginning to reveal the secrets of our microbial world: The opportunity that stands before microbiologists today is akin to a reinvention of the microscope in the expanse of research questions it opens to investigation. Metagenomics provides a new way of examining the microbial world that not only will transform modern microbiology but has the potential to revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. In metagenomics, the power of genomic analysis is applied to entire communities of microbes, bypassing the need to isolate and culture individual bacterial community members.

Created with PubMed® Query: metagenomic OR metagenomics OR metagenome NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2020-09-16

Ganesan SM, Dabdoub SM, Nagaraja HN, et al (2020)

Adverse effects of electronic cigarettes on the disease-naive oral microbiome.

Science advances, 6(22): pii:6/22/eaaz0108.

Six percent of Americans, including 3 million high schoolers, use e-cigarettes, which contain potentially toxic substances, volatile organic compounds, and metals. We present the first human study on the effects of e-cigarette exposure in the oral cavity. By interrogating both immunoinflammatory responses and microbial functional dynamics, we discovered pathogen overrepresentation, higher virulence signatures, and a brisk proinflammatory signal in clinically healthy e-cigarette users, equivalent to patients with severe periodontitis. Using RNA sequencing and confocal and electron microscopy to validate these findings, we demonstrate that the carbon-rich glycol/glycerol vehicle is an important catalyst in transforming biofilm architecture within 24 hours of exposure. Last, a machine-learning classifier trained on the metagenomic signatures of e-cigarettes identified as e-cigarette users both those individuals who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking, and those who use both e-cigarettes and cigarettes. The present study questions the safety of e-cigarettes and the harm reduction narrative promoted by advertising campaigns.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Zhao Z (2020)

Comparison of microbial communities and the antibiotic resistome between prawn mono- and poly-culture systems.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 207:111310 pii:S0147-6513(20)31147-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in mariculture sediments pose a potential risk to public health due to their ability to transfer from environmental bacteria to human pathogens. Long term, this may reduce pathogen susceptibility to antibiotics in medical settings. In recent years, the poly-culture of multiple species has become a popular mariculture approach in China, thanks to its environmental and economic benefits. However, differences in microbial communities and antibiotic resistome between mono- and poly-culture systems are still unclear. In this study, microbial community composition and profiles of entire (microbial DNA) and mobile (plasmid and phage) ARGs in prawn mono- and poly-culture systems were investigated using metagenomics. The abundance of several viruses and human pathogens were enhanced in prawn poly-culture ponds, when compared to monoculture systems. In contrast, sediments from poly-culture systems had a lower diversity and ARG abundance when compared to mono-culture approaches. These ARG variations were predominantly related to mobile genetic elements. Prawn mariculture activities exerted a unique selectivity for ARGs in plasmids, and this selectivity was not influenced by culture methods. The findings of this study have important implications for the selection of mariculture systems in preventing pollution with ARGs.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Babiker A, Bradley H, Stittleburg V, et al (2020)

Metagenomic sequencing to detect respiratory viruses in persons under investigation for COVID-19.

medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences.

We used metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) to assess the frequencies of alternative viral infections in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR negative persons under investigations (PUIs) (n=30) and viral co-infections in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive PUIs (n=45). mNGS identified both co-infections and alternative viral infections that were not detected by routine clinical workup.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Lee JH, Choi JP, Yang J, et al (2020)

Metagenome analysis using serum extracellular vesicles identified distinct microbiota in asthmatics.

Scientific reports, 10(1):15125 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-72242-w.

Different patterns of bacterial communities have been reported in the airways and gastrointestinal tract of asthmatics when compared to healthy controls. However, the blood microbiome of asthmatics is yet to be investigated. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether a distinct serum microbiome is observed in asthmatics by metagenomic analysis of serum extracellular vesicles (EVs). We obtained serum from 190 adults with asthma and 260 healthy controls, from which EVs were isolated and analyzed. The bacterial composition of asthmatics was significantly different from that of healthy controls. Chao 1 index was significantly higher in the asthma group, while Shannon and Simpson indices were higher in the control group. At the phylum level, Bacteroidetes was more abundant in asthmatics, while Actinobacter, Verrucomicrobia, and Cyanobacteria were more abundant in healthy controls. At the genus level, 24 bacterial genera showed differences in relative abundance between asthmatics and controls, with linear discriminant analysis scores greater than 3. Further, in a diagnostic model based on these differences, a high predictive value with a sensitivity of 0.92 and a specificity of 0.93 was observed. In conclusion, we demonstrated distinct blood microbiome in asthma indicating the role of microbiome as a potential diagnostic marker of asthma.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Chacón-Vargas K, Torres J, Giles-Gómez M, et al (2020)

Genomic profiling of bacterial and fungal communities and their predictive functionality during pulque fermentation by whole-genome shotgun sequencing.

Scientific reports, 10(1):15115 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-71864-4.

Pulque is a culturally important 4,000-year-old traditional Mexican fermented drink. Pulque is produced by adding fresh aguamiel (agave sap) to mature pulque, resulting in a mixture of microbial communities and chemical compositions. We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of five stages of pulque fermentation to characterize organismal and functional diversity. We identified 6 genera (Acinetobacter, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, Saccharomyces and Zymomonas) and 10 species (Acinetobacter boissieri, Acinetobacter nectaris, Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, Lactococcus lactis, Lactococcus piscium, Lactococcus plantarum, Leuconostoc citreum, Leuconostoc gelidum, Zymomonas mobilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that were present ≥ 1% in at least one stage of pulque fermentation. The abundance of genera and species changed during fermentation and was associated with a decrease in sucrose and increases in ethanol and lactic acid, suggesting that resource competition shapes organismal diversity. We also predicted functional profiles, based on organismal gene content, for each fermentation stage and identified an abundance of genes associated with the biosynthesis of folate, an essential B-vitamin. Additionally, we investigated the evolutionary relationships of S. cerevisiae and Z. mobilis, two of the major microbial species found in pulque. For S. cerevisiae, we used a metagenomics assembly approach to identify S. cerevisiae scaffolds from pulque, and performed phylogenetic analysis of these sequences along with a collection of 158 S. cerevisiae strains. This analysis suggests that S. cerevisiae from pulque is most closely related to Asian strains isolated from sake and bioethanol. Lastly, we isolated and sequenced the whole-genomes of three strains of Z. mobilis from pulque and compared their relationship to seven previously sequenced isolates. Our results suggest pulque strains may represent a distinct lineage of Z. mobilis.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Kinsella CM, Bart A, Deijs M, et al (2020)

Entamoeba and Giardia parasites implicated as hosts of CRESS viruses.

Nature communications, 11(1):4620 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-18474-w.

Metagenomic techniques have enabled genome sequencing of unknown viruses without isolation in cell culture, but information on the virus host is often lacking, preventing viral characterisation. High-throughput methods capable of identifying virus hosts based on genomic data alone would aid evaluation of their medical or biological relevance. Here, we address this by linking metagenomic discovery of three virus families in human stool samples with determination of probable hosts. Recombination between viruses provides evidence of a shared host, in which genetic exchange occurs. We utilise networks of viral recombination to delimit virus-host clusters, which are then anchored to specific hosts using (1) statistical association to a host organism in clinical samples, (2) endogenous viral elements in host genomes, and (3) evidence of host small RNA responses to these elements. This analysis suggests two CRESS virus families (Naryaviridae and Nenyaviridae) infect Entamoeba parasites, while a third (Vilyaviridae) infects Giardia duodenalis. The trio supplements five CRESS virus families already known to infect eukaryotes, extending the CRESS virus host range to protozoa. Phylogenetic analysis implies CRESS viruses infecting multicellular life have evolved independently on at least three occasions.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Toivonen L, Karppinen S, Schuez-Havupalo L, et al (2020)

Longitudinal Changes in Early Nasal Microbiota and the Risk of Childhood Asthma.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2020-0421 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: Although the airway microbiota is a highly dynamic ecology, the role of longitudinal changes in airway microbiota during early childhood in asthma development is unclear. We aimed to investigate the association of longitudinal changes in early nasal microbiota with the risk of developing asthma.

METHODS: In this prospective, population-based birth cohort study, we followed children from birth to age 7 years. The nasal microbiota was tested by using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing at ages 2, 13, and 24 months. We applied an unsupervised machine learning approach to identify longitudinal nasal microbiota profiles during age 2 to 13 months (the primary exposure) and during age 2 to 24 months (the secondary exposure) and examined the association of these profiles with the risk of physician-diagnosed asthma at age 7 years.

RESULTS: Of the analytic cohort of 704 children, 57 (8%) later developed asthma. We identified 4 distinct longitudinal nasal microbiota profiles during age 2 to 13 months. In the multivariable analysis, compared with the persistent Moraxella dominance profile during age 2 to 13 months, the persistent Moraxella sparsity profile was associated with a significantly higher risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio, 2.74; 95% confidence interval, 1.20-6.27). Similar associations were observed between the longitudinal changes in nasal microbiota during age 2 to 24 months and risk of asthma.

CONCLUSIONS: Children with an altered longitudinal pattern in the nasal microbiota during early childhood had a high risk of developing asthma. Our data guide the development of primary prevention strategies (eg, early identification of children at high risk and modification of microbiota) for childhood asthma. These observations present a new avenue for risk modification for asthma (eg, microbiota modification).

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Vascellari S, Palmas V, Melis M, et al (2020)

Gut Microbiota and Metabolome Alterations Associated with Parkinson's Disease.

mSystems, 5(5): pii:5/5/e00561-20.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the accumulation of intracellular aggregates of misfolded alpha-synuclein along the cerebral axis. Several studies report the association between intestinal dysbiosis and Parkinson's disease, although a cause-effect relationship remains to be established. Herein, the gut microbiota composition of 64 Italian patients with Parkinson's disease and 51 controls was determined using a next-generation sequencing approach. A real metagenomics shape based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was also investigated. The most significant changes within the Parkinson's disease group highlighted a reduction in bacterial taxa, which are linked to anti-inflammatory/neuroprotective effects, particularly in the Lachnospiraceae family and key members, such as Butyrivibrio, Pseudobutyrivibrio, Coprococcus, and Blautia The direct evaluation of fecal metabolites revealed changes in several classes of metabolites. Changes were seen in lipids (linoleic acid, oleic acid, succinic acid, and sebacic acid), vitamins (pantothenic acid and nicotinic acid), amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, glutamic acid, and pyroglutamic acid) and other organic compounds (cadaverine, ethanolamine, and hydroxy propionic acid). Most modified metabolites strongly correlated with the abundance of members belonging to the Lachnospiraceae family, suggesting that these gut bacteria correlate with altered metabolism rates in Parkinson's disease.IMPORTANCE To our knowledge, this is one of the few studies thus far that correlates the composition of the gut microbiota with the direct analysis of fecal metabolites in patients with Parkinson's disease. Overall, our data highlight microbiota modifications correlated with numerous fecal metabolites. This suggests that Parkinson's disease is associated with gut dysregulation that involves a synergistic relationship between gut microbes and several bacterial metabolites favoring altered homeostasis. Interestingly, a reduction of short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria influenced the shape of the metabolomics profile, affecting several metabolites with potential protective effects in the Parkinson group. On the other hand, the extensive impact that intestinal dysbiosis has at the level of numerous metabolic pathways could encourage the identification of specific biomarkers for the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson's disease, also in light of the effect that specific drugs have on the composition of the intestinal microbiota.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Ross DE, Marshall CW, Gulliver D, et al (2020)

Defining Genomic and Predicted Metabolic Features of the Acetobacterium Genus.

mSystems, 5(5): pii:5/5/e00277-20.

Acetogens are anaerobic bacteria capable of fixing CO2 or CO to produce acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and ultimately acetate using the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP). Acetobacterium woodii is the type strain of the Acetobacterium genus and has been critical for understanding the biochemistry and energy conservation in acetogens. Members of the Acetobacterium genus have been isolated from a variety of environments or have had genomes recovered from metagenome data, but no systematic investigation has been done on the unique and various metabolisms of the genus. To gain a better appreciation for the metabolic breadth of the genus, we sequenced the genomes of 4 isolates (A. fimetarium, A. malicum, A. paludosum, and A. tundrae) and conducted a comparative genome analysis (pan-genome) of 11 different Acetobacterium genomes. A unifying feature of the Acetobacterium genus is the carbon-fixing WLP. The methyl (cluster II) and carbonyl (cluster III) branches of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway are highly conserved across all sequenced Acetobacterium genomes, but cluster I encoding the formate dehydrogenase is not. In contrast to A. woodii, all but four strains encode two distinct Rnf clusters, Rnf being the primary respiratory enzyme complex. Metabolism of fructose, lactate, and H2:CO2 was conserved across the genus, but metabolism of ethanol, methanol, caffeate, and 2,3-butanediol varied. Additionally, clade-specific metabolic potential was observed, such as amino acid transport and metabolism in the psychrophilic species, and biofilm formation in the A. wieringae clade, which may afford these groups an advantage in low-temperature growth or attachment to solid surfaces, respectively.IMPORTANCE Acetogens are anaerobic bacteria capable of fixing CO2 or CO to produce acetyl-CoA and ultimately acetate using the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway (WLP). This autotrophic metabolism plays a major role in the global carbon cycle and, if harnessed, can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the data presented here provide a framework for examining the ecology and evolution of the Acetobacterium genus and highlight the potential of these species as a source for production of fuels and chemicals from CO2 feedstocks.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

AlHilli MM, V Bae-Jump (2020)

Diet and gut microbiome interactions in gynecologic cancer.

Gynecologic oncology pii:S0090-8258(20)33828-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic surge in research exploring the human gut microbiome and its role in health and disease. It is now widely accepted that commensal microorganisms coexist within the human gastrointestinal tract and other organs, including those of the reproductive tract. These microorganisms, which are collectively known as the "microbiome", contribute to maintaining host physiology and to the development of pathology. Next generation sequencing and multi-'omics' technology has enriched our understanding of the complex and interdependent relationship that exists between the host and microbiome. Global changes in the microbiome are known to be influenced by dietary, genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Accumulating data have shown that alterations in the gut microbiome contribute to the development, prognosis and treatment of many disease states including cancer primarily through interactions with the immune system. However, there are large gaps in knowledge regarding the association between the gut microbiome and gynecologic cancers, and research characterizing the reproductive tract microbiome is insufficient. Herein, we explore the mechanisms by which alterations in the gut and reproductive tract microbiome contribute to carcinogenesis focusing on obesity, hyperestrogenism, inflammation and altered tumor metabolism. The impact of the gut microbiome on response to anti-cancer therapy is highlighted with an emphasis on immune checkpoint inhibitor efficacy in gynecologic cancers. We discuss dietary interventions that are likely to modulate the metabolic and immunologic milieu as well as tumor microenvironment through the gut microbiome including intermittent fasting/ketogenic diet, high fiber diet, use of probiotics and the metabolic management of obesity. We conclude that enhanced understanding of the microbiome in gynecologic cancers coupled with thorough evaluation of metabolic and metagenomic analyses would enable us to integrate novel preventative strategies and adjunctive interventions into the care of women with gynecologic cancers.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Awan MG, Deslippe J, Buluc A, et al (2020)

ADEPT: a domain independent sequence alignment strategy for gpu architectures.

BMC bioinformatics, 21(1):406 pii:10.1186/s12859-020-03720-1.

BACKGROUND: Bioinformatic workflows frequently make use of automated genome assembly and protein clustering tools. At the core of most of these tools, a significant portion of execution time is spent in determining optimal local alignment between two sequences. This task is performed with the Smith-Waterman algorithm, which is a dynamic programming based method. With the advent of modern sequencing technologies and increasing size of both genome and protein databases, a need for faster Smith-Waterman implementations has emerged. Multiple SIMD strategies for the Smith-Waterman algorithm are available for CPUs. However, with the move of HPC facilities towards accelerator based architectures, a need for an efficient GPU accelerated strategy has emerged. Existing GPU based strategies have either been optimized for a specific type of characters (Nucleotides or Amino Acids) or for only a handful of application use-cases.

RESULTS: In this paper, we present ADEPT, a new sequence alignment strategy for GPU architectures that is domain independent, supporting alignment of sequences from both genomes and proteins. Our proposed strategy uses GPU specific optimizations that do not rely on the nature of sequence. We demonstrate the feasibility of this strategy by implementing the Smith-Waterman algorithm and comparing it to similar CPU strategies as well as the fastest known GPU methods for each domain. ADEPT's driver enables it to scale across multiple GPUs and allows easy integration into software pipelines which utilize large scale computational systems. We have shown that the ADEPT based Smith-Waterman algorithm demonstrates a peak performance of 360 GCUPS and 497 GCUPs for protein based and DNA based datasets respectively on a single GPU node (8 GPUs) of the Cori Supercomputer. Overall ADEPT shows 10x faster performance in a node-to-node comparison against a corresponding SIMD CPU implementation.

CONCLUSIONS: ADEPT demonstrates a performance that is either comparable or better than existing GPU strategies. We demonstrated the efficacy of ADEPT in supporting existing bionformatics software pipelines by integrating ADEPT in MetaHipMer a high-performance denovo metagenome assembler and PASTIS a high-performance protein similarity graph construction pipeline. Our results show 10% and 30% boost of performance in MetaHipMer and PASTIS respectively.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Perez-Garcia J, Hernández-Pérez JM, González-Pérez R, et al (2020)

The Genomics and Metagenomics of Asthma Severity (GEMAS) Study: Rationale and Design.

Journal of personalized medicine, 10(3): pii:jpm10030123.

Asthma exacerbations are a major contributor to the global disease burden, but no significant predictive biomarkers are known. The Genomics and Metagenomics of Asthma Severity (GEMAS) study aims to assess the role of genomics and the microbiome in severe asthma exacerbations. Here, we present the design of GEMAS and the characteristics of patients recruited from March 2018 to March 2020. Different biological samples and demographic and clinical variables were collected from asthma patients recruited by allergy and pulmonary medicine units in several hospitals from Spain. Cases and controls were defined by the presence/absence of severe asthma exacerbations in the past year (oral corticosteroid use, emergency room visits, and/or asthma-related hospitalizations). A total of 137 cases and 120 controls were recruited. After stratifying by recruitment location (i.e., Canary Islands and Basque Country), cases and controls did not differ for most demographic and clinical variables (p > 0.05). However, cases showed a higher proportion of characteristics inherent to asthma exacerbations (impaired lung function, severe disease, uncontrolled asthma, gastroesophageal reflux, and use of asthma medications) compared to controls (p < 0.05). Similar results were found after stratification by recruitment unit. Thereby, asthma patients enrolled in GEMAS are balanced for potential confounders and have clinical characteristics that support the phenotype definition. GEMAS will improve the knowledge of potential biomarkers of asthma exacerbations.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Dell'Anno F, Brunet C, van Zyl LJ, et al (2020)

Degradation of Hydrocarbons and Heavy Metal Reduction by Marine Bacteria in Highly Contaminated Sediments.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091402.

Investigations on the ability of bacteria to enhance removal of hydrocarbons and reduce heavy metal toxicity in sediments are necessary to design more effective bioremediation strategies. In this study, five bacterial strains, Halomonas sp. SZN1, Alcanivorax sp. SZN2, Pseudoalteromonas sp. SZN3, Epibacterium sp. SZN4, and Virgibacillus sp. SZN7, were isolated from polluted sediments from an abandoned industrial site in the Gulf of Naples, Mediterranean Sea, and tested for their bioremediation efficiency on sediment samples collected from the same site. These bacteria were added as consortia or as individual cultures into polluted sediments to assess biodegradation efficiency of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metal immobilisation capacity. Our results indicate that these bacteria were able to remove polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, with a removal rate up to ca. 80% for dibenzo-anthracene. In addition, these bacteria reduced arsenic, lead, and cadmium mobility by promoting their partitioning into less mobile and bioavailable fractions. Microbial consortia generally showed higher performance toward pollutants as compared with pure isolates, suggesting potential synergistic interactions able to enhance bioremediation capacity. Overall, our findings suggest that highly polluted sediments select for bacteria efficient at reducing the toxicity of hazardous compounds, paving the way for scaled-up bioremediation trials.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Lobo PS, Cardoso JF, Barata RR, et al (2020)

Near-complete genome of Cosavirus A from a child hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis, Brazil.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases pii:S1567-1348(20)30386-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Acute gastroenteritis (AG) is accounting for 525,000 deaths worldwide in children under-5-years, however, there is still a significant percentage of Acute gastroenteritis (AG) is accounting for 525,000 deaths worldwide in children under-5-years however; there is still a significant percentage of cases of diarrhea (≈40%) with unknown etiology. The Human Cosavirus (HCosV) belongs to the Picornaviridae family and in Brazil, few studies reported HCosV-A sequences analyzing partial 5' UTR. This report characterized the first complete genome of a Cosavirus A strain (AM326) from a child hospitalized with AG in Brazil. Sequencing was performed using the HiSeq™ 2500 platform (Illumina) in one fecal specimen collected from the Surveillance of Rotavirus Network of Evandro Chagas Institute collected in 2017. Sequence reads were assembled using De Novo approach with IDBA-UD, Spades, and MegaHit. HCosV-AM326 assembled with 7735 nt (GenBank MT023104) and showed a new variant strain from Brazil, highlighting the association of HCosV-A as a possible pathogen in this patient. This finding demonstrates the need for the use of high-throughput sequencing to elucidate cases of diarrhea with no defined etiology, making epidemiological surveillance more active to decrease severe cases of AG in children and understand the epidemiology, genetics, and evolution of this virus.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Dar D, Thomashow LS, Weller DM, et al (2020)

Global landscape of phenazine biosynthesis and biodegradation reveals species-specific colonization patterns in agricultural soils and crop microbiomes.

eLife, 9: pii:59726 [Epub ahead of print].

Phenazines are natural bacterial antibiotics that can protect crops from disease. However, for most crops it is unknown which producers and specific phenazines are ecologically relevant, and whether phenazine biodegradation can counter their effects. To better understand their ecology, we developed and environmentally-validated a quantitative metagenomic approach to mine for phenazine biosynthesis and biodegradation genes, applying it to >800 soil and plant-associated shotgun-metagenomes. We discover novel producer-crop associations and demonstrate that phenazine biosynthesis is prevalent across habitats and preferentially enriched in rhizospheres, whereas biodegrading bacteria are rare. We validate an association between maize and Dyella japonica, a putative producer abundant in crop microbiomes. D. japonica upregulates phenazine biosynthesis during phosphate limitation and robustly colonizes maize seedling roots. This work provides a global picture of phenazines in natural environments and highlights plant-microbe associations of agricultural potential. Our metagenomic approach may be extended to other metabolites and functional traits in diverse ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Taylor H, Serrano-Contreras JI, McDonald JAK, et al (2020)

Multiomic features associated with mucosal healing and inflammation in paediatric Crohn's disease.

Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The gastrointestinal microbiota has an important role in mucosal immune homoeostasis and may contribute to maintaining mucosal healing in Crohn's disease (CD).

AIM: To identify changes in the microbiota, metabolome and protease activity associated with mucosal healing in established paediatric CD.

METHODS: Twenty-five participants aged 3-18 years with CD, disease duration of over 6 months, and maintenance treatment with biological therapy were recruited. They were divided into a low calprotectin group (faecal calprotectin <100 μg/g, "mucosal healing," n = 11), and a high calprotectin group (faecal calprotectin >100 μg/g, "mucosal inflammation," n = 11). 16S gene-based metataxonomics, 1 H-NMR spectroscopy-based metabolic profiling and protease activity assays were performed on stool samples.

RESULTS: Relative abundance of Dialister species was six times greater in the low calprotectin group (q = 0.00999). Alpha and beta diversity, total protease activity and inferred metagenomic profiles did not differ between groups. Pentanoate (valerate) and lysine were principal discriminators in a machine-learning model which differentiated high and low calprotectin samples using NMR spectra (R2 0.87, Q2 0.41). Mean relative concentration of pentanoate was 1.35-times greater in the low calprotectin group (95% CI 1.03-1.68, P = 0.036) and was positively correlated with Dialister. Mean relative concentration of lysine was 1.54-times greater in the high calprotectin group (95% CI 1.05-2.03, P = 0.028).

CONCLUSIONS: This multiomic study identified an increase in Dialister species and pentanoate, and a decrease in lysine, in patients with "mucosal healing." It supports further investigation of these as potential novel therapeutic targets in CD.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Zhu JW, Zhang SJ, Wang WG, et al (2020)

Strategies for Discovering New Antibiotics from Bacteria in the Post-Genomic Era.

Current microbiology pii:10.1007/s00284-020-02197-8 [Epub ahead of print].

New antibiotics are urgently required in clinical treatment and agriculture with the development of antimicrobial resistance. However, products discovered by repeating previous strategies are either not antibiotics or already known antibiotics. There is a growing demand for efficient strategies to discover new antibiotics. With the continuous improvement of gene sequencing technology and genomic data, some mining strategies have emerged. These strategies are expected to alleviate the current dilemma of antibiotics. In this review, we discuss the recent advances in discovery of bacterial antibiotics from the following aspects: activation of silent gene clusters, genome mining and metagenome mining. In the future, we envision the discovery of natural antibiotic will be accelerated by the combination of these strategies.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Kumwenda GP, Sugawara Y, Akeda Y, et al (2020)

Genomic features of plasmids coding for KPC-2, NDM-5 or OXA-48 carbapenemases in Enterobacteriaceae from Malawi.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy pii:5905636 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Korte SW, Dorfmeyer RA, Franklin CL, et al (2020)

Acute and long-term effects of antibiotics commonly used in laboratory animal medicine on the fecal microbiota.

Veterinary research, 51(1):116 pii:10.1186/s13567-020-00839-0.

Biomedical research relies on the use of animal models, and the animals used in those models receive medical care, including antibiotics for brief periods of time to treat conditions such as dermatitis, fight wounds, and suspected bacterial pathogens of unknown etiology. As many mouse model phenotypes are sensitive to changes in the gut microbiota, our goal was to examine the effect of antibiotics commonly administered to mice. Therefore, four treatment groups (subcutaneous enrofloxacin for 7 days, oral enrofloxacin for 14 days, oral trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole for 14 days, and topical triple antibiotic ointment for 14 days) alongside a fifth control group receiving no treatment (n = 12/group) were included in our study. Fecal samples were collected prior to treatment, immediately after two weeks of exposure, and four weeks after cessation of treatment, and subjected to 16S rRNA library sequencing. The entire experimental design was replicated in mice from two different suppliers. As expected, several treatments including enrofloxacin and triple antibiotic ointment substantially decreased the amount of DNA recovered from fecal material, as well as the microbial richness. Notably, many of these effects were long-lasting with diminished gut microbiota (GM) richness four weeks following exposure, in both substrains of mice. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole induced minimal to no discernible changes in the taxonomic composition beyond that seen in control mice. Collectively, these data highlight the need to consider the impact on GM of brief and seemingly routine use of antibiotics in the clinical care of research animals.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

B Henry A, Maung CEH, KY Kim (Professor) (2020)

Metagenomic analysis reveals enhanced biodiversity and composting efficiency of lignocellulosic waste by thermoacidophilic effective microorganism (tEM).

Journal of environmental management, 276:111252 pii:S0301-4797(20)31176-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Composting is a microbiological process that converts organic waste into organic soil amendment. We reveal enhanced biodiversity and microbial population with subsequent enhancement of composting efficiency of lignocellulosic waste using thermoacidophilic effective microorganisms (tEM). Composting with tEM + shading (tEMA) or tEM without shading (tEMB) increased the average microbial population by 12.0% or 6.7%, respectively compared to non-tEM composting without shading/control (C). The biodiversity in tEMA or tEMB treated groups was increased by 34.7% or 43.7%, respectively, compared to C. The highest increase in population (31.7% and 9.4%) and diversity (91.2% and 91.6%) were observed in tEMA and tEMB at 30 d, respectively. Regarding microbial structure, the most dominant phylum shifted from Proteobacteria to Bacteroidetes during composting. From 60 to 120 d, tEM notably improved the average abundance of Firmicutes (mainly Bacillus) by 166.7% and 75.8% in tEMA and tEMB groups, respectively. The overall gradation rate of large compost granules (<2 mm) increased by 36.4% and 24.7%, following tEMA and tEMB treatment, respectively. The average rate of increase in bulk density was 42.6% or 33.3% by tEMA or tEMB, respectively, compared to C. We reveal the major differences in microbial structure, including a higher abundance of beneficial microbes like Bacillus in tEM treated composts. The study revealed that tEM could improve biodiversity and population of microbes, especially during thermophilic phase (above 45 °C), with a subsequent increase in composting rate, mineralization, and product quality. The results of this study are particularly invaluable in the areas of environmental conservation and organic agriculture.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Myrtollari K, Katsoulakis N, Zarafeta D, et al (2020)

Activity and specificity studies of the new thermostable esterase EstDZ2.

Bioorganic chemistry, 104:104214 pii:S0045-2068(20)31511-X [Epub ahead of print].

In this paper, we study the activity and specificity of EstDZ2, a new thermostable carboxyl esterase of unknown function, which was isolated from a metagenome library from a Russian hot spring. The biocatalytic reaction employing EstDZ2 proved to be an efficient method for the hydrolysis of aryl p-, o- or m-substituted esters of butyric acid and esters of secondary alcohols. Docking studies revealed structural features of the enzyme that led to activity differences among the different substrates.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Louise-Eva VANDENBORGHT, Enaud R, Urien C, et al (2020)

Type 2-high asthma is associated with a specific indoor mycobiome and microbiome.

The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology pii:S0091-6749(20)31248-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The links between microbial environmental exposures and asthma are well documented, but no study has combined deep-sequencing results from pulmonary and indoor microbiomes of asthmatic patients with spirometry, clinical and endotype parameters.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to investigate the links between indoor microbial exposures and pulmonary microbial communities and to document the role of microbial exposures on inflammatory and clinical outcomes of patients with severe asthma (SA).

METHODS: Fifty-five SA patients from the national COBRA cohort were enrolled for analyzing their indoor microbial flora through the use of electrostatic dust collectors (EDCs). Among these patients, 22 were able to produce sputa during stable or pulmonary exacerbation periods and had complete pairs of EDC and sputum samples, both collected and analysed. We used amplicon targeted metagenomics to compare microbial communities from EDC and sputum samples of patients according to type 2 (T2)-asthma endotypes.

RESULTS: Compared to patients with T2-low SA, patients with T2-high SA exhibited an increase in bacterial alpha-diversity and a decrease in fungal alpha-diversity of their indoor microbial floras, the latter being significantly correlated with FeNO levels. The beta-diversity of the EDC mycobiome significantly clustered according to T2 endotypes. Moreover, the proportion of fungal taxa in common between sputum and EDC samples was significantly higher when patients exhibited acute exacerbation.

CONCLUSION: These results illustrated, for the first time, a potential association between the indoor mycobiome and clinical features of SA patients, which should renew interest in deciphering the interactions between indoor environment, fungi, and host in asthma.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Li H, Young SE, Poulsen M, et al (2020)

Symbiont-Mediated Digestion of Plant Biomass in Fungus-Farming Insects.

Annual review of entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Feeding on living or dead plant material is widespread in insects. Seminal work on termites and aphids has provided profound insights into the critical nutritional role that microbes play in plant-feeding insects. Some ants, beetles, and termites, among others, have evolved the ability to use microbes to gain indirect access to plant substrate through the farming of a fungus on which they feed. Recent genomic studies, including studies of insect hosts and fungal and bacterial symbionts, as well as metagenomics and proteomics, have provided important insights into plant biomass digestion across insect-fungal mutualisms. Advances in understanding of the divergent and complementary functions of complex symbionts not only reveal the mechanism of how these herbivorous insects catabolize plant biomass, but also represent a promising reservoir for carbohydrate-active enzyme discovery, which is of considerable biotechnological interest. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66 is January 11, 2020. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Rozanov AS, Korzhuk AV, Shlyakhtun VN, et al (2020)

Metagenomic data on prokaryotic diversity of Kunashir island geothermal spring.

Data in brief, 32:106244 pii:106244.

This is data on the microbial diversity of a geothermal spring located on the banks of the acidic creek of Kunashir Island. Data was obtained using 16s rRNA amplicon directed metagenomic sequencing on Illumina MiSeq. The raw sequence data used for analysis is available in NCBI under the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) with the BioProject No. PRJNA637298, PRJNA637447 and SRA accession number SRP265942, SRP266050. The data sequences of the 16s rRNA gene are presented at the accession numbers MT604934-MT604967, MT604911-MT604921 in NCBI GenBank database.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Custodio M, Ordinola-Zapata A, Espinoza C, et al (2020)

Metagenomic data on the composition of bacterial communities in lake environment sediments for fish farming by next generation Illumina sequencing.

Data in brief, 32:106228 pii:106228.

This article contains data on the bacterial communities of lagoon sediments with fish potential in the Central Andes of Peru. The surface sediment samples were collected from four lagoons destined for continental water fish farming. DNA extraction was performed from 0.5 g of sample through the Presto™ Soil DNA Extraction Kit. Bacterial sequencing of the 16S rRNA amplicon was performed on the DNA extracted from the sediment. At least 36 Phyla bacteria were detected, the bacterial communities being dominated by Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Chloroflexi. These data can be used for predictive analysis to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of bacterial communities in environments under pressure from fish farming.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Zysset-Burri DC, Keller I, Berger LE, et al (2020)

Associations of the intestinal microbiome with the complement system in neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

NPJ genomic medicine, 5:34 pii:141.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss in the aged population. The etiology of AMD is multifactorial including nutritional factors, genetic variants mainly in the complement pathway, environmental risk factors and alterations in the intestinal microbiome. However, it remains unexplored whether there is an interdependency of these factors leading to the development of AMD. To investigate this issue, a shotgun metagenomics analysis of 57 neovascular AMD and 58 healthy controls as well as of 16 complement C3-deficient mice and 16 wildtypes was performed. Whereas the class Negativicutes was more abundant in patients, the genus Oscillibacter and species Bacteroides had a significantly higher prevalence in persons without AMD. Similar taxonomic features were identified that distinguished wildtype mice from C3-deficient mice. Moreover, several purine signaling pathways were associated with both, neovascular AMD and C3 deficiency. While SNPs within the complement factor B gene were more abundant in controls, SNPs within the high temperature requirement A serine peptidase 1 and complement factor H (CFH) genes were associated with neovascular AMD. Using a classification model, Negativicutes was identified as a potential biomarker for AMD and furthermore, it positively correlated with CFH. This study suggests an association between the intestinal microbiome and the complement system in neovascular AMD.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Wirth R, Maróti G, Mihók R, et al (2020)

A case study of salivary microbiome in smokers and non-smokers in Hungary: analysis by shotgun metagenome sequencing.

Journal of oral microbiology, 12(1):1773067 pii:1773067.

Objective: To investigate the role of cigarette smoking in disease-development through altering the composition of the oral microbial community. Periodontitis and oral cancer are highly prevalent in Hungary; therefore, the salivary microbiome of smoker and non-smoker Hungarian adults was characterized.

Methods: Shotgun metagenome sequencing of salivary DNA samples from 22 individuals (11 non-smokers and 11 current smokers) was performed using the Ion Torrent PGMTM platform. Quality-filtered reads were analysed by both alignment-based sequence similarity searches and genome-centric binning.

Results: Prevotella, Veillonella and Streptococcus were the predominant genera in the saliva of both groups. Although the overall composition and diversity of the microbiota were similar, Prevotella was significantly more abundant in salivary samples of current smokers compared to non-smokers. Members of the genus Prevotella were implicated in the development of inflammatory diseases and oral cancer. The abundance of the genus Megasphaera also increased in current smokers, whereas the genera Neisseria, Oribacterium, Capnocytophaga and Porphyromonas were significantly reduced. The data generated by read-based taxonomic classification and genome-centric binning mutually validated the two distinct metagenomic approaches.

Conclusion: Smoking-associated dysbiosis of the salivary microbiome in current cigarette smokers, especially increased abundance of Prevotella and Megasphaera genera, may facilitate disease development.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Huang T, Chen Y, Zhang J, et al (2020)

Rapid and accurate diagnosis of brain abscess caused by Nocardia asiatica in combination of Ziehl-Neelsen stain and metagenomics next generation sequencing.

A 61-year-old woman with history of left breast cancer resection and diabetes mellitus, who reported a 7-month discontinuous cough and fever, was admitted to our hospital. On the third day in the hospital, she had a sudden loss of consciousness. From the brain MRI (Figure 1-(1) A-D), ring enhancing mass lesions in the horizontal, coronal and sagittal gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images were identified in the right anterior temporal lobe. Based on her fever history and MRI features, it suggested that the temporal lesions were abscesses.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Li Q, Hu W, Liu WX, et al (2020)

Streptococcus thermophilus inhibits colorectal tumorigenesis through secreting β-galactosidase.

Gastroenterology pii:S0016-5085(20)35129-5 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Streptococcus thermophilus was identified to be depleted in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) by shotgun metagenomic sequencing of 526 multi-cohort fecal samples. Here, we aim to investigate if this bacterium could act as a prophylactics for CRC prevention.

METHODS: The anti-tumor effects of S. thermophilus were assessed in cultured colonic epithelial cells and in two murine models of intestinal tumorigenesis. The tumor-suppressive protein produced by S. thermophilus was identified by mass spectrometry and followed by β-galactosidase activity assay. The mutant strain of S. thermophilus was constructed by homologous recombination. The effect of S. thermophilus on the gut microbiota composition was assessed by shot-gun metagenomic sequencing.

RESULTS: Oral gavage of S. thermophilus significantly reduced tumor formation in both Apcmin/+ and azoxymethane-injected mice. Co-incubation with S. thermophilus or its conditioned medium decreased the proliferation of cultured CRC cells. β-galactosidase was identified as the critical protein produced by S. thermophilus by mass-spectrometry screening and β-galactosidase activity assay. β-galactosidase secreted by S. thermophilus inhibited cell proliferation, lowered colony formation, induced cell cycle arrest, and promoted apoptosis of cultured CRC cells and retarded the growth of CRC xenograft. The mutant S. thermophilus without functional β-galactosidase lost its tumor-suppressive effect. Also, S. thermophilus increased the gut abundance of known probiotics, including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus via β-galactosidase. β-galactosidase-dependent production of galactose interfered with energy homeostasis to activate oxidative phosphorylation and downregulate the Hippo pathways kinases, which partially mediated the anticancer effects of S. thermophilus.

CONCLUSION: S. thermophilus is a novel prophylactics for CRC prevention in mice. The tumor-suppressive effect of S. thermophilus is mediated at least by the secretion of β-galactosidase.

RevDate: 2020-09-13

Seelbinder B, Chen J, Brunke S, et al (2020)

Antibiotics create a shift from mutualism to competition in human gut communities with a longer-lasting impact on fungi than bacteria.

Microbiome, 8(1):133 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00899-6.

BACKGROUND: Antibiotic treatment has a well-established detrimental effect on the gut bacterial composition, but effects on the fungal community are less clear. Bacteria in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract may limit fungal colonization and invasion. Antibiotic drugs targeting bacteria are therefore seen as an important risk factor for fungal infections and induced allergies. However, antibiotic effects on gut bacterial-fungal interactions, including disruption and resilience of fungal community compositions, were not investigated in humans. We analysed stool samples collected from 14 healthy human participants over 3 months following a 6-day antibiotic administration. We integrated data from shotgun metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics, and fungal ITS2 sequencing.

RESULTS: While the bacterial community recovered mostly over 3 months post treatment, the fungal community was shifted from mutualism at baseline to competition. Half of the bacterial-fungal interactions present before drug intervention had disappeared 3 months later. During treatment, fungal abundances were associated with the expression of bacterial genes with functions for cell growth and repair. By extending the metagenomic species approach, we revealed bacterial strains inhibiting the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans. We demonstrated in vitro how C. albicans pathogenicity and host cell damage might be controlled naturally in the human gut by bacterial metabolites such as propionate or 5-dodecenoate.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that antibacterial drugs have long-term influence on the human gut mycobiome. While bacterial communities recovered mostly 30-days post antibacterial treatment, the fungal community was shifted from mutualism towards competition. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Zhang H, Wang Q, Zhao J, et al (2020)

Quantitative microbiome profiling links microbial community variation to the intestine regeneration rate of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus.

Genomics pii:S0888-7543(20)30875-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The intestinal microbiota may play important roles in regenerating intestine of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In the present study, a germ-free sea cucumber model was developed, and the intestinal microbial differentiation of faster and slower regenerating A. japonicus individuals during intestine regeneration was analyzed. The results revealed that depletion of the intestinal microbiota resulted in elevated abundance of the potential key players Flavobacteriaceae and Rhodobacteraceae during intestine regeneration and thus promoted the intestine regeneration rate of A. japonicus. Metagenomic analysis revealed that the increased abundance of Flavobacteriaceae elevated the enrichment of genes associated with carbohydrate utilization, whereas the abundant Rhodobacteraceae-enriched genes were associated with polyhydroxybutyrate production. We identified microbiota abundance as a key driver of microbial community alterations, especially beneficial microbiota members, in the developing intestine of A. japonicus. This study provides new insights into the mechanism of host-microbiota interactions related to organ regeneration.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Tsai CM, Chen JW, WC Lin (2020)

Effects of Acanthamoeba castellanii on the dissolved oxygen and the microbial community under the experimental aquatic model.

Experimental parasitology pii:S0014-4894(20)30299-X [Epub ahead of print].

Acanthamoeba castellanii is a protist that has a high predation efficiency for bacteria in a number of monoxenic culture experiments. However, the role of A. castellanii in the microbial community is still unknown because of the lack of studies on multiple-species interactions. The aim of this study was to investigate the change of bacterial composition after A. castellanii emerges in a water environment. We added A. castellanii to an environmental water sample and incubated it for two days. Then, we performed 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing techniques to analyze the changes in bacterial composition. In this study, A. castellanii slightly increased the relative abundance of a few opportunistic pathogens, such as Legionella, Roseomonas, and Haemophilus. This result may be related to the training ground hypothesis. On the other hand, the growth of some bacteria was inhibited, such as Cyanobacteria and Firmicutes. Although A. castellanii did not drastically change the whole bacterial community, we surprisingly found the dissolved oxygen concentration was increased after incubation with A. castellanii. We applied environmental water at the laboratory scale to investigate the interactions among A. castellanii, complex microbial communities and the environment. We identified the bacteria that are sensitive to A. castellanii and further found the novel relationship between dissolved oxygen and microbial interaction. Our results helped to clarify the role of A. castellanii in microbial communities.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Ennis NJ, Dharumaduri D, Bryce JG, et al (2020)

Metagenome Across a Geochemical Gradient of Indian Stone Ruins Found at Historic Sites in Tamil Nadu, India.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01598-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Although stone surfaces seem unlikely to be habitable, they support microbial life. Life on these surfaces are subjected to many varying harsh conditions and require the inhabitants to exhibit resistance to environmental factors including UV irradiation, toxic metal exposure, and fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Here we report the effect of hosting stone geochemistry on the microbiome of stone ruins found in Tamil Nadu, India. The microbial communities found on the two lithologies, granite and granodiorite, hosted distinct populations of bacteria. Geochemical composition analysis of sampled stones revealed quartz mineral content as a major driver of microbial community structure, particularly promoting community richness and proportions of Cyanobacteria and Deinococcus-Thermus. Other geochemical parameters including ilmenite, albite, anorthite, and orthoclase components or elemental concentrations (Ti, Fe, Mn, Na, and K) also influenced community structure to a lesser degree than quartz. Core members of the stone microbiome community found on both lithologies were also identified and included Cyanobacteria (Chroococcidiopsaceae and Dapisostemonum CCIBt 3536), Rubrobacter, and Deinococcus. A cluster of taxa including Sphingomonas, Geodermatophilus, and Truepera were mostly found in the granodiorite samples. Community diversity correlated with quartz mineral content in these samples may indicate that the microbial communities that attach to quartz surfaces may be transient and regularly changing. This work has expanded our understanding of built-stone microbial community structure based on lithology and geochemistry.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Mezmale L, Coelho LG, Bordin D, et al (2020)

Review: Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori.

Helicobacter, 25 Suppl 1:e12734.

This review summarizes the recent knowledge on the epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori and the potential modes of transmission. In addition to English language publications, the authors have included original full-text publications from Russia and Latin America published in the original languages. High H pylori prevalence has been reported in Russia, Jordan, Iran, China, and Latin American countries as well as in Arctic populations in Canada. Indigenous inhabitants in the Arctic were found to be infected substantially more frequently than non-indigenous inhabitants. In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the ethnic minority groups were at a significantly higher risk of being H pylori seropositive compared to the Dutch population. For the first time, data on the prevalence from Armenia have been published indicating 41.5% H pylori prevalence. Convincing evidence on the decline of H pylori prevalence in Southeast Hungary and Taiwan was published. A study from Chile suggested high infection rates in newborns during the first month after birth. Two meta-analyses covered the potential correlation between H pylori and periodontal diseases, therefore addressing the potential oro-oral transmission rates. Periodontal disease was found to be more prevalent in H pylori-infected subjects. Other studies addressed the potential role of drinking water and food products as well as socioeconomic factors in transmitting the infection. Several studies in Asia addressed annual reinfection rates of H pylori, ranging from 1.5% in China to 3.1% in Korea. Finally, a review was published on the current evidence and future perspective of analysing H pylori in ancient human remains by a metagenomic approach.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Cornejo-Castillo FM, JP Zehr (2020)

Intriguing size distribution of the uncultured and globally widespread marine non-cyanobacterial diazotroph Gamma-A.

The ISME journal pii:10.1038/s41396-020-00765-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Non-cyanobacterial diazotrophs (NCDs) have recently emerged as potentially important contributors to marine nitrogen fixation. One of the most widely distributed NCDs is Gamma-A, yet information about its autecology is still scarce and solely relies on the PCR-based detection of its nitrogenase (nifH) gene in seawater, since previous metagenomic surveys targeting free-living planktonic size fractions (<3 μm) have not detected it. Here, we explore the diversity, biogeography, size-distribution, and nitrogenase gene expression of Gamma-A across four larger planktonic size-fractions (0.8-5, 5-20, 20-180, and 180-2000 μm) using metagenomes and metatranscriptomes from the Tara Oceans. We detected a single variant of a complete Gamma-A nifH gene along with other nitrogenase-related genes (nifKDT) within a metatranscriptomic-based contig of the Marine Atlas of Tara Ocean Unigenes. Gamma-A was detected in tropical and subtropical oceanic regions across all the size-fractions. However, the highest gene and transcript abundances were found in the 0.8-5 and 5-20 μm size-fractions at the surface, whereas abundances at the deep chlorophyll maximum were lower and similar across all size-fractions. The ubiquitous presence of active Gamma-A in large planktonic size-fractions suggests a filamentous or particle-attached lifestyle and places its potential to fix nitrogen in larger planktonic compartments.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Vaga S, Lee S, Ji B, et al (2020)

Compositional and functional differences of the mucosal microbiota along the intestine of healthy individuals.

Scientific reports, 10(1):14977 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-71939-2.

Gut mucosal microbes evolved closest to the host, developing specialized local communities. There is, however, insufficient knowledge of these communities as most studies have employed sequencing technologies to investigate faecal microbiota only. This work used shotgun metagenomics of mucosal biopsies to explore the microbial communities' compositions of terminal ileum and large intestine in 5 healthy individuals. Functional annotations and genome-scale metabolic modelling of selected species were then employed to identify local functional enrichments. While faecal metagenomics provided a good approximation of the average gut mucosal microbiome composition, mucosal biopsies allowed detecting the subtle variations of local microbial communities. Given their significant enrichment in the mucosal microbiota, we highlight the roles of Bacteroides species and describe the antimicrobial resistance biogeography along the intestine. We also detail which species, at which locations, are involved with the tryptophan/indole pathway, whose malfunctioning has been linked to pathologies including inflammatory bowel disease. Our study thus provides invaluable resources for investigating mechanisms connecting gut microbiota and host pathophysiology.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Santiago-Rodriguez TM, EB Hollister (2020)

Potential applications of human viral metagenomics and reference materials: considerations for current and future viruses.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01794-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Viruses are ubiquitous particles comprised of genetic material that can infect bacteria, archaea, fungi, as well as human and other animal cells. Given that determining virus composition and function in association with states of human health and disease is of increasing interest, we anticipate that the field of viral metagenomics will continue to expand and be applied in a variety of areas ranging from surveillance to discovery, and will rely heavily upon the continued development of reference materials and databases. Information regarding viral composition and function readily translate into biological and clinical applications, including the rapid sequence identification of pathogenic viruses in various sample typ-es. However, viral metagenomic approaches often lack appropriate standards and reference materials to enable cross-study comparisons and assess potential biases which can be introduced at the various stages of collection, storage, processing, and sequence analysis. In addition, implementation of appropriate viral reference materials can aid in the benchmarking of current and development of novel assays for virus identification, discovery, and surveillance. As the field of viral metagenomics expands and standardizes, results will continue to translate into diverse applications.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Park SJ, Andrei AŞ, Bulzu PA, et al (2020)

Expanded diversity and metabolic versatility of marine nitrite-oxidizing bacteria revealed by cultivation- and genomics-based approaches.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01667-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) are ubiquitous and abundant microorganisms that play key roles in global nitrogen and carbon biogeochemical cycling. Despite recent advances in understanding NOB physiology and taxonomy, there are currently very few cultured NOB or representative NOB genome sequences from marine environments. In this study, we employed enrichment culturing and genomic approaches in order to shed light on the phylogeny and metabolic capacity of marine NOB. We successfully enriched two marine NOB (designated MSP and DJ) and obtained a high-quality metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) from each organism. The maximum nitrite oxidation rates of the MSP and DJ enrichment cultures were 13.8 (0.1 mM nitrite as optimum) and 30.0 μM (0.3 mM nitrite) nitrite per day, respectively. Each enrichment culture exhibited different tolerance to varying nitrite and salt concentrations. Based on phylogenomic position and overall genome relatedness indices, both NOB MAGs were proposed as novel taxa within the Nitrospinota and Nitrospirota phyla. Functional predictions indicated that both NOB MAGs shared many highly conserve metabolic features with other NOB. Both NOB MAGs encoded proteins for hydrogen and organic compound metabolism and defense mechanisms for oxidative stress. Additionally, these organisms may have the genetic potential to produce cobalamin (an essential enzyme cofactor that is limiting in many environments) and thus may play an important role in recycling cobalamin in marine sediment. Overall, this study appreciably expands our understanding of the Nitrospinota and Nitrospirota phyla, and suggests that these NOB may play important biogeochemical roles in marine habitats.Importance Nitrification is a key process in the biogeochemical and global nitrogen cycle. Nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) perform the second step of aerobic nitrification (converting nitrite to nitrate), which is critical for transferring nitrogen to other organisms for assimilation or energy. Despite their ecological importance, there are few cultured or genomic representatives from marine systems. Here, we obtained two NOB (designated as MSP and DJ) enriched from marine sediments and estimated the physiological and genomic traits of these marine microbes. Both NOB enrichment cultures exhibit distinct responses to varying nitrite and salt concentrations. Genomic analyses suggest that these NOB are metabolically flexible (similar to other previously described NOB), and yet also have individual genomic differences that likely support distinct niche distribution. In conclusion, this study provides more insights into the ecological roles of NOB in marine environments.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Karpinets TV, Solley TN, Mikkelson MD, et al (2020)

Effect of antibiotics on gut and vaginal microbiomes associated with cervical cancer development in mice.

Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.) pii:1940-6207.CAPR-20-0103 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotics affect microbial diversity in the gut, leading to dysbiosis and impaired immunity. However, the impact of antibiotics on microbial communities at other sites, such as vagina is less understood. It is also not clear if changes induced by antibiotics in both microbiomes affect the development of cervical cancer. In this study we utilized the murine model to evaluate these questions. We show that oral application of broad-spectrum antibiotics in mice changed not only diversity, but composition and sharing of gut and vaginal microbiomes in mice and influenced cervical cancer development in an orthotopic tumor model. Antibiotics decreased richness and diversity indexes in the gut but increased them in the vagina. Some beneficial taxa, such as Bacteroides, Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae increased their abundance in the vagina while other pathogenic species, such as Proteobacteria, were decreased. As a result of the changes, mice with greater richness and diversity of the vaginal microbiome after antibiotics exposure were less likely developed tumors. No association between richness and diversity of the gut microbiome and tumor development was identified.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Rūmnieks J, Liekniņa I, Kalniņš G, et al (2020)

Three-dimensional structure of 22 uncultured ssRNA bacteriophages: Flexibility of the coat protein fold and variations in particle shapes.

Science advances, 6(36): pii:6/36/eabc0023.

The single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) bacteriophages are among the simplest known viruses with small genomes and exceptionally high mutation rates. The number of ssRNA phage isolates has remained very low, but recent metagenomic studies have uncovered an immense variety of distinct uncultured ssRNA phages. The coat proteins (CPs) in these genomes are particularly diverse, with notable variation in length and often no recognizable similarity to previously known viruses. We recombinantly expressed metagenome-derived ssRNA phage CPs to produce virus-like particles and determined the three-dimensional structure of 22 previously uncharacterized ssRNA phage capsids covering nine distinct CP types. The structures revealed substantial deviations from the previously known ssRNA phage CP fold, uncovered an unusual prolate particle shape, and revealed a previously unseen dsRNA binding mode. These data expand our knowledge of the evolution of viral structural proteins and are of relevance for applications such as ssRNA phage-based vaccine design.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Leonard MM, Karathia H, Pujolassos M, et al (2020)

Multi-omics analysis reveals the influence of genetic and environmental risk factors on developing gut microbiota in infants at risk of celiac disease.

Microbiome, 8(1):130 pii:10.1186/s40168-020-00906-w.

BACKGROUND: Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune digestive disorder that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals in response to ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Research shows that genetic predisposition and exposure to gluten are necessary but not sufficient to trigger the development of CD. This suggests that exposure to other environmental stimuli early in life, e.g., cesarean section delivery and exposure to antibiotics or formula feeding, may also play a key role in CD pathogenesis through yet unknown mechanisms. Here, we use multi-omics analysis to investigate how genetic and early environmental risk factors alter the development of the gut microbiota in infants at risk of CD.

RESULTS: Toward this end, we selected 31 infants from a large-scale prospective birth cohort study of infants with a first-degree relative with CD. We then performed rigorous multivariate association, cross-sectional, and longitudinal analyses using metagenomic and metabolomic data collected at birth, 3 months and 6 months of age to explore the impact of genetic predisposition and environmental risk factors on the gut microbiota composition, function, and metabolome prior to the introduction of trigger (gluten). These analyses revealed several microbial species, functional pathways, and metabolites that are associated with each genetic and environmental risk factor or that are differentially abundant between environmentally exposed and non-exposed infants or between time points. Among our significant findings, we found that cesarean section delivery is associated with a decreased abundance of Bacteroides vulgatus and Bacteroides dorei and of folate biosynthesis pathway and with an increased abundance of hydroxyphenylacetic acid, alterations that are implicated in immune system dysfunction and inflammatory conditions. Additionally, longitudinal analysis revealed that, in infants not exposed to any environmental risk factor, the abundances of Bacteroides uniformis and of metabolite 3-3-hydroxyphenylproprionic acid increase over time, while those for lipoic acid and methane metabolism pathways decrease, patterns that are linked to beneficial immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our study provides unprecedented insights into major taxonomic and functional shifts in the developing gut microbiota of infants at risk of CD linking genetic and environmental risk factors to detrimental immunomodulatory and inflammatory effects. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Proffitt C, Bidkhori G, Moyes D, et al (2020)

Disease, Drugs and Dysbiosis: Understanding Microbial Signatures in Metabolic Disease and Medical Interventions.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091381.

Since the discovery of the potential role for the gut microbiota in health and disease, many studies have gone on to report its impact in various pathologies. These studies have fuelled interest in the microbiome as a potential new target for treating disease Here, we reviewed the key metabolic diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis and the role of the microbiome in their pathogenesis. In particular, we will discuss disease associated microbial dysbiosis; the shift in the microbiome caused by medical interventions and the altered metabolite levels between diseases and interventions. The microbial dysbiosis seen was compared between diseases including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis and neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. This review highlights the commonalities and differences in dysbiosis of the gut between diseases, along with metabolite levels in metabolic disease vs. the levels reported after an intervention. We identify the need for further analysis using systems biology approaches and discuss the potential need for treatments to consider their impact on the microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-09-12

Chevalier C, Kieser S, Çolakoğlu M, et al (2020)

Warmth Prevents Bone Loss Through the Gut Microbiota.

Cell metabolism pii:S1550-4131(20)30425-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Osteoporosis is the most prevalent metabolic bone disease, characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration. Here, we show that warmth exposure (34°C) protects against ovariectomy-induced bone loss by increasing trabecular bone volume, connectivity density, and thickness, leading to improved biomechanical bone strength in adult female, as well as in young male mice. Transplantation of the warm-adapted microbiota phenocopies the warmth-induced bone effects. Both warmth and warm microbiota transplantation revert the ovariectomy-induced transcriptomics changes of the tibia and increase periosteal bone formation. Combinatorial metagenomics/metabolomics analysis shows that warmth enhances bacterial polyamine biosynthesis, resulting in higher total polyamine levels in vivo. Spermine and spermidine supplementation increases bone strength, while inhibiting polyamine biosynthesis in vivo limits the beneficial warmth effects on the bone. Our data suggest warmth exposure as a potential treatment option for osteoporosis while providing a mechanistic framework for its benefits in bone disease.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Faria SL, Santos A, Magro DO, et al (2020)

Gut Microbiota Modifications and Weight Regain in Morbidly Obese Women After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

Obesity surgery pii:10.1007/s11695-020-04956-9 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The relationship between late post-bariatric surgery weight regain and gut microbiota is not completely understood.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the profile of gut microbiota among patients with and without late weight regain after post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and to compare it with a control group (CG) comprised of obese Brazilian individuals.

METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study which enrolled 34 morbidly obese women divided into 3 groups: post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass without (RYGB_non-regain), and with weight regain (RYGB_regain) at least 5 years after surgery, and a CG of preoperative individuals. Gut microbiota was determined by metagenomic analyses.

RESULTS: The alpha diversity was higher in groups RYGB non-regain and RYGB regain when compared with CG (p < 0.05). Both RYGB non-regain and RYGB regain groups showed a lower abundance of the phylum Bacteroidetes when compared with CG (p < 0.01). The genera Bacteroides and SMB53 were increased in CG (p < 0.05). Group RYGB non-regain showed more abundance of the Akkermansia genus when compared with CG and group RYGB regain (p < 0.05). RYGB non-regain showed a greater abundance of the Phascolarctobacterium genus and lower of the SMB53 genus when compared with CG (p < 0.05). RYGB non-regain showed a greater abundance of the Phascolarctobacterium genus and a lower of the SMB53 genus when compared with CG (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The gut microbiota of individuals which presented late weight regain after RYGB was significantly different in comparison to individuals with a successful weight loss, a finding that points towards a significant role of gut microbiota on weight loss and maintenance after surgery.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Nguyen LH, Nguyen HD, Tran PT, et al (2020)

Biodegradation of natural rubber and deproteinized natural rubber by enrichment bacterial consortia.

Biodegradation pii:10.1007/s10532-020-09911-0 [Epub ahead of print].

This study examined the biodegradation of natural rubber (NR) and deproteinized natural rubber (DPNR) by bacterial consortia enriched from a rubber-processing factory's waste in Vietnam. The results reveal the degradation in both NR and DPNR, and the DPNR was degraded easier than NR. The highest weight loss of 48.37% was obtained in the fourth enrichment consortium with DPNR, while 35.39% was obtained in the fifth enrichment consortium with NR after 14 days of incubation. Nitrogen content and fatty acid content determined by Kjeldahl method and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively, were decreased significantly after being incubated with the consortia. Structure of degraded rubber film analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed the presence of aldehyde group, a sign of rubber degradation. Bacterial cells tightly adhering and embedding into NR and DPNR films were observed by scanning electron microscopy. There were differences in the bacterial composition of the consortia with NR and DPNR, which were determined by metagenomic analysis using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The phyla Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria may play a role in the degradation of non-isoprene compounds such as protein or lipid, while the phylum Actinobacteria plays a crucial role in the degradation of rubber hydrocarbon in all consortia.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Zago M, Bardelli T, Rossetti L, et al (2021)

Evaluation of bacterial communities of Grana Padano cheese by DNA metabarcoding and DNA fingerprinting analysis.

Food microbiology, 93:103613.

The composition of the bacterial community of Grana Padano (GP) cheese was evaluated by an amplicon-based metagenomic approach (DNA metabarcoding) and RAPD-PCR fingerprinting. One hundred eighteen cheeses, which included 118 dairies located in the production area of GP, were collected. Two hundred fifty-four OTUs were detected, of which 82 were further discriminated between dominant (32 OTUs; > 1% total reads) and subdominant (50 OTUs; between 0.1% and 1% total reads) taxa. Lactobacillus (L.) delbrueckii, Lacticaseibacillus (Lact.) rhamnosus, Lact. casei, Limosilactobacillus fermentum, Lactococcus (Lc.) raffinolactis, L. helveticus, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lc. lactis were the major dominant taxa ('core microbiota'). The origin of samples significantly impacted on both richness, evenness, and the relative abundance of bacterial species, with peculiar pattern distribution among the five GP production regions. A differential analysis allowed to find bacterial species significantly associated with specific region pairings. The analysis of pattern similarity among RAPD-PCR profiles highlighted the presence of a 'core' community banding pattern present in all the GP samples, which was strictly associated with the core microbiota highlighted by DNA metabarcoding. A trend to group samples according to the five production regions was also observed. This study widened our knowledge on the bacterial composition and ecology of Grana Padano cheese.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

de C Lima CO, Vaz ABM, De Castro GM, et al (2021)

Integrating microbial metagenomics and physicochemical parameters and a new perspective on starter culture for fine cocoa fermentation.

Food microbiology, 93:103608.

Cocoa beans used for chocolate production are fermented seeds of Theobroma cacao obtained by a natural fermentation process. The flavors and chemical compounds produced during the fermentation process make this step one of the most important in fine chocolate production. Herein, an integrative analysis of the variation of microbial community structure, using a shotgun metagenomics approach and associated physicochemical features, was performed during fermentation of fine cocoa beans. Samples of Forastero variety (FOR) and a mixture of two hybrids (PS1319 and CCN51) (MIX) from Bahia, Brazil, were analyzed at 7 different times. In the beginning (0 h), the structures of microbial communities were very different between FOR and MIX, reflecting the original plant-associated microbiomes. The highest change in microbial community structures occurred at the first 24 h of fermentation, with a marked increase in temperature and acetic acid concentration, and pH decrease. At 24-48 h both microbial community structures were quite homogenous regarding temperature, acetic acid, succinic acid, pH, soluble proteins and total phenols. During 72-96 h, the community structure resembles an acidic and warmer environment, prevailing few acetic acid bacteria. Taxonomic richness and abundance at 72-144 h exhibited significant correlation with temperature, reducing sugars, succinic, and acetic acids. Finally, we recommend that dominant microbial species of spontaneous fine cocoa fermentations should be considered as inoculum in accordance with the farm/region and GMP to maintain a differential organoleptic feature for production of fine chocolate. In our study, a starter inoculum composed of Acetobacter pausterianus and Hanseniaspora opuntiae strains is indicated.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Saary P, Mitchell AL, RD Finn (2020)

Estimating the quality of eukaryotic genomes recovered from metagenomic analysis with EukCC.

Genome biology, 21(1):244 pii:10.1186/s13059-020-02155-4.

Microbial eukaryotes constitute a significant fraction of biodiversity and have recently gained more attention, but the recovery of high-quality metagenomic assembled eukaryotic genomes is limited by the current availability of tools. To help address this, we have developed EukCC, a tool for estimating the quality of eukaryotic genomes based on the automated dynamic selection of single copy marker gene sets. We demonstrate that our method outperforms current genome quality estimators, particularly for estimating contamination, and have applied EukCC to datasets derived from two different environments to enable the identification of novel eukaryote genomes, including one from the human skin.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Karte C, Platje N, Bullermann J, et al (2020)

Re-emergence of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in a piglet-producing farm in northwestern Germany in 2019.

BMC veterinary research, 16(1):329 pii:10.1186/s12917-020-02548-4.

BACKGROUND: Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a viral enteric disease of pigs. It affects all age classes of animals but lethality is mainly seen in suckling piglets. After its first appearance in England in 1971, Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has spread worldwide. While sporadic outbreaks prevailed in Europe, the disease had high impact in Asia. Following particularly severe outbreaks in 2011, high impact cases were also reported in the United States and neighboring countries in 2013. Subsequently, outbreaks were also reported in several European countries including Germany. These outbreaks were less severe. This case report describes a recent case of PED re-emergence in Germany and the sequence analyses of the causative PEDV.

CASE PRESENTATION: In spring 2019 5 years after re-introduction of PED into Central Europe, a piglet-producer in northwestern Germany experienced an outbreak that affected sows, their suckling piglets, and weaners. After initial confirmation of PEDV by real-time RT-PCR, fecal material and small intestine samples from affected pigs were subjected to metagenomic analyses employing next-generation sequencing. Phylogenetic analyses showed high identities among the PEDV sequences obtained from samples of different animals and a close relation to recent strains from Hungary and France. Compared to the PEDV strains analyzed in 2014, genetic drift could be confirmed. Changes were mainly observed in the spike protein encoding S gene segment. In addition, metagenomic analyses showed multiple Picobirnavirus reads in all investigated samples.

CONCLUSION: This case report shows that PEDV is still circulating in Europe. The causative strains are moderately virulent and are still closely related to the so-called INDEL strains reported previously in Europe, including Germany. However, a genetic drift has taken place that can be seen in a novel cluster comprising strains from Germany, Hungary and France in 2019. Relevance and impact of the detected Picobirna sequences need further investigations.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

LaPierre N, Alser M, Eskin E, et al (2020)

Metalign: efficient alignment-based metagenomic profiling via containment min hash.

Genome biology, 21(1):242 pii:10.1186/s13059-020-02159-0.

Metagenomic profiling, predicting the presence and relative abundances of microbes in a sample, is a critical first step in microbiome analysis. Alignment-based approaches are often considered accurate yet computationally infeasible. Here, we present a novel method, Metalign, that performs efficient and accurate alignment-based metagenomic profiling. We use a novel containment min hash approach to pre-filter the reference database prior to alignment and then process both uniquely aligned and multi-aligned reads to produce accurate abundance estimates. In performance evaluations on both real and simulated datasets, Metalign is the only method evaluated that maintained high performance and competitive running time across all datasets.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Gazzola A, Panelli S, Corbella M, et al (2020)

Microbiota in Clostridioides difficile-Associated Diarrhea: Comparison in Recurrent and Non-Recurrent Infections.

Biomedicines, 8(9): pii:biomedicines8090335.

Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, especially in hospitalized elderly patients, representing a global public health concern. Clinical presentations vary from mild diarrhea to severe pseudomembranous colitis that may progress to toxic megacolon or intestinal perforation. Antibiotic therapy is recognized as a risk factor and exacerbates dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota, whose role in CDI is increasingly acknowledged. A clinically challenging complication is the development of recurrent disease (rCDI). In this study, using amplicon metagenomics, we compared the fecal microbiota of CDI and rCDI patients (sampled at initial and recurrent episode) and of non-infected controls. We also investigated whether CDI severity relates to specific microbiota compositions. rCDI patients showed a significantly decreased bacterial diversity as compared to controls (p < 0.01). The taxonomic composition presented significant shifts: both CDI and rCDI patients displayed significantly increased frequencies of Firmicutes, Peptostreptococcaceae, Clostridium XI, Clostridium XVIII, and Enterococcaceae. Porphyromonadaceae and, within it, Parabacteroides displayed opposite behaviors in CDI and rCDI, appearing discriminant between the two. Finally, the second episode of rCDI was characterized by significant shifts of unclassified Clostridiales, Escherichia/Shigella and Veillonella. No peculiar taxa composition correlated with the severity of infection, likely reflecting the role of host-related factors in determining severity.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Zhang S, Zhang Z, Xia S, et al (2020)

Combined genome-centric metagenomics and stable isotope probing unveils the microbial pathways of aerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification process under hypoxic conditions.

Bioresource technology, 318:124043 pii:S0960-8524(20)31315-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Obligate aerobic methanotrophs have been proven to oxidize methane and participate in denitrification under hypoxic conditions. However, this phenomenon and its metabolic mechanism have not been investigated in detail in aerobic methane oxidation coupled to denitrification (AME-D) process. In this study, a type of hypoxic AME-D consortium was enriched and operated for a long time in a CH4-cycling bioreactor with strict anaerobic control and the nitrite removal rate reached approximately 50 mg N/L/d. Metagenomics combined with DNA stable-isotope probing demonstrated that the genus Methylomonas, which constitutes type I aerobic methanotrophs, was the dominant member and contributed to methane oxidation and partial denitrification. Metagenomic binning recovered a near-complete (98%) draft genome affiliated with the family Methylococcaceae containing essential genes that encode nitrite reductase (nirK), nitric oxide reductase (norBC) and hydroxylamine dehydrogenase (hao). Metabolic reconstruction of the selected Methylococcaceae genomes also revealed a potential link between methanotrophy and partial denitrification.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Carasso S, Hajjo H, N Geva-Zatorsky (2020)

Phage-Bacteria Associations: Analyze. Match. Develop Therapies.

Cell host & microbe, 28(3):353-355.

Although bacteriophages are highly abundant in the gut microbiome, little is known about their potential effects on gut bacteria. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Hryckowian et al. (2020) and Fujimoto et al. (2020) combined metagenomic analysis and experiments to study phage-bacteria associations in order to develop future research tools and therapies.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Aryal S, Alimadadi A, Manandhar I, et al (2020)

Machine Learning Strategy for Gut Microbiome-Based Diagnostic Screening of Cardiovascular Disease.

Hypertension (Dallas, Tex. : 1979) [Epub ahead of print].

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one leading cause for human mortality. Besides genetics and environmental factors, in recent years, gut microbiota has emerged as a new factor influencing CVD. Although cause-effect relationships are not clearly established, the reported associations between alterations in gut microbiota and CVD are prominent. Therefore, we hypothesized that machine learning (ML) could be used for gut microbiome-based diagnostic screening of CVD. To test our hypothesis, fecal 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing data of 478 CVD and 473 non-CVD human subjects collected through the American Gut Project were analyzed using 5 supervised ML algorithms including random forest, support vector machine, decision tree, elastic net, and neural networks. Thirty-nine differential bacterial taxa were identified between the CVD and non-CVD groups. ML modeling using these taxonomic features achieved a testing area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.0, perfect antidiscrimination; 0.5, random guessing; 1.0, perfect discrimination) of ≈0.58 (random forest and neural networks). Next, the ML models were trained with the top 500 high-variance features of operational taxonomic units, instead of bacterial taxa, and an improved testing area under the receiver operating characteristic curves of ≈0.65 (random forest) was achieved. Further, by limiting the selection to only the top 25 highly contributing operational taxonomic unit features, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves was further significantly enhanced to ≈0.70. Overall, our study is the first to identify dysbiosis of gut microbiota in CVD patients as a group and apply this knowledge to develop a gut microbiome-based ML approach for diagnostic screening of CVD.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Punyapwar S, S Mutnuri (2020)

Diversity and functional annotation of microorganisms in French vertical flow constructed wetland treating greywater.

World journal of microbiology & biotechnology, 36(10):148 pii:10.1007/s11274-020-02923-1.

Constructed wetlands form a unique ecosystem having plants, soil, microbes in which microorganisms play a vital role in the transformation and degradation of pollutants from wastewater. In the present study, French type two-stage vertical flow constructed wetland (VFCW) was used for the treatment of single household greywater (GW). Pilot-scale VFCW having sand and gravel as the filter substrate was constructed with Canna indica plantation for treating GW. To understand the pollutant removal mechanism in VFCW, microbial diversity and functional annotation was carried out by metagenomics analysis of sequences obtained from illumina platform. Efficiency of VFCW was measured with respect to water quality parameters like COD, BOD5, Total Nitrogen, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammoniacal-N, ortho-phosphate and TOC from inlet and outlet of system. The removal efficiency was 90%, 93%, 34%, 26%, 89%, 68%, 80%, and 80% for COD, BOD5, Total Nitrogen, Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammoniacal-N, ortho-phosphate and TOC respectively. Microbial diversity was much more diversified and unique in VFCW compared to GW. Metagenomes exhibited Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes as major phyla in GW whereas Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae abundance in VFCW layers. Total of 809 and 695 genus were found in VFCW and GW respectively with minimum abundance of 10 hits. From functional annotation of sequences, VFCW microbes have the potential to transform various aromatic and xenobiotic compounds along with the removal of pollutants present in the form of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus. These data reveal French type VFCW can efficiently treat GW and with its own unique, variable habitat VFCW harbours diverse community of microorganisms that transform and degrade the pollutants in GW.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Mootapally C, Mahajan MS, NM Nathani (2020)

Sediment Plasmidome of the Gulfs of Kathiawar Peninsula and Arabian Sea: Insights Gained from Metagenomics Data.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01587-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Plasmidomes have become the research area of interest for ecologists exploring bacteria rich ecosystems. Marine environments are among such niche that host a huge number of microbes and have a complex environment which pose the need to study these bacterial indicators of horizontal gene transfer events for survival and stability. The plasmid content of the metagenomics data from 8 sediment samples of the Gulfs of Kathiawar and an open Arabian Sea sample was screened. The reads corresponding to hits against the plasmid database were assembled and studied for diversity using Kraken and functional content using MG-RAST. The sequences were also checked for resistome and virulence factors. The replicon hosts were overall dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria while red algae specific to the Kutch samples. The genes encoded were dominant in the flagella motility and type VI secretion systems. Overall, results from the study confirmed that the plasmids encoded traits for metal, antibiotic, and phage resistance along with virulence systems, and these would be conferring benefit to the hosts. The study throws insights into the environmental role of the plasmidome in adaptation of the microbes in the studied sites to the environmental stresses.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Li X, Wu Z, Dang C, et al (2021)

A metagenomic-based method to study hospital air dust resistome.

Chemical engineering journal (Lausanne, Switzerland : 1996), 406:126854.

As a symbol of the defense mechanisms that bacteria have evolved over time, the genes that make bacteria resist antibiotics are overwhelmingly present in the environment. Currently, bacterial antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the air are a serious concern. Previous studies have identified bacterial communities and summarized putative routes of transmissions for some dominant hospital-associated pathogens from hospital indoor samples. However, little is known about the possible indoor air ARG transportation. In this study, we mainly surveyed air-conditioner air dust samples under different airflow conditions and analyzed these samples using a metagenomic-based method. The results show air dust samples exhibited a complex resistome, and the average concentration is 0.00042 copies/16S rRNA gene, which is comparable to some other environments. The hospital air-conditioners can form resistome over time and accumulate pathogens. In addition, our results indicate that the Outpatient hall is one of the main ARG transmission sources, which can distribute ARGs to other departments (explains >80% resistome). We believe that the management should focus on ARG carrier genera such as Staphylococcus, Micrococcus, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus in this hospital and our novel evidence-based network strategy proves that plasmid-mediated ARG transfer can occur frequently. Overall, these results provide insights into the characteristics of air dust resistome and possible route for how ARGs are spread in air.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Weinheimer AR, FO Aylward (2020)

A distinct lineage of Caudovirales that encodes a deeply branching multi-subunit RNA polymerase.

Nature communications, 11(1):4506 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-18281-3.

Bacteriophages play critical roles in the biosphere, but their vast genomic diversity has obscured their evolutionary origins, and phylogenetic analyses have traditionally been hindered by their lack of universal phylogenetic marker genes. In this study we mine metagenomic data and identify a clade of Caudovirales that encodes the β and β' subunits of multi-subunit RNA polymerase (RNAP), a high-resolution phylogenetic marker which enables detailed evolutionary analyses. Our RNAP phylogeny revealed that the Caudovirales RNAP forms a clade distinct from cellular homologs, suggesting an ancient acquisition of this enzyme. Within these multimeric RNAP-encoding Caudovirales (mReC), we find that the similarity of major capsid proteins and terminase large subunits further suggests they form a distinct clade with common evolutionary origin. Our study characterizes a clade of RNAP-encoding Caudovirales and suggests the ancient origin of this enzyme in this group, underscoring the important role of viruses in the early evolution of life on Earth.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Brugger SD, Eslami SM, Pettigrew MM, et al (2020)

Dolosigranulum pigrum Cooperation and Competition in Human Nasal Microbiota.

mSphere, 5(5): pii:5/5/e00852-20.

Multiple epidemiological studies identify Dolosigranulum pigrum as a candidate beneficial bacterium based on its positive association with health, including negative associations with nasal/nasopharyngeal colonization by the pathogenic species Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae Using a multipronged approach to gain new insights into D. pigrum function, we observed phenotypic interactions and predictions of genomic capacity that support the idea of a role for microbe-microbe interactions involving D. pigrum in shaping the composition of human nasal microbiota. We identified in vivo community-level and in vitro phenotypic cooperation by specific nasal Corynebacterium species. Also, D. pigrum inhibited S. aureus growth in vitro, whereas robust inhibition of S. pneumoniae required both D. pigrum and a nasal Corynebacterium together. D. pigrum l-lactic acid production was insufficient to account for these inhibitions. Genomic analysis of 11 strains revealed that D. pigrum has a small genome (average 1.86 Mb) and multiple predicted auxotrophies consistent with D. pigrum relying on its human host and on cocolonizing bacteria for key nutrients. Further, the accessory genome of D. pigrum harbored a diverse repertoire of biosynthetic gene clusters, some of which may have a role in microbe-microbe interactions. These new insights into D. pigrum's functions advance the field from compositional analysis to genomic and phenotypic experimentation on a potentially beneficial bacterial resident of the human upper respiratory tract and lay the foundation for future animal and clinical experiments.IMPORTANCEStaphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae infections cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans. For both, nasal colonization is a risk factor for infection. Studies of nasal microbiota identify Dolosigranulum pigrum as a benign bacterium present when adults are free of S. aureus or when children are free of S. pneumoniae Here, we validated these in vivo associations with functional assays. We found that D. pigrum inhibited S. aureusin vitro and, together with a specific nasal Corynebacterium species, also inhibited S. pneumoniae Furthermore, genomic analysis of D. pigrum indicated that it must obtain key nutrients from other nasal bacteria or from humans. These phenotypic interactions support the idea of a role for microbe-microbe interactions in shaping the composition of human nasal microbiota and implicate D. pigrum as a mutualist of humans. These findings support the feasibility of future development of microbe-targeted interventions to reshape nasal microbiota composition to exclude S. aureus and/or S. pneumoniae.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Ramírez AL, Colmant AMG, Warrilow D, et al (2020)

Metagenomic Analysis of the Virome of Mosquito Excreta.

mSphere, 5(5): pii:5/5/e00587-20.

Traditional screening for arboviruses in mosquitoes requires a priori knowledge and the utilization of appropriate assays for their detection. Mosquitoes can also provide other valuable information, including unexpected or novel arboviruses, nonarboviral pathogens ingested from hosts they feed on, and their own genetic material. Metagenomic analysis using next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a rapidly advancing technology that allows us to potentially obtain all this information from a mosquito sample without any prior knowledge of virus, host, or vector. Moreover, it has been recently demonstrated that pathogens, including arboviruses and parasites, can be detected in mosquito excreta by molecular methods. In this study, we investigated whether RNA viruses could be detected in mosquito excreta by NGS. Excreta samples were collected from Aedes vigilax and Culex annulirostris experimentally exposed to either Ross River or West Nile viruses and from field mosquitoes collected across Queensland, Australia. Total RNA was extracted from the excreta samples, reverse transcribed to cDNA, and sequenced using the Illumina NextSeq 500 platform. Bioinformatic analyses from the generated reads demonstrate that mosquito excreta provide sufficient RNA for NGS, allowing the assembly of near-full-length viral genomes. We detected Australian Anopheles totivirus, Wuhan insect virus 33, and Hubei odonate virus 5 and identified seven potentially novel viruses closely related to members of the order Picornavirales (2/7) and to previously described, but unclassified, RNA viruses (5/7). Our results suggest that metagenomic analysis of mosquito excreta has great potential for virus discovery and for unbiased arbovirus surveillance in the near future.IMPORTANCE When a mosquito feeds on a host, it ingests not only its blood meal but also an assortment of microorganisms that are present in the blood, thus acting as an environmental sampler. By using specific tests, it is possible to detect arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) like dengue and West Nile viruses in mosquito excreta. Here, we explored the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) for unbiased detection of RNA viruses present in excreta from experimentally infected and field-collected mosquitoes. We have demonstrated that mosquito excreta provide a suitable template for NGS and that it is possible to recover and assemble near-full-length genomes of both arboviruses and insect-borne viruses, including potentially novel ones. These results importantly show the direct practicality of the use of mosquito excreta for NGS, which in the future could be used for virus discovery, environmental virome sampling, and arbovirus surveillance.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Church DL, Cerutti L, Gürtler A, et al (2020)

Performance and Application of 16S rRNA Gene Cycle Sequencing for Routine Identification of Bacteria in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory.

Clinical microbiology reviews, 33(4): pii:33/4/e00053-19.

SUMMARYThis review provides a state-of-the-art description of the performance of Sanger cycle sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene for routine identification of bacteria in the clinical microbiology laboratory. A detailed description of the technology and current methodology is outlined with a major focus on proper data analyses and interpretation of sequences. The remainder of the article is focused on a comprehensive evaluation of the application of this method for identification of bacterial pathogens based on analyses of 16S multialignment sequences. In particular, the existing limitations of similarity within 16S for genus- and species-level differentiation of clinically relevant pathogens and the lack of sequence data currently available in public databases is highlighted. A multiyear experience is described of a large regional clinical microbiology service with direct 16S broad-range PCR followed by cycle sequencing for direct detection of pathogens in appropriate clinical samples. The ability of proteomics (matrix-assisted desorption ionization-time of flight) versus 16S sequencing for bacterial identification and genotyping is compared. Finally, the potential for whole-genome analysis by next-generation sequencing (NGS) to replace 16S sequencing for routine diagnostic use is presented for several applications, including the barriers that must be overcome to fully implement newer genomic methods in clinical microbiology. A future challenge for large clinical, reference, and research laboratories, as well as for industry, will be the translation of vast amounts of accrued NGS microbial data into convenient algorithm testing schemes for various applications (i.e., microbial identification, genotyping, and metagenomics and microbiome analyses) so that clinically relevant information can be reported to physicians in a format that is understood and actionable. These challenges will not be faced by clinical microbiologists alone but by every scientist involved in a domain where natural diversity of genes and gene sequences plays a critical role in disease, health, pathogenicity, epidemiology, and other aspects of life-forms. Overcoming these challenges will require global multidisciplinary efforts across fields that do not normally interact with the clinical arena to make vast amounts of sequencing data clinically interpretable and actionable at the bedside.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Han Z, Xiao J, Song Y, et al (2020)

The Husavirus Posa-Like Viruses in China, and a New Group of Picornavirales.

Viruses, 12(9): pii:v12090995.

Novel posa-like viral genomes were first identified in swine fecal samples using metagenomics and were designated as unclassified viruses in the order Picornavirales. In the present study, nine husavirus strains were identified in China. Their genomes share 94.1-99.9% similarity, and alignment of these nine husavirus strains identified 697 nucleotide polymorphism sites across their full-length genomes. These nine strains were directly clustered with the Husavirus 1 lineage, and their genomic arrangement showed similar characteristics. These posa-like viruses have undergone a complex evolutionary process, and have a wide geographic distribution, complex host spectrum, deep phylogenetic divergence, and diverse genomic organizations. The clade of posa-like viruses forms a single group, which is evolutionarily distinct from other known families and could represent a distinct family within the Picornavirales. The genomic arrangement of Picornavirales and the new posa-like viruses are different, whereas the posa-like viruses have genomic modules similar to the families Dicistroviridae and Marnaviridae. The present study provides valuable genetic evidence of husaviruses in China, and clarifies the phylogenetic dynamics and the evolutionary characteristics of Picornavirales.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Ali A, Ahmad S, Wadood A, et al (2020)

Modeling Novel Putative Drugs and Vaccine Candidates against Tick-Borne Pathogens: A Subtractive Proteomics Approach.

Veterinary sciences, 7(3): pii:vetsci7030129.

Ticks and tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) continuously causing substantial losses to the public and veterinary health sectors. The identification of putative drug targets and vaccine candidates is crucial to control TBPs. No information has been recorded on designing novel drug targets and vaccine candidates based on proteins. Subtractive proteomics is an in silico approach that utilizes extensive screening for the identification of novel drug targets or vaccine candidates based on the determination of potential target proteins available in a pathogen proteome that may be used effectively to control diseases caused by these infectious agents. The present study aimed to investigate novel drug targets and vaccine candidates by utilizing subtractive proteomics to scan the available proteomes of TBPs and predict essential and non-host homologous proteins required for the survival of these diseases causing agents. Subtractive proteome analysis revealed a list of fifteen essential, non-host homologous, and unique metabolic proteins in the complete proteome of selected pathogens. Among these therapeutic target proteins, three were excluded due to the presence in host gut metagenome, eleven were found to be highly potential drug targets, while only one was found as a potential vaccine candidate against TBPs. The present study may provide a foundation to design potential drug targets and vaccine candidates for the effective control of infections caused by TBPs.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Basile A, Campanaro S, Kovalovszki A, et al (2020)

Revealing metabolic mechanisms of interaction in the anaerobic digestion microbiome by flux balance analysis.

Metabolic engineering pii:S1096-7176(20)30132-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Anaerobic digestion is a key biological process for renewable energy, yet the mechanistic knowledge on its hidden microbial dynamics is still limited. The present work charted the interaction network in the anaerobic digestion microbiome via the full characterization of pairwise interactions and the associated metabolite exchanges. To this goal, a novel collection of 836 genome-scale metabolic models was built to represent the functional capabilities of bacteria and archaea species derived from genome-centric metagenomics. Dominant microbes were shown to prefer mutualistic, parasitic and commensalistic interactions over neutralism, amensalism and competition, and are more likely to behave as metabolite importers and profiteers of the coexistence. Additionally, external hydrogen injection positively influences microbiome dynamics by promoting commensalism over amensalism. Finally, exchanges of glucogenic amino acids were shown to overcome auxotrophies caused by an incomplete tricarboxylic acid cycle. Our novel strategy predicted the most favourable growth conditions for the microbes, overall suggesting strategies to increasing the biogas production efficiency. In principle, this approach could also be applied to microbial populations of biomedical importance, such as the gut microbiome, to allow a broad inspection of the microbial interplays.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Raggi L, García-Guevara F, Godoy-Lozano EE, et al (2020)

Metagenomic Profiling and Microbial Metabolic Potential of Perdido Fold Belt (NW) and Campeche Knolls (SE) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1825.

The Gulf of Mexico (GoM) is a particular environment that is continuously exposed to hydrocarbon compounds that may influence the microbial community composition. We carried out a metagenomic assessment of the bacterial community to get an overall view of this geographical zone. We analyzed both taxonomic and metabolic markers profiles to explain how the indigenous GoM microorganims participate in the biogeochemical cycling. Two geographically distant regions in the GoM, one in the north-west (NW) and one in the south-east (SE) of the GoM were analyzed and showed differences in their microbial composition and metabolic potential. These differences provide evidence the delicate equilibrium that sustains microbial communities and biogeochemical cycles. Based on the taxonomy and gene groups, the NW are more oxic sediments than SE ones, which have anaerobic conditions. Both water and sediments show the expected sulfur, nitrogen, and hydrocarbon metabolism genes, with particularly high diversity of the hydrocarbon-degrading ones. Accordingly, many of the assigned genera were associated with hydrocarbon degradation processes, Nitrospira and Sva0081 were the most abundant in sediments, while Vibrio, Alteromonas, and Alcanivorax were mostly detected in water samples. This basal-state analysis presents the GoM as a potential source of aerobic and anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation genes important for the ecological dynamics of hydrocarbons and the potential use for water and sediment bioremediation processes.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Manso CF, Bibby DF, Mohamed H, et al (2020)

Enhanced Detection of DNA Viruses in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Encephalitis Patients Using Metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1879.

The long and expanding list of viral pathogens associated with causing encephalitis confounds current diagnostic procedures, and in up to 50% of cases, the etiology remains undetermined. Sequence-agnostic metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) obviates the need to specify targets in advance and thus has great potential in encephalitis diagnostics. However, the low relative abundance of viral nucleic acids in clinical specimens poses a significant challenge. Our protocol employs two novel techniques to selectively remove human material at two stages, significantly increasing the representation of viral material. Our bioinformatic workflow using open source protein- and nucleotide sequence-matching software balances sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing and characterizing any DNA viruses present. A panel of 12 cerebrospinal fluid (CSFs) from encephalitis cases was retrospectively interrogated by mNGS, with concordant results in seven of nine samples with a definitive DNA virus diagnosis, and a different herpesvirus was identified in the other two. In two samples with an inconclusive diagnosis, DNA viruses were detected and in a virus-negative sample, no viruses were detected. This assay has the potential to detect DNA virus infections in cases of encephalitis of unknown etiology and to improve the current screening tests by identifying new and emerging agents.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Di Cesare A, Dzhembekova N, Cabello-Yeves PJ, et al (2020)

Genomic Comparison and Spatial Distribution of Different Synechococcus Phylotypes in the Black Sea.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:1979.

Picocyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcus are major contributors to global primary production and nutrient cycles due to their oxygenic photoautotrophy, their abundance, and the extensive distribution made possible by their wide-ranging biochemical capabilities. The recent recovery and isolation of strains from the deep euxinic waters of the Black Sea encouraged us to expand our analysis of their adaptability also beyond the photic zone of aquatic environments. To this end, we quantified the total abundance and distribution of Synechococcus along the whole vertical profile of the Black Sea by flow cytometry, and analyzed the data obtained in light of key environmental factors. Furthermore, we designed phylotype-specific primers using the genomes of two new epipelagic coastal strains - first described here - and of two previously described mesopelagic strains, analyzed their presence/abundance by qPCR, and tested this parameter also in metagenomes from two stations at different depths. Together, whole genome sequencing, metagenomics and qPCR techniques provide us with a higher resolution of Synechococcus dynamics in the Black Sea. Both phylotypes analyzed are abundant and successful in epipelagic coastal waters; but while the newly described epipelagic strains are specifically adapted to this environment, the strains previously isolated in mesopelagic waters are able, in low numbers, to withstand the aphotic and oxygen depleted conditions of deep layers. This heterogeneity allows different Synechococcus phylotypes to occupy different niches and underscores the importance of a more detailed characterization of the abundance, distribution, and dynamics of individual populations of these picocyanobacteria.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Radwan S, Gilfillan D, Eklund B, et al (2020)

A comparative study of the gut microbiome in Egyptian patients with Type I and Type II diabetes.

PloS one, 15(9):e0238764 pii:PONE-D-20-15120.

INTRODUCTION: Diabetes remains a growing public health concern in Egypt, as prevalence of Type II diabetes (TIID) has nearly tripled there in the last two decades. Egypt was ranked ninth worldwide in number of diabetes cases, with prevalence of 15.56% among adults. Recent studies have proposed that disturbance of gut microbiota could influence TIID development and indicated associations between a reduced diversity in microbiomes and Type I diabetes (TID). In the present study, we investigated the composition and abundance of the bacterial microbiome in disease state (TID and TIID) of Egyptian patients. Our goal in this study was to characterize features of the gut microbiota and possible differences associated with TID and TIID in this population.

METHODS: DNA was extracted from fecal samples taken from 22 TID and 18 TIID outpatients of Al-Hussein hospital, Cairo, Egypt. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used to characterize the bacterial taxa and these reads were processed using the software mothur with analysis utilizing packages vegan, phyloseq and metagenomSeq in R.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlighted a significant increase in abundance of Gram negative, potentially opportunistic pathogenic taxa (Pseudomonas, Prevotella) in all diabetic groups, compared to the control. Lipopolysccharide (LPS), a component of the gram-negative bacterial wall, can activate local immune response and may result in low-grade systemic inflammation contributing to insulin resistance. The gram-positive Gemella, which is associated with increased risk to diabetes, also had a significant increase in abundance in all diabetic groups, compared to the control. In contrast, the commensal bacterial taxa Turicibacter, Terrisporobacter and Clostridium were found to be more abundant in the control group than in TID. Further studies are needed to understand the role of these taxa in health and disease. Lower Richness and low Shannon diversity, though not statistically significant, were observed for TID subjects with no glucose control and with onset of liver disease or hypertension compared to other subjects. In addition, large variation in alpha diversity within the control group could also be observed. Future studies will include larger samples sizes to further elucidate these findings, as well as possible metagenomic studies to examine the intriguing function of significant microbes.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Arteta AA, Milanes-Yearsley M, N Cardona-Castro (2020)

Cholangiocyte derived carcinomas and local microbiota.

Journal of hepato-biliary-pancreatic sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Trillions of bacteria are present in the gastrointestinal tract as part of the local microbiota. Bacteria have been associated with a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases including malignant neoplasms. The association of bacteria in gastrointestinal and biliary tract carcinogenesis is supported in the paradigm of Helicobacter pylori and intestinal-type gastric cancer. However, the association of bacterial species to a specific carcinoma, different from intestinal-type gastric cancer is unresolved. The relationship of bacteria to a specific malignant neoplasm can drive clinical interventions. We review the classic bacteria risk factors identified using cultures and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) with new research regarding a microbiota approach through 16S rRNA (16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene) or metagenomic analysis for selected carcinomas in the biliary tract.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Borčinová M, Pitkina A, Marešová H, et al (2020)

Characteristics of microbial community of soil subjected to industrial production of antibiotics.

Folia microbiologica pii:10.1007/s12223-020-00819-z [Epub ahead of print].

Ecosystems worldwide are exposed to pollutants connected to the industrial production of pharmaceuticals. The objective of this study was to study the composition and characteristics of the soil microbial communities that had been exposed to long-term selection pressure caused by the industrial production of penicillin G. Soil samples from four sites among the penicillin G production plant were analysed using 16S rRNA profiling via Illumina MiSeq platform and were compared with the control samples from four sites outside the plant. Total metagenomic DNA from the impacted soil was also used for the preparation of E. coli T1R-based fosmid library which was consequently qualitatively tested for the presence of penicillin G acylase (PGA)-encoding genes using the method of sequence homology. Analyses of alpha diversity revealed that the long-term antibiotic presence in the soil significantly increased the microbial diversity and richness in terms of Shannon diversity index (p = 0.002) and Chao estimates (p = 0.004). Principal component analysis showed that the two types of communities (on-site and control) could be separated at the phylum, class and genus level. The on-site soil was enriched in Betaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria and Planctomycetia, while a significant decrease in Actinobacteria was observed. Metagenomic fosmid library revealed high hit rates in identifying PGAs (14 different genes identified) and confirmed the biotechnological potential of soils impacted by anthropogenic activity. This study offers new insights into the changes in microbial communities of soils exposed to anthropogenic activity as well as indicates that those soils may represent a hotspot for biotechnologically interesting targets.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Li S, Mann DA, Zhang S, et al (2020)

Microbiome-Informed Food Safety and Quality: Longitudinal Consistency and Cross-Sectional Distinctiveness of Retail Chicken Breast Microbiomes.

mSystems, 5(5): pii:5/5/e00589-20.

Microorganisms and their communities on foods are important determinants and indicators of food safety and quality. Despite growing interests in studying food and food-related microbiomes, how effective and practical it is to glean various food safety and quality information from food commodity microbiomes remains underinvestigated. Microbiomes of retail chicken breast from 4 processing establishments in 3 major U.S. broiler production states displayed longitudinal consistency over 7 months and cross-sectional distinctiveness associated with individual processing environments. Packaging type and processing environment but not antibiotic usage and seasonality affected composition and diversity of the microbiomes. Low abundances of antimicrobial resistance genes were found on chicken breasts, and no significant resistome difference was observed between antibiotic-free and conventional products. Benchmarked by culture enrichment, shotgun metagenomics sequencing delivered sensitive and specific detection of Salmonella enterica from chicken breasts.IMPORTANCE Chicken has recently overtaken beef as the most-consumed meat in the United States. The growing popularity of chicken is accompanied by frequent occurrences of foodborne pathogens and increasing concerns over antibiotic usage. Our study represents a proof-of-concept investigation into the possibility and practicality of leveraging microbiome-informed food safety and quality. Through a longitudinal and cross-sectional survey, we established the chicken microbiome as a robust and multifaceted food microbiology attribute that could provide a variety of safety and quality information and retain systematic signals characteristic of overall processing environments.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Brown EL, Essigmann HT, Hoffman KL, et al (2020)

The Impact of Diabetes on the Gut and Salivary IgA Microbiomes.

Infection and immunity pii:IAI.00301-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Mucosal surfaces like those present in the lung, gut, and mouth interface with distinct external environments. These mucosal gateways are not only portals of entry for potential pathogens but homes to microbial communities that impact host health. Secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) is the single most abundant acquired immune component secreted into mucosal surfaces and via the process of immune exclusion, shapes the architecture of these microbiomes. Not all microorganisms at mucosal surfaces are targeted by SIgA, therefore a better understanding of the SIgA-coated fraction may identify the microbial constituents that stimulate host immune responses in the context of health and disease. Chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes are associated with altered microbial communities (dysbiosis) that in turn affect immune-mediated homeostasis. 16S rDNA sequencing of SIgA-coated/uncoated bacteria (IgA-Biome) was conducted on stool and saliva samples of normoglycemic participants and individuals with prediabetes or diabetes (n=8/group). These analyses demonstrated shifts in relative abundance in the IgA-Biome profiles between normoglycemic, prediabetic, or diabetic samples distinct from that of the overall microbiome. Differences in IgA-Biome alpha diversity were apparent for both stool and saliva, while overarching bacterial community differences (beta diversity) were also observed in saliva. These data suggest that IgA-Biome analyses can be used to identify novel microbial signatures associated with diabetes and support the need for further studies exploring these communities. Ultimately, an understanding of the IgA-Biome may promote development of novel strategies to restructure the microbiome as a means of preventing or treating diseases associated with dysbiosis at mucosal surfaces.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Olsen NS, Forero-Junco L, Kot W, et al (2020)

Exploring the Remarkable Diversity of Culturable Escherichia coli Phages in the Danish Wastewater Environment.

Viruses, 12(9): pii:v12090986.

Phages drive bacterial diversity, profoundly influencing microbial communities, from microbiomes to the drivers of global biogeochemical cycling. Aiming to broaden our understanding of Escherichiacoli (MG1655, K-12) phages, we screened 188 Danish wastewater samples and isolated 136 phages. Ninety-two of these have genomic sequences with less than 95% similarity to known phages, while most map to existing genera several represent novel lineages. The isolated phages are highly diverse, estimated to represent roughly one-third of the true diversity of culturable virulent dsDNA Escherichia phages in Danish wastewater, yet almost half (40%) are not represented in metagenomic databases, emphasising the importance of isolating phages to uncover diversity. Seven viral families, Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae,Drexlerviridae,Chaseviridae,Autographviridae, and Microviridae, are represented in the dataset. Their genomes vary drastically in length from 5.3 kb to 170.8 kb, with a guanine and cytosine (GC) content ranging from 35.3% to 60.0%. Hence, even for a model host bacterium, substantial diversity remains to be uncovered. These results expand and underline the range of coliphage diversity and demonstrate how far we are from fully disclosing phage diversity and ecology.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Zucconi L, Canini F, Temporiti ME, et al (2020)

Extracellular Enzymes and Bioactive Compounds from Antarctic Terrestrial Fungi for Bioprospecting.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(18): pii:ijerph17186459.

Antarctica, one of the harshest environments in the world, has been successfully colonized by extremophilic, psychrophilic, and psychrotolerant microorganisms, facing a range of extreme conditions. Fungi are the most diverse taxon in the Antarctic ecosystems, including soils. Genetic adaptation to this environment results in the synthesis of a range of metabolites, with different functional roles in relation to the biotic and abiotic environmental factors, some of which with new biological properties of potential biotechnological interest. An overview on the production of cold-adapted enzymes and other bioactive secondary metabolites from filamentous fungi and yeasts isolated from Antarctic soils is here provided and considerations on their ecological significance are reported. A great number of researches have been carried out to date, based on cultural approaches. More recently, metagenomics approaches are expected to increase our knowledge on metabolic potential of these organisms, leading to the characterization of unculturable taxa. The search on fungi in Antarctica deserves to be improved, since it may represent a useful strategy for finding new metabolic pathways and, consequently, new bioactive compounds.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

El-Hossary EM, Abdel-Halim M, Ibrahim ES, et al (2020)

Natural Products Repertoire of the Red Sea.

Marine drugs, 18(9): pii:md18090457.

Marine natural products have achieved great success as an important source of new lead compounds for drug discovery. The Red Sea provides enormous diversity on the biological scale in all domains of life including micro- and macro-organisms. In this review, which covers the literature to the end of 2019, we summarize the diversity of bioactive secondary metabolites derived from Red Sea micro- and macro-organisms, and discuss their biological potential whenever applicable. Moreover, the diversity of the Red Sea organisms is highlighted as well as their genomic potential. This review is a comprehensive study that compares the natural products recovered from the Red Sea in terms of ecological role and pharmacological activities.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Ayala-Muñoz D, Burgos WD, Sánchez-España J, et al (2020)

Metagenomic and Metatranscriptomic Study of Microbial Metal Resistance in an Acidic Pit Lake.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091350.

Cueva de la Mora (CM) is an acidic, meromictic pit lake in the Iberian Pyrite Belt characterized by extremely high metal(loid) concentrations and strong gradients in oxygen, metal, and nutrient concentrations. We hypothesized that geochemical variations with depth would result in differences in community composition and in metal resistance strategies among active microbial populations. We also hypothesized that metal resistance gene (MRG) expression would correlate with toxicity levels for dissolved metal species in the lake. Water samples were collected in the upper oxic layer, chemocline, and deep anoxic layer of the lake for shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing. Metagenomic analyses revealed dramatic differences in the composition of the microbial communities with depth, consistent with changing geochemistry. Based on relative abundance of taxa identified in each metagenome, Eukaryotes (predominantly Coccomyxa) dominated the upper layer, while Archaea (predominantly Thermoplasmatales) dominated the deep layer, and a combination of Bacteria and Eukaryotes were abundant at the chemocline. We compared metal resistance across communities using a curated list of protein-coding MRGs with KEGG Orthology identifiers (KOs) and found that there were broad differences in the metal resistance strategies (e.g., intracellular metal accumulation) expressed by Eukaryotes, Bacteria, and Archaea. Although normalized abundances of MRG and MRG expression were generally higher in the deep layer, expression of metal-specific genes was not strongly related to variations in specific metal concentrations, especially for Cu and As. We also compared MRG potential and expression in metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) from the deep layer, where metal concentrations are highest. Consistent with previous work showing differences in metal resistance mechanisms even at the strain level, MRG expression patterns varied strongly among MAG populations from the same depth. Some MAG populations expressed very few MRG known to date, suggesting that novel metal resistance strategies remain to be discovered in uncultivated acidophiles.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Desdouits M, Wacrenier C, Ollivier J, et al (2020)

A Targeted Metagenomics Approach to Study the Diversity of Norovirus GII in Shellfish Implicated in Outbreaks.

Viruses, 12(9): pii:v12090978.

Human noroviruses (NoV) cause epidemics of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) worldwide and can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated foods. Fresh products such as shellfish can be contaminated by human sewage during production, which results in the presence of multiple virus strains, at very low concentrations. Here, we tested a targeted metagenomics approach by deep-sequencing PCR amplicons of the capsid (VP1) and polymerase (RdRp) viral genes, on a set of artificial samples and on shellfish samples associated to AGE outbreaks, to evaluate its advantages and limitations in the identification of strains from the NoV genogroup (G) II. Using artificial samples, the method allowed the sequencing of most strains, but not all, and displayed variability between replicates especially with lower viral concentrations. Using shellfish samples, targeted metagenomics was compared to Sanger-sequencing of cloned amplicons and was able to identify a higher diversity of NoV GII and GIV strains. It allowed phylogenetic analyses of VP1 sequences and the identification, in most samples, of GII.17[P17] strains, also identified in related clinical samples. Despite several limitations, combining RdRp- and VP1-targeted metagenomics is a sensitive approach allowing the study NoV diversity in low-contaminated foods and the identification of NoV strains implicated in outbreaks.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Singh H, Miyamoto S, Darshi M, et al (2020)

Gut Microbial Changes in Diabetic db/db Mice and Recovery of Microbial Diversity upon Pirfenidone Treatment.

Microorganisms, 8(9): pii:microorganisms8091347.

The leptin receptor-deficient db/db mouse model is an accepted in vivo model to study obesity, type 2 diabetes, and diabetic kidney disease. Healthy gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota has been linked to weight loss, improved glycemic control, and physiological benefits. We investigated the effect of various drugs on the GI microbiota of db/db mice as compared to control db/m mice. Treatment with long-acting pirfenidone (PFD) increased gut microbial diversity in diabetic db/db mice. Firmicutes, the most abundant phylum in db/m mice, decreased significantly in abundance in db/db mice but showed increased abundance with long-acting PFD treatment. Several bacterial taxa, including Lactobacillus and some Bacteroides, were less abundant in db/db mice and more abundant in long-acting-PFD-treated db/db mice. Long-acting PFD treatment reduced the abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila (5%) as compared to db/db mice (~15%). We conclude that gut microbial dysbiosis observed in db/db mice was partially reversed by long-acting PFD treatment and hypothesize that PFD has beneficial effects, in part, via its influence on the gut microbial metabolite profile. In quantitatively assessing urine metabolites, we observed a high abundance of diabetic ketoacidosis biomarkers, including 3-hydroxybutyric acid and acetoacetic acid in db/db mice, which were less abundant in the long-acting-PFD-treated db/db mice.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Iacono R, Cobucci-Ponzano B, De Lise F, et al (2020)

Spatial Metagenomics of Three Geothermal Sites in Pisciarelli Hot Spring Focusing on the Biochemical Resources of the Microbial Consortia.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(17): pii:molecules25174023.

Terrestrial hot springs are of great interest to the general public and to scientists alike due to their unique and extreme conditions. These have been sought out by geochemists, astrobiologists, and microbiologists around the globe who are interested in their chemical properties, which provide a strong selective pressure on local microorganisms. Drivers of microbial community composition in these springs include temperature, pH, in-situ chemistry, and biogeography. Microbes in these communities have evolved strategies to thrive in these conditions by converting hot spring chemicals and organic matter into cellular energy. Following our previous metagenomic analysis of Pisciarelli hot springs (Naples, Italy), we report here the comparative metagenomic study of three novel sites, formed in Pisciarelli as result of recent geothermal activity. This study adds comprehensive information about phylogenetic diversity within Pisciarelli hot springs by peeking into possible mechanisms of adaptation to biogeochemical cycles, and high applicative potential of the entire set of genes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism in this environment (CAZome). This site is an excellent model for the study of biodiversity on Earth and biosignature identification, and for the study of the origin and limits of life.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Dioso CM, Vital P, Arellano K, et al (2020)

Do Your Kids Get What You Paid for? Evaluation of Commercially Available Probiotic Products Intended for Children in the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:foods9091229.

A wide range of probiotic products is available on the market and can be easily purchased over the counter and unlike pharmaceutical drugs, their commercial distribution is not strictly regulated. In this study, ten probiotic preparations commercially available for children's consumption in the Republic of the Philippines (PH) and the Republic of Korea (SK) have been investigated. The analyses included determination of viable counts and taxonomic identification of the bacterial species present in each formulation. The status of each product was assessed by comparing the results with information and claims provided on the label. In addition to their molecular identification, safety assessment of the isolated strains was conducted by testing for hemolysis, biogenic amine production and antibiotic resistance. One out of the ten products contained lower viable numbers of recovered microorganisms than claimed on the label. Enterococcus strains, although not mentioned on the label, were isolated from four products. Some of these isolates produced biogenic amines and were resistant to one or several antibiotics. Metagenomic analyses of two products revealed that one product did not contain most of the microorganisms declared in its specification. The study demonstrated that some commercial probiotic products for children did not match their label claims. Infants and young children belong to the most vulnerable members of society, and food supplements including probiotics destined for this consumer group require careful checking and strict regulation before commercial distribution.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Shamsaddini A, Dadkhah K, PM Gillevet (2020)

BiomMiner: An advanced exploratory microbiome analysis and visualization pipeline.

PloS one, 15(6):e0234860.

Current microbiome applications require substantial bioinformatics expertise to execute. As microbiome clinical diagnostics are being developed, there is a critical need to implement computational tools and applications that are user-friendly for the medical community to understand microbiome correlation with the health. To address this need, we have developed BiomMiner (pronounced as "biominer"), an automated pipeline that provides a comprehensive analysis of microbiome data. The pipeline finds taxonomic signatures of microbiome data and compiles actionable clinical report that allows clinicians and biomedical scientists to efficiently perform statistical analysis and data mining on the large microbiome datasets. BiomMiner generates web-enabled visualization of the analysis results and is specifically designed to facilitate the use of microbiome datasets in clinical applications.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Imanishi I, Uchiyama J, Tsukui T, et al (2019)

Therapeutic Potential of an Endolysin Derived from Kayvirus S25-3 for Staphylococcal Impetigo.

Viruses, 11(9):.

Impetigo is a contagious skin infection predominantly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Decontamination of S. aureus from the skin is becoming more difficult because of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. Bacteriophage endolysins are less likely to invoke resistance and can eliminate the target bacteria without disturbance of the normal microflora. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of a recombinant endolysin derived from kayvirus S25-3 against staphylococcal impetigo in an experimental setting. First, the recombinant S25-3 endolysin required an incubation period of over 15 minutes to exhibit efficient bactericidal effects against S. aureus. Second, topical application of the recombinant S25-3 endolysin decreased the number of intraepidermal staphylococci and the size of pustules in an experimental mouse model of impetigo. Third, treatment with the recombinant S25-3 endolysin increased the diversity of the skin microbiota in the same mice. Finally, we revealed the genus-specific bacteriolytic effect of recombinant S25-3 endolysin against staphylococci, particularly S. aureus, among human skin commensal bacteria. Therefore, topical treatment with recombinant S25-3 endolysin can be a promising disease management procedure for staphylococcal impetigo by efficient bacteriolysis of S. aureus while improving the cutaneous bacterial microflora.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Pereira AC, MV Cunha (2020)

An effective culturomics approach to study the gut microbiota of mammals.

Research in microbiology pii:S0923-2508(20)30084-X [Epub ahead of print].

The microbial characterization of the mammal's gut is an emerging research area, wherein culturomics methodologies applied to human samples are transposed to the animal context without improvement. In this work, using Egyptian mongoose as a model, we explore wet bench conditions to define an effective experimental design based on culturomics and DNA barcoding with potential application to different mammal species. After testing a battery of solid media and enrichments, we show that YCFA-based media, in aerobic and anaerobic conditions, together with PDA supplemented with chloramphenicol, are sufficient to maximize bacterial and fungal microbiota diversity. The pasteurization of the sample enrichment before cultivation is central to gain insight into sporogenic communities. We suggest the application of this optimized culturomics strategy to accurately expand knowledge on the microbial diversity and abundance of mammals' gut, maximizing the application of common laboratory resources, without dramatic time and consumables expenditure but with high resolution of microbial landscapes. The analysis of ten fecal samples proved adequate to assess the core gastrointestinal microbiota of the mesocarnivore under analysis. This approach may empower most microbiology laboratories, particularly the veterinary, to perform studies on mammal's microbiota, and, in contrast with metagenomics, enabling the recovery of live bacteria for further studies.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Wang Q, Miao Q, Pan J, et al (2020)

The clinical value of metagenomic next generation sequencing in the microbiological diagnosis of skin and soft tissue infections.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases pii:S1201-9712(20)30721-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Metagenomic next generation sequencing (mNGS) with its comprehensiveness, has been widely applied in microbiological diagnosis. Etiological diagnosis is of paramount clinical importance in patients with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). However, the clinical application of mNGS in SSTIs is relatively less studied.

MATERIALS/METHODS: From April 1st 2017 to December 31st 2019, 96SSTIs cases were collected. The positive rates of pathogens detected by mNGS and culture were compared by analysing the tissues, pus, swabs and/or interstitial fluids of infected parts. Modification of antibiotic treatment strategy due to mNGS was also assessed.

RESULTS: The sensitivity of mNGS for detecting pathogens in SSTI cases was superior to that of culture testing (67.7% vs 35.4%; p < 0.01). Significantly higher identification rates for viruses (10.4% vs 0.0%; p < 0.01) and anaerobes (11.5% vs 1.0%; p < 0.01) were obtained with mNGS compared to culturing. Notably, rare pathogens such as Vibrio vulnificus and Bartonella henselae were also detected by mNGS. Importantly, proportion of multi-pathogen infections of SSTIs in mNGS was superior to that of culture (16.7% vs 6.3%; p = 0.035). The rate of targeted antibiotic treatment was significantly higher in mNGS-positive cases than that in mNGS-negative cases (41.7% vs 3.8%; p < 0.01). In culture-negative and mNGS-positive cases, the improvement rate was higher than that in mNGS-negative cases but was not statistically significant (75.0% vs 73.1%; p = 0.864).

CONCLUSIONS: mNGS is a promising tool for etiological diagnosis of SSTIs, particularly in identifying viruses, anaerobes, and multi-pathogen infections. Application of mNGS testing to clinical practice can change antibiotic treatment strategies and partly benefit clinical outcomes.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Bandini F, Misci C, Taskin E, et al (2020)

Biopolymers modulate microbial communities in municipal organic waste digestion.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5902845 [Epub ahead of print].

The development of biopolymers has raised issues about their recalcitrance in the environment. Their disposal is mainly carried out with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) through thermophilic anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting, bioprocesses aimed at turning organic matter into biogas and compost. However, the effects of biopolymers on OFMSW treatment, on the final compost and on the microbial communities involved are partly unexplored. In this study, the OFMSW treatment was reproduced on a laboratory-scale respecting real plant conditions and testing the impacts of mixing polylactic acid (PLA) and starch-based bioplastic (SBB) separately. The dynamics of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities during the process was screened by high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of phylogenetic amplicons. SBB showed a minor and heterogeneous microbial diversity between the anaerobic and aerobic phases. Contrariwise, PLA treatment resulted in wider and more diverse bacterial and fungal communities for the compost and the aerobic biofilm. Since the biodiversity in compost may play a crucial role in its stability and safety, the modulation of environmental microbial communities induced by higher concentrations of PLA in OFMSW treatment can pose relevant issues.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Onetto CA, Schmidt SA, Roach MJ, et al (2020)

Comparative genome analysis proposes three new Aureobasidium species isolated from grape juice.

FEMS yeast research pii:5902852 [Epub ahead of print].

Aureobasidium pullulans is the most abundant and ubiquitous species within the genus and is also considered a core component of the grape juice microflora. So far, a small number of other Aureobasidium species have been reported, that in contrast to A. pullulans, appear far more constrained to specific habitats. It is unknown whether grape juice is a reservoir of novel Aureobasidium species, overlooked in the course of conventional morphological and meta-barcoding analyses. In this study, eight isolates from grape juice taxonomically classified as Aureobasidium through ITS sequencing were subjected to whole-genome phylogenetic, synteny and nucleotide identity analyses, which revealed three isolates to likely represent newly discovered Aureobasidium species. Analyses of ITS and metagenomic sequencing datasets show that these species can be present in grape juice samples from different locations and vintages. Functional annotation revealed the Aureobasidium isolates possess the genetic potential to support growth on the surface of plants and grapes. However, the loss of several genes associated with tolerance to diverse environmental stresses suggest a more constrained ecological range than A. pullulans.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Saunders JK, Gaylord DA, Held NA, et al (2020)

METATRYP v 2.0: Metaproteomic Least Common Ancestor Analysis for Taxonomic Inference Using Specialized Sequence Assemblies - Standalone Software and Web Servers for Marine Microorganisms and Coronaviruses.

Journal of proteome research [Epub ahead of print].

We present METATRYP version-2 software that identifies shared peptides across the predicted proteomes of organisms within environmental metaproteomics studies to enable accurate taxonomic attribution of peptides during protein inference. Improvements include: ingestion of complex sequence assembly data categories (metagenomic and metatranscriptomic assemblies, single cell amplified genomes, and metagenome assembled genomes), prediction of the Least Common Ancestor (LCA) for a peptide shared across multiple organisms, increased performance through updates to the backend architecture, and development of a web portal ( Major expansion of the marine METATRYP database with predicted proteomes from environmental sequencing confirms low occurrence of shared tryptic peptides among disparate marine microorganisms, implying tractability for targeted metaproteomics. METATRYP was designed to facilitate ocean metaproteomics and has been integrated into the Ocean Protein Portal (; however, it can be readily applied to other domains. We describe the rapid deployment of a coronavirus-specific web portal ( to aid in use of proteomics on coronavirus research during the ongoing pandemic. A Coronavirus-focused METATRYP database identified potential SARS-CoV-2 peptide biomarkers and indicated very few shared tryptic peptides between SARS-CoV-2 and other disparate taxa analyzed, sharing 1% peptides with taxa outside of the Betacoronavirus group, establishing that taxonomic specificity is achievable using tryptic peptide-based proteomic diagnostic approaches.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Vasina M, Vanacek P, Damborsky J, et al (2020)

Exploration of enzyme diversity: High-throughput techniques for protein production and microscale biochemical characterization.

Methods in enzymology, 643:51-85.

Enzymes are being increasingly utilized for acceleration of industrially and pharmaceutically critical chemical reactions. The strong demand for finding robust and efficient biocatalysts for these applications can be satisfied via the exploration of enzyme diversity. The first strategy is to mine the natural diversity, represented by millions of sequences available in the public genomic databases, by using computational approaches. Alternatively, metagenomic libraries can be targeted experimentally or computationally to explore the natural diversity of a specific environment. The second strategy, known as directed evolution, is to generate man-made diversity in the laboratory using gene mutagenesis and screen the constructed library of mutants. The selected hits must be experimentally characterized in both strategies, which currently represent the rate-limiting step in the process of diversity exploration. The traditional techniques used for biochemical characterization are time-demanding, cost, and sample volume ineffective, and low-throughput. Therefore, the development and implementation of high-throughput experimental methods are essential for discovering novel enzymes. This chapter describes the experimental protocols employing the combination of robust production and high-throughput microscale biochemical characterization of enzyme variants. We validated its applicability against the model enzyme family of haloalkane dehalogenases. These protocols can be adapted to other enzyme families, paving the way towards the functional characterization and quick identification of novel biocatalysts.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Neun S, Zurek PJ, Kaminski TS, et al (2020)

Ultrahigh throughput screening for enzyme function in droplets.

Methods in enzymology, 643:317-343.

Water-in-oil droplets, made and handled in microfluidic devices, provide a new experimental format, in which ultrahigh throughput experiments can be conducted faster and with minimal reagent consumption. An increasing number of studies have emerged that applied this approach to directed evolution and metagenomic screening of enzyme catalysts. Here, we review the considerations necessary to implement robust workflows, based on choices of device design, detection modes, emulsion formulations and substrates, and scope out which enzyme classes have become amenable to droplet screening.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Maity C, Gupta PhD AK, Saroj DB, et al (2020)

Impact of a Gastrointestinal Stable Probiotic Supplement Bacillus coagulans LBSC on Human Gut Microbiome Modulation.

Journal of dietary supplements [Epub ahead of print].

Bacillus coagulans LBSC showed stability in acidic pH, bile and simulated human gastrointenstinal juices. Under static gut model, when passed through oral, gastric and intestinal phases, B. coagulans LBSC was found to be stable as free viable spores and also with various foods such as milk and baby foods, as well as American and European diets. In human studies, modulation of gut microbiota by B. coagulans LBSC was comprehended by whole genome metagenome analysis of fecal samples obtained from pre- and post-treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. B. coagulans LBSC treatment showed positive modulation in gut microbiota, especially up regulation of phyla such as Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, whereas down regulation of Bacteroids, Proteobacteria, Streptophyta and Verrucomicrobia. Simultaneously, it has altered various microbiota associated metabolic pathways to create the normalcy of gut microenvironment.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Endo H, Blanc-Mathieu R, Li Y, et al (2020)

Biogeography of marine giant viruses reveals their interplay with eukaryotes and ecological functions.

Nature ecology & evolution pii:10.1038/s41559-020-01288-w [Epub ahead of print].

Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDVs) are ubiquitous in marine environments and infect diverse eukaryotes. However, little is known about their biogeography and ecology in the ocean. By leveraging the Tara Oceans pole-to-pole metagenomic data set, we investigated the distribution of NCLDVs across size fractions, depths and biomes, as well as their associations with eukaryotic communities. Our analyses reveal a heterogeneous distribution of NCLDVs across oceans, and a higher proportion of unique NCLDVs in the polar biomes. The community structures of NCLDV families correlate with specific eukaryotic lineages, including many photosynthetic groups. NCLDV communities are generally distinct between surface and mesopelagic zones, but at some locations they exhibit a high similarity between the two depths. This vertical similarity correlates to surface phytoplankton biomass but not to physical mixing processes, which suggests a potential role of vertical transport in structuring mesopelagic NCLDV communities. These results underscore the importance of the interactions between NCLDVs and eukaryotes in biogeochemical processes in the ocean.

RevDate: 2020-09-07

Geng L, Feng Y, Li D, et al (2020)

Meningoencephalitis, coronary artery and keratitis as an onset of brucellosis: a case report.

BMC infectious diseases, 20(1):654 pii:10.1186/s12879-020-05358-z.

BACKGROUND: Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by brucella. It has been an increasing trend in recent years (Wang H, Xu WM, Zhu KJ, Zhu SJ, Zhang HF, Wang J, Yang Y, Shao FY, Jiang NM, Tao ZY, Jin HY, Tang Y, Huo LL, Dong F, Li ZJ, Ding H, Liu ZG, Emerg Microbes Infect 9:889-99, 2020). Brucellosis is capable to invade multiple systems throughout the body, lacking in typical clinical manifestations, and easily misdiagnosed and mistreated.

CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of a male, 5-year-and-11-month old child without relevant medical history, who was admitted to hospital for 20 days of fever. When admitted to the hospital, we found that he was enervated, irritable and sleepy, accompanied with red eyes phenomenon. After anti-infection treatment with meropenem, no improvement observed. Lumbar puncture revealed normal CSF protein, normal cells, and negative culture. Later, doppler echocardiography suggested coronary aneurysms, and incomplete Kawasaki Disease with coronary aneurysms was proposed. The next day, brucellosis agglutination test was positive. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) of cerebrospinal fluid suggested B.melitensis, which was confirmed again by blood culture. The child was finally diagnosed as brucellosis with meningocephalitis, coronary aneurysm and keratitis. According to our preliminary research and review, such case has never been reported in detail before. After diagnosis confirmation, the child was treated with rifampicin, compound sulfamethoxazole, and ceftriaxone for cocktail anti-infection therapy. Aspirin and dipyridamole were also applied for anticoagulant therapy. After medical treatment, body temperature of the child has reached normal level, eye symptoms alleviated, and mental condition gradually turned normal. Re-examination of the doppler echocardiographic indicated that the coronary aneurysm was aggravated, so warfarin was added for amplification of anticoagulation treatment. At present, 3 months of follow-up, the coronary artery dilatation gradually assuaged, and the condition is continued to alleviate.

CONCLUSION: Brucellosis can invade nervous system, coronary artery, and cornea. Brucellosis lacks specific signs for clinical diagnosis. The traditional agglutination test and the new mNGS are convenient and effective, which can provide the reference for clinical diagnosis.

RevDate: 2020-09-07

Fontenele RS, Roumagnac P, Richet C, et al (2020)

Diverse genomoviruses representing twenty-nine species identified associated with plants.

Archives of virology pii:10.1007/s00705-020-04801-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Genomoviruses (family Genomoviridae) are circular single-stranded DNA viruses that have been mainly identified through metagenomics studies in a wide variety of samples from various environments. Here, we describe 98 genomes of genomoviruses found associated with members of 19 plant families from Australia, Brazil, France, South Africa and the USA. These 98 genomoviruses represent 29 species, 26 of which are new, in the genera Gemykolovirus (n = 37), Gemyduguivirus (n = 9), Gemygorvirus (n = 8), Gemykroznavirus (n = 6), Gemycircularvirus (n = 21) and Gemykibivirus (n = 17).

RevDate: 2020-09-07

Yamamoto K, Matsutani M, Shiwa Y, et al (2020)

Comparative Analysis of Bacterial Diversity and Community Structure in the Rhizosphere and Root Endosphere of Two Halophytes, Salicornia europaea and Glaux maritima, Collected from Two Brackish Lakes in Japan.

Microbes and environments, 35(3):.

Microbial community structures associated with halophytes and their compositions among different habitats, particularly natural saline sites, have not yet been investigated in detail. In the present study, we examined the diversity and composition of the rhizosphere and root endosphere bacteria of two halophytes, Salicornia europaea L. and Glaux maritima L., collected from two adjacent brackish lakes, Lake Notoro and Lake Tofutsu, in Japan. The bacterial species richness and diversity indices of the two halophytes collected from both lakes showed no significant differences in the rhizosphere or root endosphere. In contrast, beta diversity and taxonomic analyses revealed significant differences in the bacterial communities from each halophyte between the two lakes even though the two locations were natural saline sites, indicating that the bacterial communities for S. europaea and G. maritima both fluctuated in a manner that depended on the geographical location. Common and abundant genera associated with each halophyte across the two lakes were then identified to verify the bacterial genera specifically inhabiting each plant species. The results obtained showed that the composition of abundant genera inhabiting each halophyte across two lakes was distinct from that reported previously in other saline soil areas. These results suggest that each halophyte in different geographical sites had an individual complex bacterial community.

RevDate: 2020-09-07

Aslam S, Sayeed Saraf V, Saleem S, et al (2020)

Lactobacillus species signature in association with term and preterm births from low-income group of Pakistan.

The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians [Epub ahead of print].

AIM/PURPOSE OF STUDY: It is estimated that around 15 million babies are born prematurely every year and approximately one million children die each year due to complications of preterm birth (PTB). Many survivors face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems. The current study aimed to characterize Lactobacillus species isolated from vaginal swabs and determine their antibiotic susceptibility.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: 40 term and 20 preterm samples were processed by culturing on MRS agar and initial identification was carried out using sugar fermentation reactions and 16S rRNA PCR. Moreover, Lactobacillus species from preterm and term cases using paired samples, i.e. vaginal swabs and placenta tissues from 8 preterm delivering mothers were further recruited for metagenomics study to possibly detect uncultured Lactobacillus species known to cause PTB.

RESULTS: 40% samples from preterm delivering mothers lack any Lactobacillus species whereas in contrast vaginal microflora of all term delivering mothers carry one or more species of Lactobacillus. L. crispatus (46% in term group and 25% preterm group) was found to be the most abundant group followed by L. jensenii (25% in both groups) and L. gasseri (19% in term group and 10% in preterm group). The antimicrobial susceptibility profile suggests that preterm isolates were least resistant to linezolid (20% resistance rate) and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (22% resistant rate) compared to term isolates (>60% for each drug group). Furthermore, the metagenomics data for paired samples (8 VS and 8 PT) from extreme PTB suggested that Lactobacillus Iners was the main difference between term and preterm deliveries. Moreover, overall lack of lactobacillus species or presence of rogue Lactobacillus species such as L. iners and L. vaginilis is associated with PTB. ERIC-PCR analysis using Lactobacillus crispatus revealed that all the pre-term samples are closely related and fall in same cluster while all the term samples fall in different cluster.

CONCLUSION: The study not only provides a baseline data of distinct signatures of associated lactobacillus species with the PTB which may be further transmitted to new born infants but also developing further therapeutic interventions to better manage the PTB.

RevDate: 2020-09-06

Garey KW, Begum K, Lancaster C, et al (2020)

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose Phase 1 study to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics and food and faecal microbiome effects of ibezapolstat administered orally to healthy subjects.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy pii:5902010 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Clostridioides difficile infection is the most common cause of healthcare-associated infections in the USA, with limited treatment options. Ibezapolstat is a novel DNA polymerase IIIC inhibitor with in vitro activity against C. difficile.

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of ibezapolstat in healthy volunteers. Microbiome changes associated with ibezapolstat were compared with vancomycin over a 10 day course using shotgun metagenomics.

RESULTS: A total of 62 subjects aged 31 ± 7 years (45% female; average BMI: 25 ± 3 kg/m2) were randomized. Ibezapolstat was well tolerated with a safety signal similar to placebo. Ibezapolstat had minimal systemic absorption with the majority of plasma concentrations less than 1 µg/mL. In the multiday, ascending dose study, ibezapolstat concentrations of 2000 µg/g of stool were observed by Day 2 and for the remainder of the dosing time period. In the multiday, multiple-dose arm, baseline microbiota was comparable between subjects that received ibezapolstat compared with vancomycin. At Day 10 of dosing, differential abundance analysis and β-diversity demonstrated a distinct difference between the microbiome in subjects given vancomycin compared with either dose of ibezapolstat (P = 0.006). α-Diversity changes were characterized as an increase in the Actinobacteria phylum in subjects that received ibezapolstat and an increase in Proteobacteria in subjects given vancomycin.

CONCLUSIONS: Ibezapolstat was shown to be safe and well tolerated, with minimal systemic exposure, high stool concentrations and a distinct microbiome profile compared with oral vancomycin. These results support further clinical development of ibezapolstat for patients with C. difficile infection.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Nguyen KHV, Dao TK, Nguyen HD, et al (2020)

Some characters of bacterial cellulases in goats' rumen elucidated by metagenomic DNA analysis and the role of fibronectin 3 module for endoglucanase function.

Asian-Australasian journal of animal sciences pii:ajas.20.0115 [Epub ahead of print].

Objective: Fibronectin 3 (FN3) and Ig-like modules (Ig) are usually collocated beside modular cellulase catalytic domains. However, very few researchers have investigated the role of these modules. In a previous study, we have sequenced and analyzed bacterial metagenomic DNA in Vietnamese goats' rumen and found that cellulase-producing bacteria and cellulase families were dominant [1]. In this study, the properties of modular cellulases and the role of a FN3 in unique endoglucanase FN3-GH5 were determined.

Methods: Based on Pfam analysis, the cellulases sequences containing FN3, Ig modules were extracted from 297 complete ORFs. The alkaline, thermostability, tertiary structure of deduced enzymes were predicted by AcalPred, TBI softwares, Phyre2 and Swiss models. Then, whole and truncated forms of XFN3GH5 were expressed in E. coli and purified by His-tag affinity column for assessment of FN3 abilities to enhance enzyme activity, solubility and conformation.

Results: From 297 complete ORFs coding for cellulases, 148 sequences containing FN3, Ig were identified. Mostly FN3 appeared in 90.9% beta-glucosidase GH3 and situated downstream of catalytic domains. The Ig was found upstream of 100% endoglucanase GH9. Rarely FN3 was seen to be situated downstream of X domain and upstream of catalytic domain endoglucanase GH5. Whole enzyme (XFN3GH5) and truncate forms FN3, XFN3, FN3GH5, GH5 were cloned in pET22b(+) and pET22SUMO to be expressed in single and fusion forms with SUMO partner (S). The FN3, SFN3 increased GH5 solubility in FN3GH5, SFN3GH5. The SFN3 partly served for GH5 conformation in SFN3GH5, increased modules interaction and enzyme-soluble substrate affinity to enhance SXFN3GH5, SFN3GH5 activities in mixtures. Both SFN3 and SXFN3 did not anchor enzyme on filter paper but exfoliate and separate cellulose chains on filter paper for enzyme hydrolysis.

Conclusion: Based on these findings, the presence of FN3 module in certain cellulase was confirmed and it assisted for enzyme conformation and activity in both soluble and insoluble substrate.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Phulpoto IA, Hu B, Wang Y, et al (2020)

Effect of natural microbiome and culturable biosurfactants-producing bacterial consortia of freshwater lake on petroleum-hydrocarbon degradation.

The Science of the total environment, 751:141720 pii:S0048-9697(20)35249-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater lake ecosystem is a reservior of valuable microbial diversity. It needs to be explored for addressing key environmental issues like petroleum-hydrocarbon contamination. In this work, the microbial communities (pre and post enriched with petroleum-hydrocarbons) from different layers of freshwater lake, i.e. surface water, sediments and deepwater, were explored through metagenomic and culture-dependent approaches. A total of 41 bacterial phyla were retrieved from pre-enriched samples, which were significantly reduced in enriched samples where Proteobacteria were dominant (87% to 100%) followed by Bacteroidetes (7.37%) and Verrucomicrobia (3.06%). The most dominant hydrocarbon-degrading genera were extensively verified as Pseudomonas (48.65%), Acinetobacter (45.38%), Stenotrophomonas (3.16%) and Brevundimonas (2.07%) in surface water (S1WCC); Acinetobacter (62.46%), Aeromonas (10.7%), Sphingobacterium (5.20%) and Pseudomonas (4.23%) in sediment (S2MCC); and Acinetobacter (46.57%), Pseudomonas (13.10%), Comamonas (12.93%), Flavobacterium (12.18%) and Enterobacter (9.62%) in deep water (S4WCC). Additionally, the maximum biodegradation of petroleum-hydrocarbons (i.e. used engine oil or UEO) was achieved by microbiome of S2MCC (67.60 ± 0.08%) followed by S4WCC (59.70 ± 0.12%), whereas only 36.80 ± 0.10% degradation was achieved by S1WCC microbiome. On the other hand, UEO degradation by cultivable biosurfactant-producing single cultures such as Pseudomonas sp. S2WE, Pseudomonas sp. S2WG, Pseudomonas sp. S2MS, Ochrobactrum sp. S1MM and Bacillus nealsonii S2MT showed 31.10 ± 0.08% to 40.50 ± 0.11% biodegradation. Comparatively, the biodegradation efficiency was found higher (i.e. 42.20 ± 0.12% to 56.10 ± 0.12%) in each consortia comprising of two, three, four, and five bacterial cultures. Conclusively, the isolated culturable biosurfactants-producing bacterial consortium of freshwater lake demonstrated >80% contribution in the total petroleum-hydrocarbons degradation by the natural microbiome of the ecosystem.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Turrini P, Tescari M, Visaggio D, et al (2020)

The microbial community of a biofilm lining the wall of a pristine cave in Western New Guinea.

Microbiological research, 241:126584 pii:S0944-5013(20)30452-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Caves are extreme environments inhabited by microbial communities adapted to thrive oligotrophic conditions. Cave microbes are organised in complex ecological networks and have developed survival strategies involving the production and release of a large variety of secondary metabolites, including antibiotic-like compounds. In this study, the structure and the metabolic features of a biofilm-like microbial community lining the walls of a pristine karst cavity (the Yumugi river cave) located in a remote region of the Western New Guinea were investigated. 16S rRNA and shotgun sequence analyses highlighted the prevalence of chemoorganotrophic phyla (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Acidobacteria), consistent with metabolic predictions inferred from the cave metagenome analysis. Few clinically relevant antimicrobial resistance genes were detected. A culture-based approach allowed the isolation of some heterotrophic members of the bacterial community, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed an overall high level of resistance to different antimicrobials classes. Isolates presumptively representing new uncharacterized members of genus Pseudomonas displayed interesting antibiotic properties against Gram-positive indicator strains. Our work supports the hypothesis that caves represent a reservoir for new bacterial species and drug discovery research.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Van Borm S, Vanneste K, Fu Q, et al (2020)

Increased viral read counts and metagenomic full genome characterization of porcine astrovirus 4 and Posavirus 1 in sows in a swine farm with unexplained neonatal piglet diarrhea.

Virus genes pii:10.1007/s11262-020-01791-z [Epub ahead of print].

Neonatal diarrhea in piglets may cause major losses in affected pig herds. The present study used random high-throughput RNA sequencing (metagenomic next generation sequencing, mNGS) to investigate the virome of sows from a farm with persistent neonatal piglet diarrhea in comparison to two control farms without diarrhea problems. A variety of known swine gastrointestinal viruses was detected in the control farms as well as in the problem farm (Mamastrovirus, Enterovirus, Picobirnavirus, Posavirus 1, Kobuvirus, Proprismacovirus). A substantial increase in normalized viral read counts was observed in the affected farm compared to the control farms. The increase was attributable to a single viral species in each of the sampled sows (porcine astrovirus 4 and Posavirus 1). The complete genomes of a porcine astrovirus 4 and two co-infecting Posavirus 1 were de novo assembled and characterized. The 6734 nt single-stranded RNA genome of porcine astrovirus 4 (PoAstV-4) strain Belgium/2019 contains three overlapping open reading frames (nonstructural protein 1ab, nonstructural protein 1a, capsid protein). Posavirus 1 strains Belgium/01/2019 and Belgium/02/2019 have a 9814 nt single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome encoding a single open reading frame (polyprotein precursor) containing the five expected Picornavirales-conserved protein domains. The study highlights the potential of mNGS workflows to study unexplained neonatal diarrhea in piglets and contributes to the scarce availability of both PoAstV-4 and Posavirus-1 whole genome sequences from Western Europe.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )