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Bibliography on: Human Microbiome

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 08 Feb 2023 at 01:48 Created: 

Human Microbiome

The human microbiome is the set of all microbes that live on or in humans. Together, a human body and its associated microbiomes constitute a human holobiont. Although a human holobiont is mostly mammal by weight, by cell count it is mostly microbial. The number of microbial genes in the associated microbiomes far outnumber the number of human genes in the human genome. Just as humans (and other multicellular eukaryotes) evolved in the constant presence of gravity, so they also evolved in the constant presence of microbes. Consequently, nearly every aspect of human biology has evolved to deal with, and to take advantage of, the existence of associated microbiota. In some cases, the absence of a "normal microbiome" can cause disease, which can be treated by the transplant of a correct microbiome from a healthy donor. For example, fecal transplants are an effective treatment for chronic diarrhea from over abundant Clostridium difficile bacteria in the gut.

Created with PubMed® Query: "human microbiome" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-02-06

Bhandari P, Tingley J, Abbott DW, et al (2023)

Glycogen-Degrading Activities of Catalytic Domains of α-Amylase and α-Amylase-Pullulanase Enzymes Conserved in Gardnerella spp. from the Vaginal Microbiome.

Journal of bacteriology [Epub ahead of print].

Gardnerella spp. are associated with bacterial vaginosis in which normally dominant lactobacilli are replaced with facultative and anaerobic bacteria, including Gardnerella spp. Co-occurrence of multiple species of Gardnerella is common in the vagina, and competition for nutrients such as glycogen likely contributes to the differential abundances of Gardnerella spp. Glycogen must be digested into smaller components for uptake, a process that depends on the combined action of glycogen-degrading enzymes. In this study, the ability of culture supernatants of 15 isolates of Gardnerella spp. to produce glucose, maltose, maltotriose, and maltotetraose from glycogen was demonstrated. Carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) were identified bioinformatically in Gardnerella proteomes using dbCAN2. Identified proteins included a single-domain α-amylase (EC (encoded by all 15 isolates) and an α-amylase-pullulanase (EC containing amylase, carbohydrate binding modules, and pullulanase domains (14/15 isolates). To verify the sequence-based functional predictions, the amylase and pullulanase domains of the α-amylase-pullulanase and the single-domain α-amylase were each produced in Escherichia coli. The α-amylase domain from the α-amylase-pullulanase released maltose, maltotriose, and maltotetraose from glycogen, and the pullulanase domain released maltotriose from pullulan and maltose from glycogen, demonstrating that the Gardnerella α-amylase-pullulanase is capable of hydrolyzing α-1,4 and α-1,6 glycosidic bonds. Similarly, the single-domain α-amylase protein also produced maltose, maltotriose, and maltotetraose from glycogen. Our findings show that Gardnerella spp. produce extracellular amylase enzymes as "public goods" that can digest glycogen into maltose, maltotriose, and maltotetraose that can be used by the vaginal microbiota. IMPORTANCE Increased abundance of Gardnerella spp. is a diagnostic characteristic of bacterial vaginosis, an imbalance in the human vaginal microbiome associated with troubling symptoms, and negative reproductive health outcomes, including increased transmission of sexually transmitted infections and preterm birth. Competition for nutrients is likely an important factor in causing dramatic shifts in the vaginal microbial community, but little is known about the contribution of bacterial enzymes to the metabolism of glycogen, a major food source available to vaginal bacteria. The significance of our research is characterizing the activity of enzymes conserved in Gardnerella species that contribute to the ability of these bacteria to utilize glycogen.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Cobo-López S, Gupta VK, Sung J, et al (2022)

Stochastic block models reveal a robust nested pattern in healthy human gut microbiomes.

PNAS nexus, 1(3):pgac055.

A key question in human gut microbiome research is what are the robust structural patterns underlying its taxonomic composition. Herein, we use whole metagenomic datasets from healthy human guts to show that such robust patterns do exist, albeit not in the conventional enterotype sense. We first introduce the concept of mixed-membership enterotypes using a network inference approach based on stochastic block models. We find that gut microbiomes across a group of people (hosts) display a nested structure, which has been observed in a number of ecological systems. This finding led us to designate distinct ecological roles to both microbes and hosts: generalists and specialists. Specifically, generalist hosts have microbiomes with most microbial species, while specialist hosts only have generalist microbes. Moreover, specialist microbes are only present in generalist hosts. From the nested structure of microbial taxonomies, we show that these ecological roles of microbes are generally conserved across datasets. Our results show that the taxonomic composition of healthy human gut microbiomes is associated with robustly structured combinations of generalist and specialist species.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Fujiyoshi S, Yarimizu K, Perera I, et al (2023)

Learning from mistakes: challenges in finding holobiont factors from environmental samples and the importance of methodological consistency.

Current opinion in biotechnology, 80:102897 pii:S0958-1669(23)00007-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The cause of harmful algal blooms has been a mystery, but research to elucidate its mechanism has progressed over the years thanks to genetic technologies. We have monitored toxic algae and its associated bacteria as a community, the so-called 'holobiont' in Chilean coastal waters for years from the perspective of bacteria as an algal bloom driver. This review describes the challenges of holobiont monitoring, specifically with respect to standardizing and compliance with the monitoring protocols to collect reliable and sustainable data. Further, we suggest adopting the high-throughput sequencing (HTS) standard operating procedure (SOP) by the International Human Microbiome to improve the quality and consistency of holobiont monitoring in the harmful algal world.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Markkanen MA, Haukka K, Pärnänen KMM, et al (2023)

Metagenomic Analysis of the Abundance and Composition of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Hospital Wastewater in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Finland.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic resistance is a global threat to human health, with the most severe effect in low- and middle-income countries. We explored the presence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the hospital wastewater (HWW) of nine hospitals in Benin and Burkina Faso, two low-income countries in West Africa, with shotgun metagenomic sequencing. For comparison, we also studied six hospitals in Finland. The highest sum of the relative abundance of ARGs in the 68 HWW samples was detected in Benin and the lowest in Finland. HWW resistomes and mobilomes in Benin and Burkina Faso resembled each other more than those in Finland. Many carbapenemase genes were detected at various abundances, especially in HWW from Burkina Faso and Finland. The blaGES genes, the most widespread carbapenemase gene in the Beninese HWW, were also found in water intended for hand washing and in a puddle at a hospital yard in Benin. mcr genes were detected in the HWW of all three countries, with mcr-5 being the most common mcr gene. These and other mcr genes were observed in very high relative abundances, even in treated wastewater in Burkina Faso and a street gutter in Benin. The results highlight the importance of wastewater treatment, with particular attention to HWW. IMPORTANCE The global emergence and increased spread of antibiotic resistance threaten the effectiveness of antibiotics and, thus, the health of the entire population. Therefore, understanding the resistomes in different geographical locations is crucial in the global fight against the antibiotic resistance crisis. However, this information is scarce in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), such as those in West Africa. In this study, we describe the resistomes of hospital wastewater in Benin and Burkina Faso and, as a comparison, Finland. Our results help to understand the hitherto unrevealed resistance in Beninese and Burkinabe hospitals. Furthermore, the results emphasize the importance of wastewater management infrastructure design to minimize exposure events between humans, HWW, and the environment, preventing the circulation of resistant bacteria and ARGs between humans (hospitals and community) and the environment.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Legba BB, Dougnon V, Koudokpon H, et al (2022)

Assessment of blood cultures and antibiotic susceptibility testing for bacterial sepsis diagnosis and utilization of results by clinicians in Benin: A qualitative study.

Frontiers in public health, 10:1088590.

OBJECTIVES: We assessed the current status of blood culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) practices in clinical laboratories in Benin, and how the laboratory results are used by physicians to prescribe antibiotics.

METHODS: The qualitative study covered twenty-five clinical laboratories with a bacteriology unit and associated hospitals and pharmacies. Altogether 159 laboratory staff, physicians and pharmacists were interviewed about their perceptions of the state of laboratory diagnostics related to sepsis and the use of antibiotics. Face-to-face interviews based on structured questionnaires were supported by direct observations when visiting five laboratories in across the country.

RESULTS: Only 6 laboratories (24%) conducted blood cultures, half of them with a maximum of 10 samples per month. The most common gram-negative bacteria isolated from blood cultures were: Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi while the most common gram-positives were Enterococcus spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. None of the laboratories listed Klebsiella pneumoniae among the three most common bacteria isolated from blood cultures, although other evidence indicates that it is the most common cause of sepsis in Benin. Due to limited testing capacity, physicians most commonly use empirical antibiotic therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: More resources are needed to develop laboratory testing capacity, technical skills in bacterial identification, AST, quality assurance, and communication of results must be strengthened.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

Walsh AM, Leech J, Huttenhower C, et al (2023)

"Integrated molecular approaches for fermented food microbiome research".

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:7022317 [Epub ahead of print].

Molecular technologies including high-throughput sequencing have expanded our perception of the microbial world. Unprecedented insights into the composition and function of microbial communities has generated large interest, with numerous landmark studies published in recent years relating the important roles of microbiomes and the environment-especially diet and nutrition-in human, animal, and global health. As such, food microbiomes represent an important cross-over between the environment and host. This is especially true of fermented food microbiomes, which actively introduce microbial metabolites and to a lesser extent, live microbes into the human gut. Here we discuss the history of fermented foods, and examine how molecular approaches have advanced research of these fermented foods over the past decade. We highlight how various molecular approaches have helped us to understand the ways in which microbes shape the qualities of these products, and we summarise the impacts of consuming fermented foods on the gut. Finally, we explore how advances in bioinformatics could be leveraged to enhance our understanding of fermented foods. This review highlights how integrated molecular approaches are changing our understanding of the microbial communities associated with food fermentation, the creation of unique food products, and their influences on the human microbiome and health.

RevDate: 2023-02-01

SeyedAlinaghi S, Afzalian A, Pashaei Z, et al (2023)

Gut microbiota and COVID-19: A systematic review.

Health science reports, 6(2):e1080.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alteration in humans' gut microbiota was reported in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The gut and upper respiratory tract (URT) microbiota harbor a dynamic and complex population of microorganisms and have strong interaction with host immune system homeostasis. However, our knowledge about microbiota and its association with SARS-CoV-2 is still limited. We aimed to systematically review the effects of gut microbiota on the SARS-CoV-2 infection and its severity and the impact that SARS-CoV-2 could have on the gut microbiota.

METHODS: We searched the keywords in the online databases of Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and Cochrane on December 31, 2021. After duplicate removal, we performed the screening process in two stages; title/abstract and then full-text screening. The data of the eligible studies were extracted into a pre-designed word table. This study adhered to the PRISMA checklist and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale Bias Assessment tool.

RESULTS: Sixty-three publications were included in this review. Our study shows that among COVID-19 patients, particularly moderate to severe cases, the gut and lung microbiota was different compared to healthy individuals. In addition, the severity, and viral load of COVID-19 disease would probably also be influenced by the gut, and lung microbiota's composition.

CONCLUSION: Our study concludes that there was a significant difference in the composition of the URT, and gut microbiota in COVID-19 patients compared to the general healthy individuals, with an increase in opportunistic pathogens. Further, research is needed to investigate the probable bidirectional association of COVID-19 and human microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Pruss KM, Chen H, Liu Y, et al (2023)

Host-microbe co-metabolism via MCAD generates circulating metabolites including hippuric acid.

Nature communications, 14(1):512.

The human gut microbiota produces dozens of small molecules that circulate in blood, accumulate to comparable levels as pharmaceutical drugs, and influence host physiology. Despite the importance of these metabolites to human health and disease, the origin of most microbially-produced molecules and their fate in the host remains largely unknown. Here, we uncover a host-microbe co-metabolic pathway for generation of hippuric acid, one of the most abundant organic acids in mammalian urine. Combining stable isotope tracing with bacterial and host genetics, we demonstrate reduction of phenylalanine to phenylpropionic acid by gut bacteria; the host re-oxidizes phenylpropionic acid involving medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD). Generation of germ-free male and female MCAD[-/-] mice enabled gnotobiotic colonization combined with untargeted metabolomics to identify additional microbial metabolites processed by MCAD in host circulation. Our findings uncover a host-microbe pathway for the abundant, non-toxic phenylalanine metabolite hippurate and identify β-oxidation via MCAD as a novel mechanism by which mammals metabolize microbiota-derived metabolites.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Wilson NG, Hernandez-Leyva A, Schwartz DJ, et al (2023)

The gut metagenome harbors metabolic and antibiotic resistance signatures of moderate-to-severe asthma.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.03.522677.

Asthma is a common allergic airway disease that develops in association with the human microbiome early in life. Both the composition and function of the infant gut microbiota have been linked to asthma risk, but functional alterations in the gut microbiota of older patients with established asthma remain an important knowledge gap. Here, we performed whole metagenomic shotgun sequencing of 95 stool samples from 59 healthy and 36 subjects with moderate-to-severe asthma to characterize the metagenomes of gut microbiota in children and adults 6 years and older. Mapping of functional orthologs revealed that asthma contributes to 2.9% of the variation in metagenomic content even when accounting for other important clinical demographics. Differential abundance analysis showed an enrichment of long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) metabolism pathways which have been previously implicated in airway smooth muscle and immune responses in asthma. We also observed increased richness of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in people with asthma. One differentially abundant ARG was a macrolide resistance marker, ermF , which significantly co-occurred with the Bacteroides fragilis toxin, suggesting a possible relationship between enterotoxigenic B. fragilis , antibiotic resistance, and asthma. Lastly, we found multiple virulence factor (VF) and ARG pairs that co-occurred in both cohorts suggesting that virulence and antibiotic resistance traits are co-selected and maintained in the fecal microbiota of people with asthma. Overall, our results show functional alterations via LCFA biosynthetic genes and increases in antibiotic resistance genes in the gut microbiota of subjects with moderate-to-severe asthma and could have implications for asthma management and treatment.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Sun H, Wang Y, Xiao Z, et al (2023)

multiMiAT: an optimal microbiome-based association test for multicategory phenotypes.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:7005163 [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes can affect the metabolism and immunity of human body incessantly, and the dysbiosis of human microbiome drives not only the occurrence but also the progression of disease (i.e. multiple statuses of disease). Recently, microbiome-based association tests have been widely developed to detect the association between the microbiome and host phenotype. However, the existing methods have not achieved satisfactory performance in testing the association between the microbiome and ordinal/nominal multicategory phenotypes (e.g. disease severity and tumor subtype). In this paper, we propose an optimal microbiome-based association test for multicategory phenotypes, namely, multiMiAT. Specifically, under the multinomial logit model framework, we first introduce a microbiome regression-based kernel association test for multicategory phenotypes (multiMiRKAT). As a data-driven optimal test, multiMiAT then integrates multiMiRKAT, score test and MiRKAT-MC to maintain excellent performance in diverse association patterns. Massive simulation experiments prove the success of our method. Furthermore, multiMiAT is also applied to real microbiome data experiments to detect the association between the gut microbiome and clinical statuses of colorectal cancer as well as for diverse statuses of Clostridium difficile infections.

RevDate: 2023-01-25

Kennedy KM, de Goffau MC, Perez-Muñoz ME, et al (2023)

Questioning the fetal microbiome illustrates pitfalls of low-biomass microbial studies.

Nature, 613(7945):639-649.

Whether the human fetus and the prenatal intrauterine environment (amniotic fluid and placenta) are stably colonized by microbial communities in a healthy pregnancy remains a subject of debate. Here we evaluate recent studies that characterized microbial populations in human fetuses from the perspectives of reproductive biology, microbial ecology, bioinformatics, immunology, clinical microbiology and gnotobiology, and assess possible mechanisms by which the fetus might interact with microorganisms. Our analysis indicates that the detected microbial signals are likely the result of contamination during the clinical procedures to obtain fetal samples or during DNA extraction and DNA sequencing. Furthermore, the existence of live and replicating microbial populations in healthy fetal tissues is not compatible with fundamental concepts of immunology, clinical microbiology and the derivation of germ-free mammals. These conclusions are important to our understanding of human immune development and illustrate common pitfalls in the microbial analyses of many other low-biomass environments. The pursuit of a fetal microbiome serves as a cautionary example of the challenges of sequence-based microbiome studies when biomass is low or absent, and emphasizes the need for a trans-disciplinary approach that goes beyond contamination controls by also incorporating biological, ecological and mechanistic concepts.

RevDate: 2023-01-25

Pang Z, Korpela R, H Vapaatalo (2022)

Intestinal aldosterone synthase activity and aldosterone synthesis in mouse.

Journal of physiology and pharmacology : an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society, 73(4):.

Aldosterone is the most important mineralocorticoid hormone regulating water and electrolyte absorption in the distal convoluted tubule of the kidney. Recently, we detected the presence of the whole chain of aldosterone production from the precursor corticosterone, transcription factor liver receptor homologue-1 (LRH-1), the aldosterone synthase enzyme protein (CYP11B2) as well as the gene to the final product aldosterone in murine large intestine. Here, we decided to correlate the amount of this synthase protein with its enzymatic activity in different parts of gastrointestinal tract and also with the aldosterone concentration in the respective tissue. Considering the physiological behavior of the animals in light and dark environment, we measured these variables at four time points - two in the light, the others during darkness. In vitro activity of CYP11B2 was measured as the amount of aldosterone formed from the precursor deoxycorticosterone using enzyme preparations from homogenized intestinal sections. CYP11B2 enzyme activity was higher in the large than in the small intestine. In ileum and colon, the CYP11B2 activity increased in the dark time. The highest aldosterone concentration was detected in the dark in the large intestine. In summary, enzyme activity of CYP11B2 was present in all parts of intestine; the large intestine formed more aldosterone during the darkness. No difference was seen in any of the variables between the early and late light hours.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Gardemeister S, Skogberg K, Saisto T, et al (2023)

Cross-sectional study of the proportion of antibiotic use during childbirth in full-term deliveries in Finland.

BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 23(1):50.

PURPOSE: In developed countries, data on the frequency of antibiotics given to mothers during childbirth are limited beyond the overall effect of all various prophylactic indications. Also, data on the impact of such antibiotics to the well-being of term babies are scarce. We aimed to characterize the frequency of antibiotic use during childbirth of term pregnancy. Secondly, we assessed whether the use of antibiotics was associated with any symptoms in infants.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 1019 term deliveries of women participating in the prospective Health and Early Life Microbiota (HELMi) birth cohort study between March 2016 and March 2018 in the capital region of Finland. The data on antibiotic use were collected from the hospital records.

RESULTS: In total, 37% of the mothers received antibiotics during childbirth and 100% in Caesarean Sects. (17% of the deliveries). Less than 5% of antibiotics were non-prophylactic. In vaginal deliveries, the most common indication (18%) was prophylaxis for Group B Streptococcus. The most frequently used antibiotics were cefuroxime (22%) and benzylpenicillin (15%), and 56% received only one dose. In infants exposed to antibiotics during delivery, defecation frequency was higher during the first months (p-value < 0.0001- 0.0145), and weight gain was higher at the age of three months (p-value 0.0371).

CONCLUSION: More than every third new-born in a developed country is exposed to antibiotics during birth. Our findings support the hypothesis that maternal antibiotics given during birth have an impact on the well-being of the infants. These findings should inform current policies for prophylactic antibiotics in childbirth.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Kim E, Yang SM, HY Kim (2023)

Weissella and the two Janus faces of the genus.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The genus Weissella belongs to the lactic acid bacteria group. It occurs naturally in foods and is a component of the human microbiome. A few Weissella species are candidate probiotics due to their potential for survival under the harsh conditions present in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. Various species have also shown potential for treating and preventing periodontal disease, skin pathologies, and atopic dermatitis; some are used as starters for the fermentation of foods due to their production of exopolysaccharides; and others are used as protective cultures due to their production of weissellicin, a bacteriocin. However, a few Weissella species are opportunistic pathogens, such as W. ceti, which is the etiological agent of weissellosis, a disease in rainbow trout. Additionally, most Weissella species are intrinsically vancomycin-resistant. Thus, the Weissella genus is important from both medical and industrial points of view, and the Janus faces of this genus should be considered in any expected biotechnological applications. In this review, we present an overview of the probiotic potential and pathogenic cases of the Weissella genus reported in the literature.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Sánchez-Tirado E, Agüí L, González-Cortés A, et al (2023)

Electrochemical (Bio)Sensing Devices for Human-Microbiome-Related Biomarkers.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 23(2): pii:s23020837.

The study of the human microbiome is a multidisciplinary area ranging from the field of technology to that of personalized medicine. The possibility of using microbiota biomarkers to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases (e.g., cancer), health conditions (e.g., obesity) or relevant processes (e.g., aging) has raised great expectations, also in the field of bioelectroanalytical chemistry. The well-known advantages of electrochemical biosensors-high sensitivity, fast response, and the possibility of miniaturization, together with the potential for new nanomaterials to improve their design and performance-position them as unique tools to provide a better understanding of the entities of the human microbiome and raise the prospect of huge and important developments in the coming years. This review article compiles recent applications of electrochemical (bio)sensors for monitoring microbial metabolites and disease biomarkers related to different types of human microbiome, with a special focus on the gastrointestinal microbiome. Examples of electrochemical devices applied to real samples are critically discussed, as well as challenges to be faced and where future developments are expected to go.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Maas E, Penders J, K Venema (2023)

Modelling the Gut Fungal-Community in TIM-2 with a Microbiota from Healthy Individuals.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:jof9010104.

Most research on the human microbiome focuses on the bacterial component, and this has led to a lack of information about the fungal component (mycobiota) and how this can influence human health, e.g., by modulation through the diet. The validated, dynamic computer-controlled model of the colon (TIM-2) is an in vitro model to study the microbiome and how this is influenced by interventions such as diet. In this study, it was used to the study the gut fungal-community. This was done in combination with next-generation sequencing of the ITS2 region for fungi and 16S rRNA for bacteria. Different dietary interventions (control diet (SIEM), high-carbohydrate, high-protein, glucose as a carbon source) were performed, to see if diet could shape the mycobiome. The mycobiome was investigated after the adaptation period, and throughout the intervention period which lasted 72 h, and samples were taken every 24 h. The fungal community showed low diversity and a greater variability when compared to bacteria. The mycobiome was affected most in the first hours of the adaptation period. Taxonomic classification showed that at the phylum-level Ascomycota and Basidiomycota dominated, while Agaricus, Aspergillus, Candida, Penicillum, Malassezia, Saccharomyces, Aureobasidium, Mycosphaerella, Mucor and Clavispora were the most abundant genera. During the intervention period, it was shown that the change of diet could influence the diversity. Clustering of samples for different time points was analyzed using Bray-Curtis dissimilarities. Samples of t0 clustered together, and samples of all other time points clustered together. The Bray-Curtis-dissimilarity analysis also showed that for the different dietary interventions, samples treated with glucose clustered together and were different from the other groups (p < 0.05, PERMANOVA). Taxonomic classification showed that the genera Alternaria, Thanatephorus, Candida and Dekkera differentially changed for the various diet groups (p < 0.05, Kruskal-Wallis). These results show that the mycobiota could be modelled in TIM-2; however, the low diversity and high variability make studying fungal, as compared to bacterial, communities, much more challenging. Future research should focus on the optimization of the stability of the fungal community to increase the strength of the results.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Kustrimovic N, Bombelli R, Baci D, et al (2023)

Microbiome and Prostate Cancer: A Novel Target for Prevention and Treatment.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021511.

Growing evidence of the microbiome's role in human health and disease has emerged since the creation of the Human Microbiome Project. Recent studies suggest that alterations in microbiota composition (dysbiosis) may play an essential role in the occurrence, development, and prognosis of prostate cancer (PCa), which remains the second most frequent male malignancy worldwide. Current advances in biological technologies, such as high-throughput sequencing, transcriptomics, and metabolomics, have enabled research on the gut, urinary, and intra-prostate microbiome signature and the correlation with local and systemic inflammation, host immunity response, and PCa progression. Several microbial species and their metabolites facilitate PCa insurgence through genotoxin-mediated mutagenesis or by driving tumor-promoting inflammation and dysfunctional immunosurveillance. However, the impact of the microbiome on PCa development, progression, and response to treatment is complex and needs to be fully understood. This review addresses the current knowledge on the host-microbe interaction and the risk of PCa, providing novel insights into the intraprostatic, gut, and urinary microbiome mechanisms leading to PCa carcinogenesis and treatment response. In this paper, we provide a detailed overview of diet changes, gut microbiome, and emerging therapeutic approaches related to the microbiome and PCa. Further investigation on the prostate-related microbiome and large-scale clinical trials testing the efficacy of microbiota modulation approaches may improve patient outcomes while fulfilling the literature gap of microbial-immune-cancer-cell mechanistic interactions.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

He S, Chakraborty R, S Ranganathan (2023)

Metaproteomic Analysis of an Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Dataset Suggests Diagnostic Potential of the Mycobiome.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(2): pii:ijms24021050.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common head and neck malignancy, with an estimated 5-year survival rate of only 40-50%, largely due to late detection and diagnosis. Emerging evidence suggests that the human microbiome may be implicated in OSCC, with oral microbiome studies putatively identifying relevant bacterial species. As the impact of other microbial organisms, such as fungi and viruses, has largely been neglected, a bioinformatic approach utilizing the Trans-Proteomic Pipeline (TPP) and the R statistical programming language was implemented here to investigate not only bacteria, but also viruses and fungi in the context of a publicly available, OSCC, mass spectrometry (MS) dataset. Overall viral, bacterial, and fungal composition was inferred in control and OSCC patient tissue from protein data, with a range of proteins observed to be differentially enriched between healthy and OSCC conditions, of which the fungal protein profile presented as the best potential discriminator of OSCC within the analysed dataset. While the current project sheds new light on the fungal and viral spheres of the oral microbiome in cancer in silico, further research will be required to validate these findings in an experimental setting.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Park DJ, AM Plantinga (2023)

Impact of Data and Study Characteristics on Microbiome Volatility Estimates.

Genes, 14(1): pii:genes14010218.

The human microbiome is a dynamic community of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Both the composition of the microbiome (the microbes that are present and their relative abundances) and the temporal variability of the microbiome (the magnitude of changes in their composition across time, called volatility) has been associated with human health. However, the effect of unbalanced sampling intervals and differential read depth on the estimates of microbiome volatility has not been thoroughly assessed. Using four publicly available gut and vaginal microbiome time series, we subsampled the datasets to several sampling intervals and read depths and then compared additive, multiplicative, centered log ratio (CLR)-based, qualitative, and distance-based measures of microbiome volatility between the conditions. We find that longer sampling intervals are associated with larger quantitative measures of change (particularly for common taxa), but not with qualitative measures of change or distance-based volatility quantification. A lower sequencing read depth is associated with smaller multiplicative, CLR-based, and qualitative measures of change (particularly for less common taxa). Strategic subsampling may serve as a useful sensitivity analysis in unbalanced longitudinal studies investigating clinical associations with microbiome volatility.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Brogna C, Cristoni S, Brogna B, et al (2022)

Toxin-like Peptides from the Bacterial Cultures Derived from Gut Microbiome Infected by SARS-CoV-2-New Data for a Possible Role in the Long COVID Pattern.

Biomedicines, 11(1): pii:biomedicines11010087.

It has been 3 years since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, however it is as yet little known how to care for the acute COVID-19 and long COVID patients. COVID-19 clinical manifestations are of both pulmonary and extra-pulmonary types. Extra-pulmonary ones include extreme tiredness (fatigue), shortness of breath, muscle aches, hyposmia, dysgeusia, and other neurological manifestations. In other autoimmune diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD) or Alzheimer's Disease (AD), it is well known that role of acetylcholine is crucial in olfactory dysfunction. We have already observed the presence of toxin-like peptides in plasma, urine, and faecal samples from COVID-19 patients, which are very similar to molecules known to alter acetylcholine signaling. After observing the production of these peptides in bacterial cultures, we have performed additional proteomics analyses to better understand their behavior and reported the extended data from our latest in vitro experiment. It seems that the gut microbiome continues to produce toxin-like peptides also after the decrease of RNA SARS-CoV-2 viral load at molecular tests. These toxicological interactions between the gut/human microbiome bacteria and the virus suggest a new scenario in the study of the clinical symptoms in long COVID and also in acute COVID-19 patients. It is discussed that in the bacteriophage similar behavior, the presence of toxins produced by bacteria continuously after viral aggression can be blocked using an appropriate combination of certain drugs.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Brenes LR, Johnson AD, MB Lohse (2023)

Farnesol and phosphorylation of the transcriptional regulator Efg1 affect Candida albicans white-opaque switching rates.

PloS one, 18(1):e0280233 pii:PONE-D-22-27552.

Candida albicans is a normal member of the human microbiome and an opportunistic fungal pathogen. This species undergoes several morphological transitions, and here we consider white-opaque switching. In this switching program, C. albicans reversibly alternates between two cell types, named "white" and "opaque," each of which is normally stable across thousands of cell divisions. Although switching under most conditions is stochastic and rare, certain environmental signals or genetic manipulations can dramatically increase the rate of switching. Here, we report the identification of two new inputs which affect white-to-opaque switching rates. The first, exposure to sub-micromolar concentrations of (E,E)-farnesol, reduces white-to-opaque switching by ten-fold or more. The second input, an inferred PKA phosphorylation of residue T208 on the transcriptional regulator Efg1, increases white-to-opaque switching ten-fold. Combining these and other environmental inputs results in a variety of different switching rates, indicating that a given rate represents the integration of multiple inputs.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Trovão F, Correia VG, Lourenço FM, et al (2023)

The structure of a Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron carbohydrate-binding module provides new insight into the recognition of complex pectic polysaccharides by the human microbiome.

Journal of structural biology: X, 7:100084.

The Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron has developed a consortium of enzymes capable of overcoming steric constraints and degrading, in a sequential manner, the complex rhamnogalacturonan II (RG-II) polysaccharide. BT0996 protein acts in the initial stages of the RG-II depolymerisation, where its two catalytic modules remove the terminal monosaccharides from RG-II side chains A and B. BT0996 is modular and has three putative carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) for which the roles in the RG-II degradation are unknown. Here, we present the characterisation of the module at the C-terminal domain, which we designated BT0996-C. The high-resolution structure obtained by X-ray crystallography reveals that the protein displays a typical β-sandwich fold with structural similarity to CBMs assigned to families 6 and 35. The distinctive features are: 1) the presence of several charged residues at the BT0996-C surface creating a large, broad positive lysine-rich patch that encompasses the putative binding site; and 2) the absence of the highly conserved binding-site signatures observed in CBMs from families 6 and 35, such as region A tryptophan and region C asparagine. These findings hint at a binding mode of BT0996-C not yet observed in its homologues. In line with this, carbohydrate microarrays and microscale thermophoresis show the ability of BT0996-C to bind α1-4-linked polygalacturonic acid, and that electrostatic interactions are essential for the recognition of the anionic polysaccharide. The results support the hypothesis that BT0996-C may have evolved to potentiate the action of BT0996 catalytic modules on the complex structure of RG-II by binding to the polygalacturonic acid backbone sequence.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Heinken A, Hertel J, Acharya G, et al (2023)

Genome-scale metabolic reconstruction of 7,302 human microorganisms for personalized medicine.

Nature biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome influences the efficacy and safety of a wide variety of commonly prescribed drugs. Designing precision medicine approaches that incorporate microbial metabolism would require strain- and molecule-resolved, scalable computational modeling. Here, we extend our previous resource of genome-scale metabolic reconstructions of human gut microorganisms with a greatly expanded version. AGORA2 (assembly of gut organisms through reconstruction and analysis, version 2) accounts for 7,302 strains, includes strain-resolved drug degradation and biotransformation capabilities for 98 drugs, and was extensively curated based on comparative genomics and literature searches. The microbial reconstructions performed very well against three independently assembled experimental datasets with an accuracy of 0.72 to 0.84, surpassing other reconstruction resources and predicted known microbial drug transformations with an accuracy of 0.81. We demonstrate that AGORA2 enables personalized, strain-resolved modeling by predicting the drug conversion potential of the gut microbiomes from 616 patients with colorectal cancer and controls, which greatly varied between individuals and correlated with age, sex, body mass index and disease stages. AGORA2 serves as a knowledge base for the human microbiome and paves the way to personalized, predictive analysis of host-microbiome metabolic interactions.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Shelin R, S Meenakshi (2023)

Rise of bacterial small proteins and peptides in therapeutic applications.

Protein and peptide letters pii:PPL-EPUB-128915 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Polypeptides that comprise less than 100 amino acids (50 amino acids in some cases) are referred to as small proteins (SPs), however, as of date, there is no strict definition. In contrast to the small polypeptides that arise due to proteolytic activity or abrupt protein synthesis, SPs are coded by small open reading frames (sORFs) and are conventionally synthesized by ribosomes.

PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: Although proteins that contain more than 100 amino acids have been studied exquisitely, studies on small proteins have been largely ignored, basically due to unsuccessful detection of these SPs by traditional methodologies/techniques. Serendipitous observation of several small proteins and elucidation of their vital functions in cellular processes opened the floodgate of a new area of research on the new family of proteins, "Small proteins". Having known the significance of such SPs, several advanced techniques are being developed to precisely identify and characterize them.

CONCLUSION: Bacterial small proteins (BSPs) are being intensely investigated in recent days and that has brought the versatile role of BSPs into the limelight. In particular, identification of the fact that BSPs exhibit antimicrobial activity has further expanded its scope in the area of therapeutics. Since the microbiome plays an inevitable role in determining the outcome of personalized medicine, studies on the secretory small proteins of the microbiome are gaining momentum. This review discusses the importance of bacterial small proteins and peptides in terms of their therapeutic applications.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Zyoud SH, Shakhshir M, Abushanab AS, et al (2023)

Mapping the output of the global literature on the links between gut microbiota and COVID-19.

Journal of health, population, and nutrition, 42(1):3.

BACKGROUND: The term "human microbiota" refers to populations of microorganisms that live harmoniously in co-existence with humans. They contribute significantly to the host's immunological response when confronted with a respiratory viral infection. However, little is known about the relationship between the human microbiome and COVID-19. Therefore, our objective is to perform a bibliometric analysis to explore the overall structure and hotspots of research activity on the links between microbiota and COVID-19 at the global level.

METHODS: The research literature on the microbiota and COVID-19 published between 2020 and 2022 was obtained from the Scopus database. Bibliometric analysis and network visualization were performed with VOSviewer.

RESULTS: Of the 701 publications selected, the USA contributed the most (n = 157, 22.40%), followed by China (n = 118, 16.83%) and Italy (n = 82, 11.70%). Hotspots in this field were "COVID-19 is associated with an altered upper respiratory tract microbiome," "the effect of antibiotics on the gut microbiome," as well as "patient nutrition and probiotic therapy in COVID-19."

CONCLUSIONS: The links between microbiota and COVID-19 remain an urgent concern at present, and the use of probiotics or/and antibiotics during the pandemic needs to be further improved. This landscape analysis of the links between the microbiota and COVID-19 will provide a basis for future research.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Valles-Colomer M, Blanco-Míguez A, Manghi P, et al (2023)

The person-to-person transmission landscape of the gut and oral microbiomes.

Nature [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome is an integral component of the human body and a co-determinant of several health conditions[1,2]. However, the extent to which interpersonal relations shape the individual genetic makeup of the microbiome and its transmission within and across populations remains largely unknown[3,4]. Here, capitalizing on more than 9,700 human metagenomes and computational strain-level profiling, we detected extensive bacterial strain sharing across individuals (more than 10 million instances) with distinct mother-to-infant, intra-household and intra-population transmission patterns. Mother-to-infant gut microbiome transmission was considerable and stable during infancy (around 50% of the same strains among shared species (strain-sharing rate)) and remained detectable at older ages. By contrast, the transmission of the oral microbiome occurred largely horizontally and was enhanced by the duration of cohabitation. There was substantial strain sharing among cohabiting individuals, with 12% and 32% median strain-sharing rates for the gut and oral microbiomes, and time since cohabitation affected strain sharing more than age or genetics did. Bacterial strain sharing additionally recapitulated host population structures better than species-level profiles did. Finally, distinct taxa appeared as efficient spreaders across transmission modes and were associated with different predicted bacterial phenotypes linked with out-of-host survival capabilities. The extent of microorganism transmission that we describe underscores its relevance in human microbiome studies[5], especially those on non-infectious, microbiome-associated diseases.

RevDate: 2023-01-18
CmpDate: 2023-01-18

Liu ZH, Zhou XD, LL Zhang (2023)

[Research Progress in the Correlation Between Oral Microbiota and Chronic Kidney Disease].

Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition, 54(1):66-70.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), one of the common clinical urological diseases, is increasingly more prevalent in recent years and has emerged as a major concern of public health around the globe. The continuous recurrence of CKD caused by renal function impairment leads eventually to irreversible renal failure and severe systemic complications, which causes severe negative impact on the quality of life of the patient. As an essential component of human microbiome, oral microbiota plays a major role in maintaining health, and there has been research suggesting close association between oral dysbiosis and CKD. It is therefore of great clinical significance to understand the correlation between CKD and oral microbiota. Herein, we reviewed the characteristics of oral microbiota of CKD patients, the possible mechanisms of oral microbiota's involvement in the pathogenesis and development of CKD, and the latest research findings on oral dysbiosis and CKD, with a view to finding new approaches to early prevention and control of CKD through oral microbial targets.

RevDate: 2023-01-18
CmpDate: 2023-01-18

Guan ZW, Xu TQ, Shen S, et al (2023)

[Pathways and Mechanisms of Periodontitis Contributing to Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes].

Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition, 54(1):39-48.

Periodontitis is a chronic oral inflammatory disease with a high incidence in the global population. Periodontal pathogens can colonize and infect multiple human tissues and organs through blood transmission, which is an important risk factor of many systemic diseases. Recently, the correlation between periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs) has attracted growing research interest. Herein, we systematically reviewed the research progress in the relationship between periodontitis and APOs and summarized reported findings on the pathways and mechanisms by which periodontitis contributes to APOs. We also clarified that intrauterine infection caused by oral pathogens transmitted through blood is an important pathway by which periodontitis interferes with pregnancy. In addition, further research focused on the discovery of more APOs-related oral pathogenic bacteria and their virulence factors, analysis of the interaction between pathogenic bacteria and placental tissue, and pathogenic pathways of oral bacterial invasion of the fetus will promote thorough analysis of the specific molecular mechanism of how periodontitis affects APOs. Furthermore, the validation of the results of human population-based studies through animal/cell experiments and the translation into effective intervention strategies are of great clinical significance to the prevention and control of the occurrence and development of APOs.

RevDate: 2023-01-17

Mochochoko BM, Pohl CH, HG O'Neill (2023)

Candida albicans-enteric viral interactions-The prostaglandin E2 connection and host immune responses.

iScience, 26(1):105870.

The human microbiome comprises trillions of microorganisms residing within different mucosal cavities and across the body surface. The gut microbiota modulates host susceptibility to viral infections in several ways, and microbial interkingdom interactions increase viral infectivity within the gut. Candida albicans, a frequently encountered fungal species in the gut, produces highly structured biofilms and eicosanoids such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), which aid in viral protection and replication. These biofilms encompass viruses and provide a shield from antiviral drugs or the immune system. PGE2 is a key modulator of active inflammation with the potential to regulate interferon signaling upon microbial invasion or viral infections. In this review, we raise the perspective of gut interkingdom interactions involving C. albicans and enteric viruses, with a special focus on biofilms, PGE2, and viral replication. Ultimately, we discuss the possible implications of C. albicans-enteric virus associations on host immune responses, particularly the interferon signaling pathway.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Boopathi S, Kumar RMS, Priya PS, et al (2023)

Gut Enterobacteriaceae and uraemic toxins - Perpetrators for ageing.

Experimental gerontology pii:S0531-5565(23)00009-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Ageing is a complex process that is associated with changes in the composition and functions of gut microbiota. Reduction of gut commensals is the hallmarks of ageing, which favours the expansion of pathogens even in healthy centenarians. Interestingly, gut Enterobacteriaceae have been found to be increased with age and also consistently observed in the patients with metabolic diseases. Thus, they are associated with all-cause mortality, regardless of genetic origin, lifestyle, and fatality rate. Moreover, Enterobacteriaceae are also implicated in accelerating the ageing process through telomere attrition, cellular senescence, inflammasome activation and impairing the functions of mitochondria. However, acceleration of ageing is likely to be determined by intrinsic interactions between Enterobacteriaceae and other associated gut bacteria. Several studies suggested that Enterobacteriaceae possess genes for the synthesis of uraemic toxins. In addition to intestine, Enterobacteriaceae and their toxic metabolites have also been found in other organs, such as adipose tissue and liver and that are implicated in multiorgan dysfunction and age-related diseases. Therefore, targeting Enterobacteriaceae is a nuance approach for reducing inflammaging and enhancing the longevity of older people. This review is intended to highlight the current knowledge of Enterobacteriaceae-mediated acceleration of ageing process.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Huang X, Erickson DL, J Meng (2023)

PhyloPlus: a Universal Tool for Phylogenetic Interrogation of Metagenomic Communities.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

Phylogeny is a powerful tool that can be incorporated into quantitative descriptions of community diversity, yet its use has been limited largely due to the difficulty in constructing phylogenies which incorporate the wide genomic diversity of microbial communities. Here, we describe the development of a web portal, PhyloPlus, which enables users to generate customized phylogenies that may be applied to any bacterial or archaeal communities. We demonstrate the power of phylogeny by comparing metrics that employ phylogeny with those that do not when applied to data sets from two metagenomic studies (fermented food, n = 58; human microbiome, n = 60). This example shows how inclusion of all bacterial species identified by taxonomic classifiers (Kraken2 and Kaiju) made the phylogeny perfectly congruent to the corresponding classification outputs. Our phylogeny-based approach also enabled the construction of more constrained null models which (i) shed light into community structure and (ii) minimize potential inflation of type I errors. Construction of such null models allowed for the observation of under-dispersion in 44 (75.86%) food samples, with the metacommunity defined as bacteria that were found in different food matrices. We also observed that closely related species with high abundance and uneven distribution across different sites could potentially exaggerate the dissimilarity between phylogenetically similar communities if they were measured using traditional species-based metrics (Padj. = 0.003), whereas this effect was mitigated by incorporating phylogeny (Padj. = 1). In summary, our tool can provide additional insights into microbial communities of interest and facilitate the use of phylogeny-based approaches in metagenomic analyses. IMPORTANCE There has been an explosion of interest in how microbial diversity affects human health, food safety, and environmental functions among many other processes. Accurately measuring the diversity and structure of those communities is central to understanding their effects. Here, we describe the development of a freely available online tool, PhyloPlus, which allows users to generate custom phylogenies that may be applied to any data set, thereby removing a major obstacle to the application of phylogeny to metagenomic data analysis. We demonstrate that the genetic relatedness of the organisms within those communities is a critical feature of their overall diversity, and that using a phylogeny which captures and quantifies this diversity allows for much more accurate descriptions while preventing misleading conclusions based on estimates that ignore evolutionary relationships.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Lo Presti A, Del Chierico F, Altomare A, et al (2023)

Phylogenetic analysis of Prevotella copri from fecal and mucosal microbiota of IBS and IBD patients.

Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology, 16:17562848221136328.

BACKGROUND: Prevotella copri is the most abundant member of the genus Prevotella that inhabits the human large intestines. Evidences correlated the increase in Prevotella abundance to inflammatory disorders, suggesting a pathobiont role.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the phylogenetic dynamics of P. copri in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) and in healthy volunteers (CTRL).

DESIGN: A phylogenetic approach was used to characterize 64 P. copri 16S rRNA sequences, selected from a metagenomic database of fecal and mucosal samples from 52 patients affected by IBD, 44 by IBS and 59 healthy.

METHODS: Phylogenetic reconstructions were carried out using the maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian methods.

RESULTS: Maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree applied onto reference and data sets, assigned all the reads to P. copri clade, in agreement with the taxonomic classification previously obtained. The longer mean genetic distances were observed for both the couples IBD and CTRL and IBD and IBS, respect to the distance between IBS and CTRL, for fecal samples. The intra-group mean genetic distance increased going from IBS to CTRLs to IBD, indicating elevated genetic variability within IBD of P. copri sequences. None clustering based on the tissue inflammation or on the disease status was evidenced, leading to infer that the variability seemed to not be influenced by concomitant diseases, disease phenotypes or tissue inflammation. Moreover, patients with IBS appeared colonized by different strains of P. copri. In IBS, a correlation between isolates and disease grading was observed.

CONCLUSION: The characterization of P. copri phylogeny is relevant to better understand the interactions between microbiota and pathophysiology of IBD and IBS, especially for future development of therapies based on microbes (e.g. probiotics and synbiotics), to restore the microbiota in these bowel diseases.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Pellegrino GM, Browne TS, Sharath K, et al (2023)

Metabolically-targeted dCas9 expression in bacteria.

Nucleic acids research pii:6984588 [Epub ahead of print].

The ability to restrict gene expression to a relevant bacterial species in a complex microbiome is an unsolved problem. In the context of the human microbiome, one desirable target metabolic activity are glucuronide-utilization enzymes (GUS) that are implicated in the toxic re-activation of glucuronidated compounds in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the chemotherapeutic drug irinotecan. Here, we take advantage of the variable distribution of GUS enzymes in bacteria as a means to distinguish between bacteria with GUS activity, and re-purpose the glucuronide-responsive GusR transcription factor as a biosensor to regulate dCas9 expression in response to glucuronide inducers. We fused the Escherichia coli gusA regulatory region to the dCas9 gene to create pGreg-dCas9, and showed that dCas9 expression is induced by glucuronides, but not other carbon sources. When conjugated from E. coli to Gammaproteobacteria derived from human stool, dCas9 expression from pGreg-dCas9 was restricted to GUS-positive bacteria. dCas9-sgRNAs targeted to gusA specifically down-regulated gus operon transcription in Gammaproteobacteria, with a resulting ∼100-fold decrease in GusA activity. Our data outline a general strategy to re-purpose bacterial transcription factors responsive to exogenous metabolites for precise ligand-dependent expression of genetic tools such as dCas9 in diverse bacterial species.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Swayambhu M, Kümmerli R, N Arora (2023)

Microbiome-Based Stain Analyses in Crime Scenes.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies (NGS) coupled with machine learning have demonstrated the potential of microbiome-based analyses in applied areas such as clinical diagnostics and forensic sciences. Particularly in forensics, microbial markers in biological stains left at a crime scene can provide valuable information for the reconstruction of crime scene cases, as they contain information on bodily origin, the time since deposition, and donor(s) of the stain. Importantly, microbiome-based analyses provide a complementary or an alternative approach to current methods when these are limited or not feasible. Despite the promising results from recent research, microbiome-based stain analyses are not yet employed in routine casework. In this review, we highlight the two main gaps that need to be addressed before we can successfully integrate microbiome-based analyses in applied areas with a special focus on forensic casework: one is a comprehensive assessment of the method's strengths and limitations, and the other is the establishment of a standard operating procedure. For the latter, we provide a roadmap highlighting key decision steps and offering laboratory and bioinformatic workflow recommendations, while also delineating those aspects that require further testing. Our goal is to ultimately facilitate the streamlining of microbiome-based analyses within the existing forensic framework to provide alternate lines of evidence, thereby improving the quality of investigations.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Fumagalli MR, Saro SM, Tajana M, et al (2023)

Quantitative analysis of disease-related metabolic dysregulation of human microbiota.

iScience, 26(1):105868.

The metabolic activity of all the micro-organism composing the human microbiome interacts with the host metabolism contributing to human health and disease in a way that is not fully understood. Here, we introduce STELLA, a computational method to derive the spectrum of metabolites associated with the microbiome of an individual. STELLA integrates known information on metabolic pathways associated with each bacterial species and extracts from these the list of metabolic products of each singular reaction by means of automatic text analysis. By comparing the result obtained on a single subject with the metabolic profile data of a control set of healthy subjects, we are able to identify individual metabolic alterations. To illustrate the method, we present applications to autism spectrum disorder and multiple sclerosis.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Carson MD, Warner AJ, Hathaway-Schrader JD, et al (2023)

Minocycline-induced disruption of the intestinal FXR/FGF15 axis impairs osteogenesis in mice.

JCI insight, 8(1): pii:160578.

Antibiotic-induced shifts in the indigenous gut microbiota influence normal skeletal maturation. Current theory implies that gut microbiota actions on bone occur through a direct gut/bone signaling axis. However, our prior work supports that a gut/liver signaling axis contributes to gut microbiota effects on bone. Our purpose was to investigate the effects of minocycline, a systemic antibiotic treatment for adolescent acne, on pubertal/postpubertal skeletal maturation. Sex-matched specific pathogen-free (SPF) and germ-free (GF) C57BL/6T mice were administered a clinically relevant minocycline dose from age 6-12 weeks. Minocycline caused dysbiotic shifts in the gut bacteriome and impaired skeletal maturation in SPF mice but did not alter the skeletal phenotype in GF mice. Minocycline administration in SPF mice disrupted the intestinal farnesoid X receptor/fibroblast growth factor 15 axis, a gut/liver endocrine axis supporting systemic bile acid homeostasis. Minocycline-treated SPF mice had increased serum conjugated bile acids that were farnesoid X receptor (FXR) antagonists, suppressed osteoblast function, decreased bone mass, and impaired bone microarchitecture and fracture resistance. Stimulating osteoblasts with the serum bile acid profile from minocycline-treated SPF mice recapitulated the suppressed osteogenic phenotype found in vivo, which was mediated through attenuated FXR signaling. This work introduces bile acids as a potentially novel mediator of gut/liver signaling actions contributing to gut microbiota effects on bone.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Tonelli A, Lumngwena EN, NAB Ntusi (2023)

The oral microbiome in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease.

Nature reviews. Cardiology [Epub ahead of print].

Despite advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology of many cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and expansion of available therapies, the global burden of CVD-associated morbidity and mortality remains unacceptably high. Important gaps remain in our understanding of the mechanisms of CVD and determinants of disease progression. In the past decade, much research has been conducted on the human microbiome and its potential role in modulating CVD. With the advent of high-throughput technologies and multiomics analyses, the complex and dynamic relationship between the microbiota, their 'theatre of activity' and the host is gradually being elucidated. The relationship between the gut microbiome and CVD is well established. Much less is known about the role of disruption (dysbiosis) of the oral microbiome; however, interest in the field is growing, as is the body of literature from basic science and animal and human investigations. In this Review, we examine the link between the oral microbiome and CVD, specifically coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, heart failure, infective endocarditis and rheumatic heart disease. We discuss the various mechanisms by which oral dysbiosis contributes to CVD pathogenesis and potential strategies for prevention and treatment.

RevDate: 2023-01-09

Chmiel JA, Carr C, Stuivenberg GA, et al (2022)

New perspectives on an old grouping: The genomic and phenotypic variability of Oxalobacter formigenes and the implications for calcium oxalate stone prevention.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:1011102.

Oxalobacter formigenes is a unique bacterium with the ability to metabolize oxalate as a primary carbon source. Most kidney stones in humans are composed of calcium and oxalate. Therefore, supplementation with an oxalate-degrading bacterium may reduce stone burden in patients suffering from recurrent calcium oxalate-based urolithiasis. Strains of O. formigenes are divided into two groups: group I and group II. However, the differences between strains from each group remain unclear and elucidating these distinctions will provide a better understanding of their physiology and potential clinical applications. Here, genomes from multiple O. formigenes strains underwent whole genome sequencing followed by phylogenetic and functional analyses. Genetic differences suggest that the O. formigenes taxon should be divided into an additional three species: Oxalobacter aliiformigenes sp. nov, Oxalobacter paeniformigenes sp. nov, and Oxalobacter paraformigenes sp. nov. Despite the similarities in the oxalyl-CoA gene (oxc), which is essential for oxalate degradation, these strains have multiple unique genetic features that may be potential exploited for clinical use. Further investigation into the growth of these strains in a simulated fecal environment revealed that O. aliiformigenes strains are capable of thriving within the human gut microbiota. O. aliiformigenes may be a better therapeutic candidate than current group I strains (retaining the name O. formigenes), which have been previously tested and shown to be ineffective as an oral supplement to mitigate stone disease. By performing genomic analyses and identifying these novel characteristics, Oxalobacter strains better suited to mitigation of calcium oxalate-based urolithiasis may be identified in the future.

RevDate: 2023-01-08

Rodríguez-Daza MC, WM de Vos (2022)

Polyphenols as Drivers of a Homeostatic Gut Microecology and Immuno-Metabolic Traits of Akkermansia muciniphila: From Mouse to Man.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(1): pii:ijms24010045.

Akkermansia muciniphila is a mucosal symbiont considered a gut microbial marker in healthy individuals, as its relative abundance is significantly reduced in subjects with gut inflammation and metabolic disturbances. Dietary polyphenols can distinctly stimulate the relative abundance of A. muciniphila, contributing to the attenuation of several diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and liver damage. However, mechanistic insight into how polyphenols stimulate A. muciniphila or its activity is limited. This review focuses on dietary interventions in rodents and humans and in vitro studies using different phenolic classes. We provide critical insights with respect to potential mechanisms explaining the effects of polyphenols affecting A. muciniphila. Anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavanones, stilbenes, and phenolic acids are shown to increase relative A. muciniphila levels in vivo, whereas lignans exert the opposite effect. Clinical trials show consistent findings, and high intervariability relying on the gut microbiota composition at the baseline and the presence of multiple polyphenol degraders appear to be cardinal determinants in inducing A. muciniphila and associated benefits by polyphenol intake. Polyphenols signal to the AhR receptor and impact the relative abundance of A. muciniphila in a direct and indirect fashion, resulting in the restoration of intestinal epithelial integrity and homeostatic crosstalk with the gut microbiota by affecting IL-22 production. Moreover, recent evidence suggests that A. muciniphila participates in the initial hydrolysis of some polyphenols but does not participate in their complete metabolism. In conclusion, the consumption of polyphenol-rich foods targeting A. muciniphila as a pivotal intermediary represents a promising precision nutritional therapy to prevent and attenuate metabolic and inflammatory diseases.

RevDate: 2023-01-08

Eggers S, Bixby M, Renzetti S, et al (2022)

Human Microbiome Mixture Analysis Using Weighted Quantile Sum Regression.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(1): pii:ijerph20010094.

Studies of the health effects of the microbiome often measure overall associations by using diversity metrics, and individual taxa associations in separate analyses, but do not consider the correlated relationships between taxa in the microbiome. In this study, we applied random subset weighted quantile sum regression with repeated holdouts (WQSRSRH), a mixture method successfully applied to 'omic data to account for relationships between many predictors, to processed amplicon sequencing data from the Human Microbiome Project. We simulated a binary variable associated with 20 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). WQSRSRH was used to test for the association between the microbiome and the simulated variable, adjusted for sex, and sensitivity and specificity were calculated. The WQSRSRH method was also compared to other standard methods for microbiome analysis. The method was further illustrated using real data from the Growth and Obesity Cohort in Chile to assess the association between the gut microbiome and body mass index. In the analysis with simulated data, WQSRSRH predicted the correct directionality of association between the microbiome and the simulated variable, with an average sensitivity and specificity of 75% and 70%, respectively, in identifying the 20 associated OTUs. WQSRSRH performed better than all other comparison methods. In the illustration analysis of the gut microbiome and obesity, the WQSRSRH analysis identified an inverse association between body mass index and the gut microbe mixture, identifying Bacteroides, Clostridium, Prevotella, and Ruminococcus as important genera in the negative association. The application of WQSRSRH to the microbiome allows for analysis of the mixture effect of all the taxa in the microbiome, while simultaneously identifying the most important to the mixture, and allowing for covariate adjustment. It outperformed other methods when using simulated data, and in analysis with real data found results consistent with other study findings.

RevDate: 2023-01-07

Grami E, Badawy S, Kiljunen S, et al (2023)

Characterization and genome analysis of Escherichia phage fBC-Eco01, isolated from wastewater in Tunisia.

Archives of virology, 168(2):44 pii:10.1007/s00705-022-05680-8.

The rise of antibiotic resistance in bacterial strains has led to vigorous exploration for alternative treatments. To this end, phage therapy has been revisited, and it is gaining increasing attention, as it may represent an efficient alternative for treating multiresistant pathogenic bacteria. Phage therapy is considered safe, and phages do not infect eukaryotic cells. There have been many studies investigating phage-host bacteria interactions and the ability of phages to target specific hosts. Escherichia coli is the causative agent of a multitude of infections, ranging from urinary tract infections to sepsis, with growing antibiotic resistance. In this study, we characterized the Escherichia phage fBC-Eco01, which was isolated from a water sample collected at Oued, Tunis. Electron microscopy showed that fBC-Eco01 phage particles have siphovirus morphology, with an icosahedral head of 61 ± 3 nm in diameter and a non-contractile tail of 94 ± 2 nm in length and 12 ± 0.9 nm in width. The genome of fBC-Eco01 is a linear double-stranded DNA of 43.466 bp with a GC content of 50.4%. Comparison to databases allowed annotation of the functions to 39 of the 78 predicted gene products. A single-step growth curve revealed that fBC-Eco01 has a latent period of 30 minutes and a burst size of 175 plaque-forming units (PFU) per infected cell. Genomic analysis indicated that fBC-Eco01 is a member of the subfamily Guernseyvirinae. It is most closely related to a group of phages of the genus Kagunavirus that infect Enterobacter, Raoultella, and Escherichia strains.

RevDate: 2023-01-05

Swaney MH, Nelsen A, Sandstrom S, et al (2023)

Sweat and Sebum Preferences of the Human Skin Microbiota.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The microorganisms inhabiting human skin must overcome numerous challenges that typically impede microbial growth, including low pH, osmotic pressure, and low nutrient availability. Yet the skin microbiota thrive on the skin and have adapted to these stressful conditions. The limited nutrients available for microbial use in this unique niche include those from host-derived sweat, sebum, and corneocytes. Here, we have developed physiologically relevant, synthetic skin-like growth media composed of compounds present in sweat and sebum. We find that skin-associated bacterial species exhibit unique growth profiles at different concentrations of artificial sweat and sebum. Most strains evaluated demonstrate a preference for high sweat concentrations, while the sebum preference is highly variable, suggesting that the capacity for sebum utilization may be a driver of the skin microbial community structure. In particular, the prominent skin commensal Staphylococcus epidermidis exhibits the strongest preference for sweat while growing equally well across sebum concentrations. Conversely, the growth of Corynebacterium kefirresidentii, another dominant skin microbiome member, is dependent on increasing concentrations of both sweat and sebum but only when sebum is available, suggesting a lipid requirement of this species. Furthermore, we observe that strains with similar growth profiles in the artificial media cluster by phylum, suggesting that phylogeny is a key factor in sweat and sebum use. Importantly, these findings provide an experimental rationale for why different skin microenvironments harbor distinct microbiome communities. In all, our study further emphasizes the importance of studying microorganisms in an ecologically relevant context, which is critical for our understanding of their physiology, ecology, and function on the skin. IMPORTANCE The human skin microbiome is adapted to survive and thrive in the harsh environment of the skin, which is low in nutrient availability. To study skin microorganisms in a system that mimics the natural skin environment, we developed and tested a physiologically relevant, synthetic skin-like growth medium that is composed of compounds found in the human skin secretions sweat and sebum. We find that most skin-associated bacterial species tested prefer high concentrations of artificial sweat but that artificial sebum concentration preference varies from species to species, suggesting that sebum utilization may be an important contributor to skin microbiome composition. This study demonstrates the utility of a skin-like growth medium, which can be applied to diverse microbiological systems, and underscores the importance of studying microorganisms in an ecologically relevant context.

RevDate: 2023-01-03

Kim JH, Jeon JY, Im YJ, et al (2023)

Long-term taxonomic and functional stability of the gut microbiome from human fecal samples.

Scientific reports, 13(1):114.

Appropriate storage of fecal samples is a critical step for unbiased analysis in human microbiome studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the stability of the fecal microbial community for up to 18 months. Ten healthy volunteers provided fecal samples at the Jeonbuk National University Hospital. Stool samples were stored under the following six conditions: four different storage temperatures (- 70 °C, - 20 °C, 4 °C, and room temperature [20-25 °C]) and two different collection tubes (OMNIgene-Gut and DNA/RNA shield-fecal collection tubes). The gut microbiome was analyzed with 16S rRNA sequencing. We compared the taxonomic composition, alpha diversity, beta diversity and inferred pathway abundance between the baseline and 18 months after storage. Samples collected in the DNA/RNA Shield-fecal collection tubes showed the best performance in preservation of the taxonomic composition at 18 months. Pairwise differences in alpha diversity metrics showed the least deviation from zero. The PERMANOVA test showed non-significant change of beta diversity metrics (Unweighted Unifrac: q-value 0.268; Weighted Unifrac: q-value 0.848). The functional stability was significantly well preserved in the DNA/RNA Shield-fecal collection tubes (adjusted p value < 0.05). Our results demonstrate the use of the DNA/RNA Shield-fecal collection tube as an alternative storage method for fecal samples to preserve the taxonomic and functional stability of the microbiome over a long term.

RevDate: 2022-12-30

Chen BY, Lin WZ, Li YL, et al (2023)

Roles of oral microbiota and oral-gut microbial transmission in hypertension.

Journal of advanced research, 43:147-161.

INTRODUCTION: Considerable evidence has linked periodontitis (PD) to hypertension (HTN), but the nature behind this connection is unclear. Dysbiosis of oral microbiota leading to PD is known to aggravate different systematic diseases, but the alteration of oral microbiota in HTN and their impacts on blood pressure (BP) remains to be discovered.

OBJECTIVES: To characterize the alterations of oral and gut microbiota and their roles in HTN.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional (95 HTN participants and 39 controls) and a 6-month follow-up study (52 HTN participants and 26 controls) to analyze the roles of oral and gut microbiota in HTN. Saliva, subgingival plaques, and feces were collected for 16S rRNA gene sequencing or metagenomic analysis. C57BL/6J mice were pretreated with antibiotics to deplete gut microbiota, and then transplanted with human saliva by gavage to test the impacts of abnormal oral-gut microbial transmission on HTN.

RESULTS: BP in participants with PD was higher than no PD in both cross-sectional and follow-up cohort. Relative abundances of 14 salivary genera, 15 subgingival genera and 10 gut genera significantly altered in HTN and those of 7 salivary genera, 12 subgingival genera and 6 gut genera significantly correlated with BP. Sixteen species under 5 genera were identified as oral-gut transmitters, illustrating the presence of oral-gut microbial transmission in HTN. Veillonella was a frequent oral-gut transmitter stably enriched in HTN participants of both cross-sectional and follow-up cohorts. Saliva from HTN participants increased BP in hypertensive mice. Human saliva-derived Veillonella successfully colonized in mouse gut, more abundantly under HTN condition.

CONCLUSIONS: PD and oral microbiota are strongly associated with HTN, likely through oral-gut transmission of microbes. Ectopic colonization of saliva-derived Veillonella in the gut may aggravate HTN. Therefore, precise manipulations of oral microbiota and/or oral-gut microbial transmission may be useful strategies for better prevention and treatment of HTN.

RevDate: 2022-12-26

Mhuireach GÁ, Fahimipour AK, Vandegrift R, et al (2022)

Temporary establishment of bacteria from indoor plant leaves and soil on human skin.

Environmental microbiome, 17(1):61.

BACKGROUND: Plants are found in a large percentage of indoor environments, yet the potential for bacteria associated with indoor plant leaves and soil to colonize human skin remains unclear. We report results of experiments in a controlled climate chamber to characterize bacterial communities inhabiting the substrates and leaves of five indoor plant species, and quantify microbial transfer dynamics and residence times on human skin following simulated touch contact events. Controlled bacterial propagule transfer events with soil and leaf donors were applied to the arms of human occupants and repeatedly measured over a 24-h period using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing.

RESULTS: Substrate samples had greater biomass and alpha diversity compared to leaves and baseline skin bacterial communities, as well as dissimilar taxonomic compositions. Despite these differences in donor community diversity and biomass, we observed repeatable patterns in the dynamics of transfer events. Recipient human skin bacterial communities increased in alpha diversity and became more similar to donor communities, an effect which, for soil contact only, persisted for at least 24 h. Washing with soap and water effectively returned communities to their pre-perturbed state, although some abundant soil taxa resisted removal through washing.

CONCLUSIONS: This study represents an initial characterization of bacterial relationships between humans and indoor plants, which represent a potentially valuable element of biodiversity in the built environment. Although environmental microbiota are unlikely to permanently colonize skin following a single contact event, repeated or continuous exposures to indoor biodiversity may be increasingly relevant for the functioning and diversity of the human microbiome as urbanization continues.

RevDate: 2022-12-26

Blázquez-Bondia C, Parera M, Català-Moll F, et al (2022)

Probiotic effects on immunity and microbiome in HIV-1 discordant patients.

Frontiers in immunology, 13:1066036.

BACKGROUND: Some HIV-1 infected patients are unable to completely recover normal CD4+ T-cell (CD4+) counts after achieving HIV-1 suppression with combined Antiretroviral Therapy (cART), hence being classified as immuno-discordant. The human microbiome plays a crucial role in maintaining immune homeostasis and is a potential target towards immune reconstitution.

SETTING: RECOVER (NCT03542786) was a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate if the novel probiotic i3.1 (AB-Biotics, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain) was able to improve immune reconstitution in HIV-1 infected immuno-discordant patients with stable cART and CD4+ counts <500 cells/mm3. The mixture consisted of two strains of L. plantarum and one of P. acidilactici, given with or without a fiber-based prebiotic.

METHODS: 71 patients were randomized 1:2:2 to Placebo, Probiotic or probiotic + prebiotic (Synbiotic), and were followed over 6 months + 3-month washout period, in which changes on systemic immune status and gut microbiome were evaluated. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability of the investigational product. Secondary endpoints were changes on CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell (CD8+) counts, inflammation markers and faecal microbiome structure, defined by alpha diversity (Gene Richness), beta diversity (Bray-Curtis) and functional profile. Comparisons across/within groups were performed using standard/paired Wilcoxon test, respectively.

RESULTS: Adverse event (AE) incidence was similar among groups (53%, 33%, and 55% in the Placebo, Probiotic and Synbiotic groups, respectively, the most common being grade 1 digestive AEs: flatulence, bloating and diarrhoea. Two grade 3 AEs were reported, all in the Synbiotic group: abdominal distension (possibly related) and malignant lung neoplasm (unrelated), and 1 grade 4 AE in the Placebo: hepatocarcinoma (unrelated). Synbiotic exposure was associated with a higher increase in CD4+/CD8+ T-cell (CD4/CD8) ratio at 6 months vs baseline (median=0.76(IQR=0.51) vs 0.72(0. 45), median change= 0.04(IQR=0.19), p = 0.03). At month 9, the Synbiotic group had a significant increase in CD4/CD8 ratio (0.827(0.55) vs 0.825(0.53), median change = 0.04(IQR=0.15), p= 0.02) relative to baseline, and higher CD4+ counts (447 (157) vs. 342(73) counts/ml, p = 0.03), and lower sCD14 values (2.16(0.67) vs 3.18(0.8), p = 0.008) than Placebo. No effect in immune parameters was observed in the Probiotic arm. None of the two interventions modified microbial gene richness (alpha diversity). However, intervention as categorical variable was associated with slight but significant effect on Bray-Curtis distance variance (Adonis R2 = 0.02, p = 0.005). Additionally, at month 6, Synbiotic intervention was associated with lower pathway abundances vs Placebo of Assimilatory Sulphate Reduction (8.79·10[-6] (1.25·10[-5]) vs. 1.61·10[-5] (2.77·10[-5]), p = 0.03) and biosynthesis of methionine (2.3·10[-5] (3.17·10[-5]) vs. 4·10[-5] (5.66·10[-5]), p = 0.03) and cysteine (1.83·10[-5] (2.56·10[-5]) vs. 3.3·10[-5] (4.62·10[-5)], p = 0.03). At month 6, probiotic detection in faeces was associated with significant decreases in C Reactive Protein (CRP) vs baseline (11.1(22) vs. 19.2(66), median change= -2.7 (13.2) ug/ml, p = 0.04) and lower IL-6 values (0.58(1.13) vs. 1.17(1.59) ug/ml, p = 0.02) when compared with samples with no detectable probiotic. No detection of the probiotic was associated with higher CD4/CD8 ratio at month 6 vs baseline (0.718(0.57) vs. 0.58(0.4), median change = 0.4(0.2), p = 0.02). After washout, probiotic non-detection was also associated with a significant increase in CD4+ counts (457(153) vs. 416(142), median change = 45(75), counts/ml, p = 0.005) and CD4/CD8 ratio (0.67(0.5) vs 0.59(0.49), median change = 0.04 (0.18), p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION: A synbiotic intervention with L. plantarum and P. acidilactici was safe and led to small increases in CD4/CD8 ratio and minor reductions in sCD14 of uncertain clinical significance. A probiotic with the same composition was also safe but did not achieve any impact on immune parameters or faecal microbiome composition.

RevDate: 2022-12-26

Patpatia S, Schaedig E, Dirks A, et al (2022)

Rapid hydrogel-based phage susceptibility test for pathogenic bacteria.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:1032052.

Phage therapy is one alternative to cure infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Due to the narrow host range of phages, hundreds to thousands of phages are required to cover the diversity of bacterial pathogens. In personalized phage therapy, fast selection of the phages for individual patients is essential for successful therapy. The aims of this study were to set up a rapid hydrogel-based liquid phage susceptibility assay (PST) for the selection of phages for therapeutic use and to establish a "ready-to-screen" plate concept, where phages are readily stored in hydrogel as small droplets in microtiter plate wells. We first tested four commercially available hydrogels (GrowDex, Askina, Purilon, and Intrasite) for their suitability as phage matrices in PSTs with four phages, two of which infecting Escherichia coli and two Staphylococcus aureus. Of these four hydrogels, GrowDex was the best matrix for PST, as it did not inhibit bacterial growth, released phages quickly when mixed with bacterial culture, and maintained phage viability well. We then optimized the assay for both optical density and microscopy readers using GrowDex as matrix with 23 bacterial strains representing 10 different species and 23 phages possessing different morphologies and genome sizes. When the bacterial growth was monitored by microscopy reader, the PST was executed in just 3 hours, and there was no need for overnight culturing bacterial cells prior to the assay, whereas using optical density reader, bacteria had to be pre-cultured overnight, and the assay time was five hours. Finally, we evaluated the effect of three different chemical stabilizers (trehalose, hyaluronic acid, and gelatin) in a six-month stability assay with six model phages. These phages assay behaved very differently in respect to the chemical stabilizers, and there was not a single stabilizer suitable for all phages. However, when gelatin (0.01%) or hyaluronic acid (0.2 mg/ml) was used as stabilizer, all tested phages were still considered as positives in PST after a six-month storage in 1 ml volume. In "ready-to-screen" plates, the differences in phage stabilities were even more profound, varying from two to six months for the most and least stable phages, respectively.

RevDate: 2022-12-25

Leão I, de Carvalho TB, Henriques V, et al (2022)

Pseudomonadota in the oral cavity: a glimpse into the environment-human nexus.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The phylum Pseudomonadota is amongst the most represented in the environment, with a comparatively lower prevalence in the human oral cavity. The ubiquity of Pseudomonadota and the fact that the oral cavity is the most likely entry portal of bacteria from external sources underlie the need to better understand its occurrence in the interface environment-humans. Yet, the relevance oral Pseudomonadota is largely underexplored in the scientific literature, a gap that this review aims at addressing by making, for the first time, an overview of the diversity and ecology of Pseudomonadota in the oral cavity. The screening of scientific literature and human microbiome databases unveiled 1328 reports of Pseudomonadota in the oral cavity. Most of these belonged to the classes Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, mainly to the families Neisseriaceae, Campylobacteriaceae, and Pasteurelaceae. Others also regularly reported include genera such as Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Acinetobacter, Escherichia, Burkholderia, or Citrobacter, whose members have high potential to acquire virulence and antibiotic resistance genes. This review provides evidence that clinically relevant environmental Pseudomonadota may colonize humans via oral cavity. The need for further investigation about Pseudomonadota at the environment-oral cavity interface and their role as vectors potentially involved in virulence and antibiotic resistance transmission is demonstrated. KEY POINTS: • Neisseriaceae, Campylobacteriaceae, and Pasteurelaceae are part of the core oral microbiome • Enterobacteriaceae, Acinetobacter, or Burkholderia are frequent in the oral microbiome • Gut dysbiosis may be associated with colonization by ubiquitous oral Pseudomonadota.

RevDate: 2022-12-24

Dang T, Kumaishi K, Usui E, et al (2022)

Stochastic variational variable selection for high-dimensional microbiome data.

Microbiome, 10(1):236.

BACKGROUND: The rapid and accurate identification of a minimal-size core set of representative microbial species plays an important role in the clustering of microbial community data and interpretation of clustering results. However, the huge dimensionality of microbial metagenomics datasets is a major challenge for the existing methods such as Dirichlet multinomial mixture (DMM) models. In the approach of the existing methods, the computational burden of identifying a small number of representative species from a large number of observed species remains a challenge.

RESULTS: We propose a novel approach to improve the performance of the widely used DMM approach by combining three ideas: (i) we propose an indicator variable to identify representative operational taxonomic units that substantially contribute to the differentiation among clusters; (ii) to address the computational burden of high-dimensional microbiome data, we propose a stochastic variational inference, which approximates the posterior distribution using a controllable distribution called variational distribution, and stochastic optimization algorithms for fast computation; and (iii) we extend the finite DMM model to an infinite case by considering Dirichlet process mixtures and estimating the number of clusters as a variational parameter. Using the proposed method, stochastic variational variable selection (SVVS), we analyzed the root microbiome data collected in our soybean field experiment, the human gut microbiome data from three published datasets of large-scale case-control studies and the healthy human microbiome data from the Human Microbiome Project.

CONCLUSIONS: SVVS demonstrates a better performance and significantly faster computation than those of the existing methods in all cases of testing datasets. In particular, SVVS is the only method that can analyze massive high-dimensional microbial data with more than 50,000 microbial species and 1000 samples. Furthermore, a core set of representative microbial species is identified using SVVS that can improve the interpretability of Bayesian mixture models for a wide range of microbiome studies. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2022-12-24

Zhang J, Ma C, Qin H, et al (2022)

Construction and validation of a metabolic-related genes prognostic model for oral squamous cell carcinoma based on bioinformatics.

BMC medical genomics, 15(1):269.

BACKGROUND: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) accounts for a frequently-occurring head and neck cancer, which is characterized by high rates of morbidity and mortality. Metabolism-related genes (MRGs) show close association with OSCC development, metastasis and progression, so we constructed an MRGs-based OSCC prognosis model for evaluating OSCC prognostic outcome.

METHODS: This work obtained gene expression profile as well as the relevant clinical information from the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, determined the MRGs related to OSCC by difference analysis, screened the prognosis-related MRGs by performing univariate Cox analysis, and used such identified MRGs for constructing the OSCC prognosis prediction model through Lasso-Cox regression. Besides, we validated the model with the GSE41613 dataset based on Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database.

RESULTS: The present work screened 317 differentially expressed MRGs from the database, identified 12 OSCC prognostic MRGs through univariate Cox regression, and then established a clinical prognostic model composed of 11 MRGs by Lasso-Cox analysis. Based on the optimal risk score threshold, cases were classified as low- or high-risk group. As suggested by Kaplan-Meier (KM) analysis, survival rate was obviously different between the two groups in the TCGA training set (P < 0.001). According to subsequent univariate and multivariate Cox regression, risk score served as the factor to predict prognosis relative to additional clinical features (P < 0.001). Besides, area under ROC curve (AUC) values for patient survival at 1, 3 and 5 years were determined as 0.63, 0.70, and 0.76, separately, indicating that the prognostic model has good predictive accuracy. Then, we validated this clinical prognostic model using GSE41613. To enhance our model prediction accuracy, age, gender, risk score together with TNM stage were incorporated in a nomogram. As indicated by results of ROC curve and calibration curve analyses, the as-constructed nomogram had enhanced prediction accuracy compared with clinicopathological features alone, besides, combining clinicopathological characteristics with risk score contributed to predicting patient prognosis and guiding clinical decision-making.

CONCLUSION: In this study, 11 MRGs prognostic models based on TCGA database showed superior predictive performance and had a certain clinical application prospect in guiding individualized.

RevDate: 2022-12-24

Mishra K, Isali I, Sindhani M, et al (2022)

Characterization of Changes in Penile Microbiome Following Pediatric Circumcision.

European urology focus pii:S2405-4569(22)00290-5 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: While microbiome and host regulation contribute independently to many disease states, it is unclear how circumcision in pediatric population influences subsequent changes in penile microbiome.

OBJECTIVE: Our study aims to analyze jointly paired taxonomic profiles and assess pathways implicated in inflammation, barrier protection, and energy metabolism.

We analyzed 11 paired samples, periurethral collection, before and after circumcision, to generate microbiome and mycobiome profiling. Sample preparation of 16S ribosomal RNA and internal transcribed spacer sequencing was adapted from the methods developed by the National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project.

We obtained the predictive functional attributes of the microbial communities between samples using Silva-Tax4Fun and the Greengenes-Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) approach. The predictive functioning of the microbial communities was determined by linearly combining the normalized taxonomic abundances into the precomputed association matrix of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes orthology reference profiles.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Several notable microbiome and mycobiome compositional differences were observed between pre- and postcircumcision patients. Pairwise comparisons across taxa revealed a significant decrease (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected) of microbiome organisms (Clostridiales, Bacteroidales, and Campylobacterales) and mycobiome (Saccharomycetales and Pleosporales) following circumcision. A total of 14 pathways were found to differ in abundance between the pre- and postcircumcision groups (p < 0.005, false discovery rate <0.1 and linear discriminant analysis score >3; five enriched and nine depleted). The pathways reduced after circumcision were mostly involved with amino acid and glucose metabolism, while pathways prior to circumcision were enriched in genetic information processing and transcription processes. As expected, enrichment in methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, an integral membrane protein involved in directed motility of microbes to chemical cues and environment, occurred prior to circumcision, while the filamentous hemagglutinin pathway (a strong immunogenic protein) was depleted after circumcision CONCLUSIONS: Our results offer greater insight into the host-microbiota relationship of penile circumcision and may serve to lay the groundwork for future studies focused on drivers of inflammation, infection, and oncogenesis.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Our study showed a significant reduction in bacteria and fungi after circumcision, particularly anaerobic bacteria, which are known to be potential inducers of inflammation and cancer. This is the first study of its kind showing the changes in microbiome after circumcision, and some of the changes that occur in healthy infants after circumcision that may explain the differences in cancer and inflammatory disorders in adulthood.

RevDate: 2022-12-24

Lunjani N, Walsh LJ, Venter C, et al (2022)

Environmental influences on childhood asthma-The effect of diet and microbiome on asthma.

Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 33(12):e13892.

Early life dietary patterns and timely maturation of mucosa-associated microbial communities are important factors influencing immune development and for establishing robust immune tolerance networks. Microbial fermentation of dietary components in vivo generates a vast array of molecules, some of which are integral components of the molecular circuitry that regulates immune and metabolic functions. These in turn protect against aberrant inflammatory processes and promote effector immune responses that quickly eliminate pathogens. Multiple studies suggest that changes in dietary habits, altered microbiome composition, and microbial metabolism are associated with asthma risk and disease severity. While it remains unclear whether these microbiome alterations are a cause or consequence of dysregulated immune responses, there is significant potential for using diet in targeted manipulations of the gut microbiome and its metabolic functions in promoting immune health. In this article, we will summarize our knowledge to date on the role of dietary patterns and microbiome activities on immune responses within the airways. Given the malleability of the human microbiome, its integration into the immune system, and its responsiveness to diet, this makes it a highly attractive target for therapeutic and nutritional intervention in children with asthma.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Raudoniute J, Bironaite D, Bagdonas E, et al (2023)

Human airway and lung microbiome at the crossroad of health and disease (Review).

Experimental and therapeutic medicine, 25(1):18.

The evolving field of the microbiome and microbiota has become a popular research topic. The human microbiome is defined as a new organ and is considered a living community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms within a certain body space. The term 'microbiome' is used to define the entire genome of the microbiota. Bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and small protists are all members of the microbiota, followed by phages, viruses, plasmids and mobile genetic elements. The composition, heterogeneity and dynamics of microbiomes in time and space, their stability and resistance, essential characteristics and key participants, as well as interactions within the microbiome and with the host, are crucial lines of investigation for the development of successful future diagnostics and therapies. Standardization of microbiome studies and harmonized comparable methodologies are required for the transfer of knowledge from fundamental science into the clinic. Human health is dependent on microbiomes and achieved by nurturing beneficial resident microorganisms and their interplay with the host. The present study reviewed scientific knowledge on the major components of the human respiratory microbiome, i.e. bacteria, viruses and fungi, their symbiotic and parasitic roles, and, also, major diseases of the human respiratory tract and their microbial etiology. Bidirectional relationships regulate microbial ecosystems and host susceptibility. Moreover, environmental insults render host tissues and microbiota disease-prone. The human respiratory microbiome reflects the ambient air microbiome. By understanding the human respiratory microbiome, potential therapeutic strategies may be proposed.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Ács N, Holohan R, Dunne LJ, et al (2022)

Comparing In Vitro Faecal Fermentation Methods as Surrogates for Phage Therapy Application.

Viruses, 14(12):.

The human microbiome and its importance in health and disease have been the subject of numerous research articles. Most microbes reside in the digestive tract, with up to 10[12] cells per gram of faecal material found in the colon. In terms of gene number, it has been estimated that the gut microbiome harbours >100 times more genes than the human genome. Several human intestinal diseases are strongly associated with disruptions in gut microbiome composition. Less studied components of the gut microbiome are the bacterial viruses called bacteriophages that may be present in numbers equal to or greater than the prokaryotes. Their potential to lyse their bacterial hosts, or to act as agents of horizontal gene transfer makes them important research targets. In this study in vitro faecal fermentation systems were developed and compared for their ability to act as surrogates for the human colon. Changes in bacterial and viral composition occurred after introducing a high-titre single phage preparation both with and without a known bacterial host during the 24 h-long fermentation. We also show that during this timeframe 50 mL plastic tubes can provide data similar to that generated in a sophisticated faecal fermenter system. This knowledge can guide us to a better understanding of the short-term impact of bacteriophage transplants on the bacteriomes and viromes of human recipients.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Gonçalves MFM, Fernandes ÂR, Rodrigues AG, et al (2022)

Microbiome in Male Genital Mucosa (Prepuce, Glans, and Coronal Sulcus): A Systematic Review.

Microorganisms, 10(12):.

The human body represents a complex and diverse reservoir of microorganisms. Although the human microbiome remains poorly characterized and understood, it should not be underestimated, since recent studies have highlighted its importance in health. This is especially evident when considering microbiota in the male reproductive system, responsible for men's fertility and sexual behavior. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to provide an overview of the microbial communities of the healthy male genital mucosa and its role in disease. This study was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The search was limited to the English language and studies published until August 2022 that included culture-independent techniques for microbiome characterization in male genital mucosa. Ten articles were included. The bacterial composition of the male genital mucosa consists of several genera including Prevotella, Finegoldia,&nbsp;Peptoniphilus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Anaerococcus, suggesting that the male genital microbiome composition shows similarities with the adjacent anatomical sites and is related with sexual intercourse. Moreover, male circumcision appears to influence the penile microbiome. Despite the lack of knowledge on the male genital mucosa microbiome in disease, it was reported that Staphylococcus warneri and Prevotella bivia were associated with balanoposthitis, whereas Enterobacteriaceae, Prevotella, and Fusobacterium were more abundant in male genital lichen sclerosus. The limited data and paucity of prospective controlled studies highlight the need for additional studies and established criteria for sampling methods and the microbiome assay procedure. Such a consensus would foster the knowledge about the composition of the genital microbiome of healthy males and its role in disease.

RevDate: 2022-12-23

Levi Mortera S, Marzano V, Vernocchi P, et al (2022)

Functional and Taxonomic Traits of the Gut Microbiota in Type 1 Diabetes Children at the Onset: A Metaproteomic Study.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(24):.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune metabolic disorder with onset in pediatric/adolescent age, characterized by insufficient insulin production, due to a progressive destruction of pancreatic β-cells. Evidence on the correlation between the human gut microbiota (GM) composition and T1D insurgence has been recently reported. In particular, 16S rRNA-based metagenomics has been intensively employed in the last decade in a number of investigations focused on GM representation in relation to a pre-disease state or to a response to clinical treatments. On the other hand, few works have been published using alternative functional omics, which is more suitable to provide a different interpretation of such a relationship. In this work, we pursued a comprehensive metaproteomic investigation on T1D children compared with a group of siblings (SIBL) and a reference control group (CTRL) composed of aged matched healthy subjects, with the aim of finding features in the T1D patients' GM to be related with the onset of the disease. Modulated metaproteins were found either by comparing T1D with CTRL and SIBL or by stratifying T1D by insulin need (IN), as a proxy of β-cells damage, showing some functional and taxonomic traits of the GM, possibly related to the disease onset at different stages of severity.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Merritt J, J Kreth (2022)

Illuminating the Oral Microbiome and Its Host Interactions: Tools and Approaches for Molecular Microbiology Studies.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6957394 [Epub ahead of print].

Advancements in DNA sequencing technologies within the last decade have stimulated an unprecedented interest in the human microbiome, largely due the broad diversity of human diseases found to correlate with microbiome dysbiosis. As a direct consequence of these studies, a vast number of understudied and uncharacterized microbes have been identified as potential drivers of mucosal health and disease. The looming challenge in the field is to transition these observations into defined molecular mechanistic studies of symbiosis and dysbiosis. In order to meet this challenge, many of these newly identified microbes will need to be adapted for use in experimental models. Consequently, this review presents a comprehensive overview of the molecular microbiology tools and techniques that have played crucial roles in genetic studies of the bacteria found within the human oral microbiota. Here, we will use specific examples from the oral microbiome literature to illustrate the biology supporting these techniques, why they are needed in the field, and how such technologies have been implemented. It is hoped that this information can serve as a useful reference guide to help catalyze molecular microbiology studies of the many new understudied and uncharacterized species identified at different mucosal sites in the body.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Akouris PP, Chmiel JA, Stuivenberg GA, et al (2022)

Osteopontin phosphopeptide mitigates calcium oxalate stone formation in a Drosophila melanogaster model.

Urolithiasis, 51(1):19.

Kidney stone disease affects nearly one in ten individuals and places a significant economic strain on global healthcare systems. Despite the high frequency of stones within the population, effective preventative strategies are lacking and disease prevalence continues to rise. Osteopontin (OPN) is a urinary protein that can inhibit the formation of renal calculi in vitro. However, the efficacy of OPN in vivo has yet to be determined. Using an established Drosophila melanogaster model of calcium oxalate urolithiasis, we demonstrated that a 16-residue synthetic OPN phosphopeptide effectively reduced stone burden in vivo. Oral supplementation with this peptide altered crystal morphology of calcium oxalate monohydrate (COM) in a similar manner to previous in vitro studies, and the presence of the OPN phosphopeptide during COM formation and adhesion significantly reduced crystal attachment to mammalian kidney cells. Altogether, this study is the first to show that an OPN phosphopeptide can directly mitigate calcium oxalate urolithiasis formation in vivo by modulating crystal morphology. These findings suggest that OPN supplementation is a promising therapeutic approach and may be clinically useful in the management of urolithiasis in humans.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Wortelboer K, Koopen AM, Herrema H, et al (2022)

From fecal microbiota transplantation toward next-generation beneficial microbes: The case of Anaerobutyricum soehngenii.

Frontiers in medicine, 9:1077275.

The commensal gut microbiota is important for human health and well-being whereas deviations of the gut microbiota have been associated with a multitude of diseases. Restoration of a balanced and diverse microbiota by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has emerged as a potential treatment strategy and promising tool to study causality of the microbiota in disease pathogenesis. However, FMT comes with logistical challenges and potential safety risks, such as the transfer of pathogenic microorganisms, undesired phenotypes or an increased risk of developing disease later in life. Therefore, a more controlled, personalized mixture of cultured beneficial microbes might prove a better alternative. Most of these beneficial microbes will be endogenous commensals to the host without a long history of safe and beneficial use and are therefore commonly referred to as next-generation probiotics (NGP) or live biotherapeutic products (LBP). Following a previous FMT study within our group, the commensal butyrate producer Anaerobutyricum spp. (previously named Eubacterium hallii) was found to be associated with improved insulin-sensitivity in subjects with the metabolic syndrome. After the preclinical testing with Anaerobutyricum soehngenii in mice models was completed, the strain was produced under controlled conditions and several clinical studies evaluating its safety and efficacy in humans were performed. Here, we describe and reflect on the development of A. soehngenii for clinical use, providing practical guidance for the development and testing of NGPs and reflecting on the current regulatory framework.

RevDate: 2022-12-22

Bai X, Xu Q, Zhang W, et al (2023)

The Gut-Eye Axis: Correlation Between the Gut Microbiota and Autoimmune Dry Eye in Individuals With Sjögren Syndrome.

Eye & contact lens, 49(1):1-7.

The impact of gut microbiota on human health, autoimmunity, and disease occurrence has long been recognized since the advancement of metagenomic sequencing technology has enabled a new level of perspective on the human microbiome. Emerging findings also suggest the existence of a gut-eye axis, wherein gut dysbiosis may be a crucial factor affecting the onset and progression of multiple ocular diseases. Sjögren syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease mainly affecting the exocrine glands, primarily the lacrimal gland in the eye, resulting in severe dry eye. Although there are currently various treatments for environmental dry eye, the efficacy for SS-related autoimmune dry eye is limited, and new and more effective therapies still need to be explored. The latest studies have demonstrated that the gut microbiota plays a key role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune dry eye. This review describes the effect of gut microbiota on the ocular surface of autoimmune dry eye; introduces the presumable pathways forming the "gut dysbiosis-ocular surface-lacrimal gland axis"; discusses the advantages of restoring intestinal microecology to treat dry eye by fecal microbiota transplantation or probiotics, which are expected to provide perspectives into the correlation between the gut microbiome and dry eye; enhance our understanding of the pathogenesis in autoimmune dry eye; and be useful in the development of future interventions of dry eye by regulating the gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Gupta S, Poret AJ, Hashemi D, et al (2022)

Cutaneous Surgical Wounds Have Distinct Microbiomes from Intact Skin.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Infections are relatively rare following cutaneous surgical procedures, despite the potential for wound exposure to pathogens both during surgery and throughout the healing process. Although gut commensals are believed to reduce the risk of intestinal infections, an analogous role for skin commensals has not been described. In fact, the microbiome of normally healing surgical skin wounds has not yet been profiled using culture-independent techniques. We characterized the wound microbiome in 53 patients who underwent skin cancer surgery and healed without signs or symptoms of infection. A week after surgery, several bacterial species displayed significant differences in relative abundance when compared to control, nonoperated skin from the same patient. The relative abundance of the most common bacterium found on intact skin, Cutibacterium acnes, was reduced in wounds 5-fold. Staphylococcus aureus, a frequent cause of postoperative skin infections, was enriched 6.4-fold in clinically noninfected wounds, suggesting active suppression of pathogenicity. Finally, members of the Corynebacterium genus were the dominant organism in postoperative wounds, making up 37% of the average wound microbiome. The enrichment of these bacteria in normally healing wounds suggests that they might be capable of providing colonization resistance. Future studies focused on the biological and clinical significance of the wound microbiome may shed light on normal wound healing and potential therapeutic opportunities to mitigate infection risk. IMPORTANCE Commensal bacteria on skin may limit the ability of pathogenic bacteria to cause clinically significant infections. The bacteria on healing acute wounds, which might provide such a protective effect, have not been described using culture-independent approaches in the absence of antibiotics. We compare the microbiome of wounds a week after skin cancer removal surgery with intact skin from the same patient. We find that the potentially pathogenic species S. aureus is common on these healing wounds despite the absence of symptoms or signs of infection. We report that bacteria often considered as potential skin probiotics, including Staphylococcus epidermidis, do not reach high relative abundance in wound microbiomes. In contrast, specific members of the Corynebacterium genus, rarely associated with infections, were significantly enriched in healing wounds compared to intact skin. Future work is needed to see if Corynebacterium species or derivatives thereof could be employed to lower the risk of wound infection.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Bhattacharjee D, Flores C, Woelfel-Monsivais C, et al (2022)

Diversity and Prevalence of Clostridium innocuum in the Human Gut Microbiota.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Clostridia are a polyphyletic group of Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobes in the Firmicutes phylum that significantly impact metabolism and functioning of the human gastrointestinal tract. Recently, Clostridia were divided into two separate classes, Clostridia and Erysipelotrichia, based on phenotypic and 16S rRNA gene-based differences. While Clostridia include many well-known pathogenic bacteria, Erysipelotrichia remain relatively uncharacterized, particularly regarding their role as a pathogen versus commensal. Despite wide recognition as a commensal, the erysipelotrichial species Clostridium innocuum has recently been associated with various disease states. To further understand the ecological and potential virulent role of C. innocuum, we conducted a genomic comparison across 38 C. innocuum isolates and 194 publicly available genomes. Based on colony morphology, we isolated multiple C. innocuum cultivars from the feces of healthy human volunteers (n = 5). Comparison of the 16S rRNA gene of our isolates against publicly available microbiota data sets in healthy individuals suggests a high prevalence of C. innocuum across the human population (>80%). Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across core genes and average nucleotide identify (ANI) revealed the presence of four clades among all available genomes (n = 232 total). Investigation of carbohydrate and protein utilization pathways, including comparison against the carbohydrate-activating enzyme (CAZyme) database, demonstrated inter- and intraclade differences that were further substantiated in vitro. Collectively, these data indicate genetic variance within the C. innocuum species that may help clarify its role in human disease and health. IMPORTANCE Clostridia are a group of medically important anaerobes as both commensals and pathogens. Recently, a new class of Erysipelotrichia containing a number of reassigned clostridial species has emerged, including Clostridium innocuum. Recent studies have implicated C. innocuum as a potential causative agent of diarrhea in patients from whom Clostridioides difficile could not be isolated. Using genomic and in vitro comparison, this study sought to characterize C. innocuum in the healthy human gut. Our analyses suggest that C. innocuum is a highly prevalent and diverse species, demonstrating clade-specific differences in metabolism and potential virulence. Collectively, this study is the first investigation into a broader description of C. innocuum as a human gut inhabitant.

RevDate: 2022-12-21

Hanttu AM, Pekkala S, Satokari R, et al (2023)

Gut microbiota alterations after switching from a protease inhibitor or efavirenz to raltegravir in a randomized, controlled study.

AIDS (London, England), 37(2):323-332.

OBJECTIVE: To study gut microbiota before and 24 weeks after a single antiretroviral agent switch.

DESIGN: HIV-positive patients with efavirenz (EFV) or a protease inhibitor (PI)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) were randomized to switch EFV or PI to raltegravir (RAL group, n = 19) or to continue unchanged ART (EFV/PI group, n = 22). Age and weight-matched HIV-negative participants (n = 10) were included for comparison.

METHODS: Microbiota was analyzed using 16S rRNA sequencing. Serum intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) and serum lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) were measured as gut permeability markers. Three-day food diaries were collected.

RESULTS: At week 24, microbiota diversity (Chao1 index) was higher in RAL than the EFV/PI group (P = 0.014), and RAL group did not differ from HIV-negative participants. In subgroup analysis switching from EFV (P = 0.043), but not from a PI to RAL increased Chao1. At week 24, RAL and EFV/PI group differed in the relative abundance of Prevotella 9 (higher in RAL, P = 0.01), Phascolarctobacterium and Bacteroides (lower in RAL, P = 0.01 and P = 0.03). Dietary intakes did not change during the study and do not explain microbiota differences. Also, I-FABP and LBP remained unchanged.

CONCLUSION: Here we demonstrate that a single ART agent switch caused microbiota alterations, most importantly, an increase in diversity with EFV to RAL switch. Previously, we reported weight gain, yet reduced inflammation in this cohort. The observed microbiota differences between RAL and EFV/PI groups may be associated with reduced inflammation and/or increase in weight. Further studies are needed to evaluate inflammatory and metabolic capacity of microbiota with ART switches.

RevDate: 2022-12-20

Mantegazza G, Gargari G, Duncan R, et al (2022)

Ready-To-Eat Rocket Salads as Potential Reservoir of Bacteria for the Human Microbiome.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Reportedly, Western-type diets may induce the loss of key microbial taxa within the gastrointestinal microbiota, promoting the onset of noncommunicable diseases. It was hypothesized that the consumption of raw vegetables could contribute to the maintenance of the intestinal microbial community structure. In this context, we explored bacteria associated with commercial rocket salads produced through different farming practices: traditional (conventional, organic, and integrated) and vertical farming. Viable counts of mesophilic bacteria and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were performed on plate count agar (PCA) and de Man-Rogosa-Sharpe (MRS) agar at pH 5.7, whereas metataxonomics through 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to profile total bacteria associated with rocket salads. We found that rocket salads from vertical farming had much fewer viable bacteria and had a bacterial community structure markedly different from that of rocket salads from traditional farming. Furthermore, although α- and β-diversity analyses did not differentiate rocket samples according to farming techniques, several bacterial taxa distinguished organic and integrated from conventional farming salads, suggesting that farming practices could affect the taxonomic composition of rocket bacterial communities. LAB were isolated from only traditional farming samples and belonged to different species, which were variably distributed among samples and could be partly associated with farming practices. Finally, the INFOGEST protocol for in vitro simulation of gastrointestinal digestion revealed that several taxonomically different rocket-associated bacteria (particularly LAB) could survive gastrointestinal transit. This study suggests that commercial ready-to-eat rocket salads harbor live bacteria that possess the ability to survive gastrointestinal transit, potentially contributing to the taxonomic structure of the human gut microbiota. IMPORTANCE Western-type diets are composed of foods with a reduced amount of naturally occurring microorganisms. It was hypothesized that a microbe-depleted diet can favor the alteration of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem, therefore contributing to the onset of chronic metabolic and immune diseases currently recognized as the most significant causes of death in the developed world. Here, we studied the microorganisms that are associated with commercial ready-to-eat rocket salads produced through different farming practices. We showed that rocket salad (a widely consumed vegetal food frequently eaten raw) may be a source of lactic acid bacteria and other microbes that can survive gastrointestinal transit, potentially increasing the biodiversity of the intestinal microbiota. This deduction may be valid for virtually all vegetal foods that are consumed raw.

RevDate: 2022-12-20

Balskus EP (2022)

Elucidating the Chemistry and Biology of the Human Microbiome.

Biochemistry, 61(24):2777-2778.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Jesus HNR, Ramos JN, Rocha DJPG, et al (2022)

The pan-genome of the emerging multidrug-resistant pathogen Corynebacterium striatum.

Functional & integrative genomics, 23(1):5.

Corynebacterium striatum, a common constituent of the human skin microbiome, is now considered an emerging multidrug-resistant pathogen of immunocompromised and chronically ill patients. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms in the transition from colonization to the multidrug-resistant (MDR) invasive phenotype in clinical isolates. This study performed a comprehensive pan-genomic analysis of C. striatum, including isolates from "normal skin microbiome" and from MDR infections, to gain insights into genetic factors contributing to pathogenicity and multidrug resistance in this species. For this, three novel genome sequences were obtained from clinical isolates of C. striatum of patients from Brazil, and other 24 complete or draft C. striatum genomes were retrieved from GenBank, including the ATCC6940 isolate from the Human Microbiome Project. Analysis of C. striatum strains demonstrated the presence of an open pan-genome (α = 0.852803) containing 3816 gene families, including 15 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes and 32 putative virulence factors. The core and accessory genomes included 1297 and 1307 genes, respectively. The identified AMR genes are primarily associated with resistance to aminoglycosides and tetracyclines. Of these, 66.6% are present in genomic islands, and four AMR genes, including aac(6')-ib7, are located in a class 1-integron. In conclusion, our data indicated that C. striatum possesses genomic characteristics favorable to the invasive phenotype, with high genomic plasticity, a robust genetic arsenal for iron acquisition, and important virulence determinants and AMR genes present in mobile genetic elements.

RevDate: 2022-12-19

Tozzo P, Delicati A, L Caenazzo (2022)

Human microbiome and microbiota identification for preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections: A systematic review.

Frontiers in public health, 10:989496.

OBJECTIVE: This systematic review describes the role of the human microbiome and microbiota in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Studies on the microbiota of patients, healthcare environment (HE), medical equipment, or healthcare workers (HCW) and how it could be transmitted among the different subjects will be described in order to define alarming risk factors for HAIs spreading and to identify strategies for HAIs control or prevention.

METHODS: This review was performed in adherence to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. After retrieval in databases, identification, and screening of available records, 36 published studies were considered eligible and included in the review.

RESULTS: A multifaceted approach is required and the analyses of the many factors related to human microbiota, which can influence HAIs onset, could be of paramount importance in their prevention and control. In this review, we will focus mainly on the localization, transmission, and prevention of ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) bacteria and Clostridium difficile which are the most common pathogens causing HAIs.

CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare workers' microbiota, patient's microbiota, environmental and medical equipment microbiota, ecosystem characteristics, ways of transmission, cleaning strategies, and the microbial resistome should be taken into account for future studies on more effective preventive and therapeutic strategies against HAIs.

RevDate: 2022-12-16

Zhang Y, Zhang H, Xu T, et al (2022)

Interactions among microorganisms open up a new world for anti-infectious therapy.

The FEBS journal [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome containing bacteria, fungi, and viruses, is a community that coexists peacefully with humans most of the time, but with the potential to cause disease under certain conditions. When the environment changes or certain stimuli are received, microbes may interact with each other, causing or increasing the severity of disease in a host. With the appropriate methods, we can make these microbiota work for us, creating new applications for human health. This review discusses the wide range of interactions between microorganisms that result in an increase in susceptibility to, severity of, and mortality of diseases and also briefly introduces how microorganisms interact with each other directly or indirectly. The study of microbial interactions and their mechanisms has revealed a new world of treatments for infectious disease. The regulation of the balance between intestinal flora, the correct application of probiotics, and the development of effective drugs by symbiosis all demonstrate the great contributions of the microbiota to human health and its powerful potential value. Consequently, the study of interactions between microorganisms plays an essential role in identifying the causes of diseases and the development of treatments.

RevDate: 2022-12-16

Lahtinen P, Juuti A, Luostarinen M, et al (2022)

Effectiveness of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for Weight Loss in Patients With Obesity Undergoing Bariatric Surgery: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA network open, 5(12):e2247226 pii:2799634.

IMPORTANCE: Severe obesity is a major health concern. However, a few patients remain resistant to bariatric surgery and other treatments. Animal studies suggest that weight may be altered by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from a lean donor.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether FMT from a lean donor reduces body weight and further improves the results of bariatric surgery.

This double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter, randomized clinical trial was conducted in 2018 to 2021 among adult individuals with severe obesity treated at 2 bariatric surgery centers in Finland and included 18 months of follow-up. Patients eligible for bariatric surgery were recruited for the study. Data were analyzed from March 2021 to May 2022.

INTERVENTIONS: FMT from a lean donor or from the patient (autologous placebo) was administered by gastroscopy into the duodenum. Bariatric surgery was performed 6 months after the baseline intervention using laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) or laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The main outcome was weight reduction measured as the percentage of total weight loss (TWL).

RESULTS: Forty-one patients were recruited to participate in the study and were included in the final analysis (29 women [71.1%]; mean [SD] age, 48.7 [8.7] years; mean [SD] body mass index, 42.5 [6.0]). A total of 21 patients received FMT from a lean donor, and 20 received an autologous placebo. Six months after FMT, 34 patients underwent LRYGB and 4 underwent LSG. Thirty-four patients (82.9%) attended the last visit 18 months after the baseline visit. The percentage of TWL at 6 months was 4.8% (95% CI, 2.7% to 7.0%; P < .001) in the FMT group and 4.6% (95% CI, 1.5% to 7.6%; P = .006) in the placebo group, but no difference was observed between the groups. At 18 months from the baseline (ie, 12 months after surgery), the percentage of TWL was 25.3% (95% CI, 19.5 to 31.1; P < .001) in the FMT group and 25.2% (95% CI, 20.2 to 30.3; P < .001) in the placebo group; however, no difference was observed between the groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: FMT did not affect presurgical and postsurgical weight loss. Further studies are needed to elucidate the possible role of FMT in obesity.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT03391817.

RevDate: 2022-12-13

Hurley JC (2022)

Structural equation modelling the impact of antimicrobials on the human microbiome. Colonization resistance versus colonization susceptibility as case studies.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy pii:6895475 [Epub ahead of print].

The impact of antimicrobials on the human microbiome and its relationship to human health are of great interest. How antimicrobial exposure might drive change within specific constituents of the microbiome to effect clinically relevant endpoints is difficult to study. Clinical investigation of each step within a network of causation would be challenging if done 'step-by-step'. An analytic tool of great potential to clinical microbiome research is structural equation modelling (SEM), which has a long history of applications to research questions arising within subject areas as diverse as psychology and econometrics. SEM enables postulated models based on a network of causation to be tested en bloc by confrontation with data derived from the literature. Case studies for the potential application of SEM techniques are colonization resistance (CR) and its counterpart, colonization susceptibility (CS), wherein specific microbes within the microbiome are postulated to either impede (CR) or facilitate (CS) invasive infection with pathogenic bacteria. These postulated networks have three causation steps: exposure to specific antimicrobials are key drivers, clinically relevant infection endpoints are the measurable observables and the activity of key microbiome constituents mediating CR or CS, which may be unobservable, appear as latent variables in the model. SEM methods have potential application towards evaluating the activity of specific antimicrobial agents within postulated networks of causation using clinically derived data.

RevDate: 2022-12-13

Meng J, Tao J, Abu Y, et al (2022)

HIV-Positive Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy Have an Altered Mucosal Intestinal but Not Oral Microbiome.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

This study characterized compositional and functional shifts in the intestinal and oral microbiome in HIV-positive patients on antiretroviral therapy compared to HIV-negative individuals. Seventy-nine specimens were collected from 5 HIV-positive and 12 control subjects from five locations (colon brush, colon wash, terminal ileum [TI] brush, TI wash, and saliva) during colonoscopy and at patient visits. Microbiome composition was characterized using 16S rRNA sequencing, and microbiome function was predicted using bioinformatics tools (PICRUSt and BugBase). Our analysis indicated that the β-diversity of all intestinal samples (colon brush, colon wash, TI brush, and TI wash) from patients with HIV was significantly different from patients without HIV. Specifically, bacteria from genera Prevotella, Fusobacterium, and Megasphaera were more abundant in samples from HIV-positive patients. On the other hand, bacteria from genera Ruminococcus, Blautia, and Clostridium were more abundant in samples from HIV-negative patients. Additionally, HIV-positive patients had higher abundances of biofilm-forming and pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, pathways related to translation and nucleotide metabolism were elevated in HIV-positive patients, whereas pathways related to lipid and carbohydrate metabolism were positively correlated with samples from HIV-negative patients. Our analyses further showed variations in microbiome composition in HIV-positive and negative patients by sampling site. Samples from colon wash, colon brush, and TI wash were significant between groups, while samples from TI brush and saliva were not significant. Taken together, here, we report altered intestinal microbiome composition and predicted function in patients with HIV compared to uninfected patients, though we found no changes in the oral microbiome. IMPORTANCE Over 37 million people worldwide are living with HIV. Although the availability of antiretroviral therapy has significantly reduced the number of AIDS-related deaths, individuals living with HIV are at increased risk for opportunistic infections. We now know that HIV interacts with the trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the human body termed the microbiome. Only a limited number of previous studies have compared variations in the oral and gastrointestinal microbiome with HIV infection. Here, we detail how the oral and gastrointestinal microbiome changes with HIV infection, having used 5 different sampling sites to gain a more comprehensive view of these changes by location. Our results show site-specific changes in the intestinal microbiome associated with HIV infection. Additionally, we show that while there were significant changes in the intestinal microbiome, there were no significant changes in the oral microbiome.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Peng G, Sinkko HM, Alenius H, et al (2022)

Graphene oxide elicits microbiome-dependent type 2 immune responses via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor.

Nature nanotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The gut microbiome produces metabolites that interact with the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a key regulator of immune homoeostasis in the gut[1,2]. Here we show that oral exposure to graphene oxide (GO) modulates the composition of the gut microbiome in adult zebrafish, with significant differences in wild-type versus ahr2-deficient animals. Furthermore, GO was found to elicit AhR-dependent induction of cyp1a and homing of lck[+] cells to the gut in germ-free zebrafish larvae when combined with the short-chain fatty acid butyrate. To obtain further insights into the immune responses to GO, we used single-cell RNA sequencing to profile cells from whole germ-free embryos as well as cells enriched for lck. These studies provided evidence for the existence of innate lymphoid cell (ILC)-like cells[3] in germ-free zebrafish. Moreover, GO endowed with a 'corona' of microbial butyrate triggered the induction of ILC2-like cells with attributes of regulatory cells. Taken together, this study shows that a nanomaterial can influence the crosstalk between the microbiome and immune system in an AhR-dependent manner.

RevDate: 2022-12-12

Guimarães VHD, Marinho BM, Motta-Santos D, et al (2022)

Nutritional implications in the mechanistic link between the intestinal microbiome, renin-angiotensin system, and the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

The Journal of nutritional biochemistry pii:S0955-2863(22)00320-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Obesity and metabolic disorders represent a significant global health problem and the gut microbiota plays an important role in modulating systemic homeostasis. Recent evidence shows that microbiota and its signaling pathways may affect the whole metabolism and the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS), which in turn seems to modify microbiota. The present review aimed to investigate nutritional implications in the mechanistic link between the intestinal microbiome, renin-angiotensin system, and the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome components. A description of metabolic changes was obtained based on relevant scientific literature. The molecular and physiological mechanisms that impact the human microbiome were addressed, including the gut microbiota associated with obesity, diabetes, and hepatic steatosis. The RAS interaction signaling and modulation were analyzed. Strategies including the use of prebiotics, symbiotics, probiotics, and biotechnology may affect the gut microbiota and its impact on human health.

RevDate: 2022-12-11

Chen L, Yuan F, Chen S, et al (2022)

Potential Role of Host Microbiome in Areca Nut-Associated Carcinogenesis and Addiction.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(23): pii:molecules27238171.

Areca nut (AN) is widely consumed all over the world, bringing great harm to human health and economy. Individuals with AN chewing are at high risk of cardiovascular disease and impaired immune system and metabolic system. Despite a growing number of studies having reported on the adverse effects brought by AN chewing, the exact mechanism of it is limited and the need for additional exploration remains. In recent years, the interaction between microorganisms, especially intestinal microorganism and host, has been extensively studied. AN chewing might disrupt the oral and intestinal microbiota communities through direct connect with the microbes it contains, altering PH, oxygen of oral and intestinal microenvironment, and disturbing the immune homeostasis. These mechanisms provide insights into the interplay between areca nut and host microbiota. Emerging studies have proposed that bidirectional interaction between polyphenols and intestinal microbes might play a potential role in the divergence of polyphenol, extracted from AN, among individuals with or without AN-induced cancer development and progression. Although some AN chewers have been aware of the harmful effects brought by AN, they cannot abolish this habit because of the addiction of AN. Increasing studies have tried to revealed that gut microbiota might influence the onset/development of addictive behaviors. Altogether, this review summarizes the possible reasons for the disturbance of host microbiota caused by areca nut chewing and clarifies the complex interaction between human microbiome and major constituents and the addiction and carcinogenicity of AN, tempting to provide novel insights into the development and utilization of it, and to control the adverse consequences caused by AN chewing.

RevDate: 2022-12-11

Del Chierico F, Rapini N, Deodati A, et al (2022)

Pathophysiology of Type 1 Diabetes and Gut Microbiota Role.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(23): pii:ijms232314650.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a multifactorial autoimmune disease driven by T-cells against the insulin-producing islet β-cells, resulting in a marked loss of β-cell mass and function. Although a genetic predisposal increases susceptibility, the role of epigenetic and environmental factors seems to be much more significant. A dysbiotic gut microbial profile has been associated with T1D patients. Moreover, new evidence propose that perturbation in gut microbiota may influence the T1D onset and progression. One of the prominent features in clinically silent phase before the onset of T1D is the presence of a microbiota characterized by low numbers of commensals butyrate producers, thus negatively influencing the gut permeability. The loss of gut permeability leads to the translocation of microbes and microbial metabolites and could lead to the activation of immune cells. Moreover, microbiota-based therapies to slow down disease progression or reverse T1D have shown promising results. Starting from this evidence, the correction of dysbiosis in early life of genetically susceptible individuals could help in promoting immune tolerance and thus in reducing the autoantibodies production. This review summarizes the associations between gut microbiota and T1D for future therapeutic perspectives and other exciting areas of research.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Peters SL, Morowitz MJ, RL Hettich (2022)

Antibiotic resistance and host immune system-induced metal bactericidal control are key factors for microbial persistence in the developing human preterm infant gut microbiome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:958638.

The human gut microbiome, which develops and stabilizes during the early stages of infant life, plays an essential role in host health through the production of metabolic resources and the stimulation and training of the immune system. To study colonization and community functional dynamics of the microbiota based on responses to host immune processes during the normal and dysbiotic establishment of the gut, metaproteomics was conducted on 91 fecal samples collected over the first 90 days of life from 17 hospitalized premature infants. Microbial responses to antibiotic administration and host-imposed metal bactericidal control correlated with community assembly and resiliency of microbes in the developing preterm gut. Specifically, proteins related to antibiotic resistance and metal homeostasis mechanisms were predominant in persisting members in the infant gut environment over the first several weeks of life. Overall, this metaproteomics study provides a unique approach to examine the temporal expansion and resilience of microbial colonization, as it allows simultaneous examination of both host and microbial metabolic activities. Understanding the interplay between host and microbes may elucidate the microbiome's potential immunomodulatory roles relevant to necrotizing enterocolitis and other dysbiotic conditions in preterm infants.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Jochum M, Lee MD, Curry K, et al (2022)

Analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid metatranscriptomes among patients with COVID-19 disease.

Scientific reports, 12(1):21125.

To better understand the potential relationship between COVID-19 disease and hologenome microbial community dynamics and functional profiles, we conducted a multivariate taxonomic and functional microbiome comparison of publicly available human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) metatranscriptome samples amongst COVID-19 (n = 32), community acquired pneumonia (CAP) (n = 25), and uninfected samples (n = 29). We then performed a stratified analysis based on mortality amongst the COVID-19 cohort with known outcomes of deceased (n = 10) versus survived (n = 15). Our overarching hypothesis was that there are detectable and functionally significant relationships between BALF microbial metatranscriptomes and the severity of COVID-19 disease onset and progression. We observed 34 functionally discriminant gene ontology (GO) terms in COVID-19 disease compared to the CAP and uninfected cohorts, and 21 GO terms functionally discriminant to COVID-19 mortality (q < 0.05). GO terms enriched in the COVID-19 disease cohort included hydrolase activity, and significant GO terms under the parental terms of biological regulation, viral process, and interspecies interaction between organisms. Notable GO terms associated with COVID-19 mortality included nucleobase-containing compound biosynthetic process, organonitrogen compound catabolic process, pyrimidine-containing compound biosynthetic process, and DNA recombination, RNA binding, magnesium and zinc ion binding, oxidoreductase activity, and endopeptidase activity. A Dirichlet multinomial mixtures clustering analysis resulted in a best model fit using three distinct clusters that were significantly associated with COVID-19 disease and mortality. We additionally observed discriminant taxonomic differences associated with COVID-19 disease and mortality in the genus Sphingomonas, belonging to the Sphingomonadacae family, Variovorax, belonging to the Comamonadaceae family, and in the class Bacteroidia, belonging to the order Bacteroidales. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate significant differences in taxonomic and functional signatures between BALF metatranscriptomes from COVID-19, CAP, and uninfected cohorts, as well as associating these taxa and microbial gene functions with COVID-19 mortality. Collectively, while this data does not speak to causality nor directionality of the association, it does demonstrate a significant relationship between the human microbiome and COVID-19. The results from this study have rendered testable hypotheses that warrant further investigation to better understand the causality and directionality of host-microbiome-pathogen interactions.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Kumar T, Bryant M, Cantrell K, et al (2022)

Effects of Variation in Urine Sample Storage Conditions on 16S Urogenital Microbiome Analyses.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Replicability is a well-established challenge in microbiome research with a variety of contributing factors at all stages, from sample collection to code execution. Here, we focus on voided urine sample storage conditions for urogenital microbiome analysis. Using urine samples collected from 10 adult females, we investigated the microbiome preservation efficacy of AssayAssure Genelock (Genelock), compared with no preservative, under different temperature conditions. We varied temperature over 48 h in order to examine the impact of conditions samples may experience with home voided urine collection and shipping to a central biorepository. The following common lab and shipping conditions were investigated: -20°C, ambient temperature, 4°C, freeze-thaw cycle, and heat cycle. At 48 h, all samples were stored at -80°C until processing. After generating 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing data using the highly sensitive KatharoSeq protocol, we observed individual variation in both alpha and beta diversity metrics below interhuman differences, corroborating reports of individual microbiome variability in other specimen types. While there was no significant difference in beta diversity when comparing Genelock versus no preservative, we did observe a higher concordance with Genelock samples shipped at colder temperatures (-20°C and 4°C) when compared with the samples shipped at -20°C without preservative. Our results indicate that Genelock does not introduce a significant amount of microbial bias when used on a range of temperatures and is most effective at colder temperatures. IMPORTANCE The urogenital microbiome is an understudied yet important human microbiome niche. Research has been stimulated by the relatively recent discovery that urine is not sterile; urinary tract microbes have been linked to health problems, including urinary infections, incontinence, and cancer. The quality of life and economic impact of UTIs and urgency incontinence alone are enormous, with $3.5 billion and $82.6 billion, respectively, spent in the United States. annually. Given the low biomass of urine, novelty of the field, and limited reproducibility evidence, it is critical to study urine sample storage conditions to optimize scientific rigor. Efficient and reliable preservation methods inform methods for home self-sample collection and shipping, increasing the potential use in larger-scale studies. Here, we examined both buffer and temperature variation effects on 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing results from urogenital samples, providing data on the consequences of common storage methods on urogenital microbiome results.

RevDate: 2022-12-08

Chen BY, Lin WZ, Li YL, et al (2022)

Characteristics and Correlations of the Oral and Gut Fungal Microbiome with Hypertension.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The mycobiome is an essential constituent of the human microbiome and is associated with various diseases. However, the role of oral and gut fungi in hypertension (HTN) remains largely unexplored. In this study, saliva, subgingival plaques, and feces were collected from 36 participants with HTN and 24 healthy controls for metagenomic sequencing. The obtained sequences were analyzed using the Kraken2 taxonomic annotation pipeline to assess fungal composition and diversity. Correlations between oral and gut fungi and clinic parameters, between fungi within the same sample types, and between different sample types were identified by Spearman's correlation analysis. Overall, the subgingival fungal microbiome had substantially higher alpha diversity than the salivary and fecal fungal microbiomes. The fungal microbiomes of the three sample types displayed distinct beta diversity from each other. Oral fungi but not gut fungi in HTN had beta diversity significantly different from that of controls. Among the fungi shared in the oral cavity and gut, Exophiala was the genus with the most notable changes. Exophiala spinifera was the most abundant salivary species in HTN. Some fungal species directly correlated with blood pressure, including gut Exophiala xenobiotica and Exophiala mesophila. The markedly impaired ecological cocorrelation networks of oral and gut fungi in HTN suggested compromised association among fungal species. Most fungi were shared in the oral cavity and gut, and their correlations suggested the potential interplays between oral and gut fungi. In conclusion, the oral cavity and intestine have unique fungal ecological environments. The fungal enrichment and ecology in HTN, the correlations between oral and gut fungi, and the associations between oral and gut fungi and clinical parameters suggest an important role that the fungal microbiome may play in HTN. IMPORTANCE Our study fills the gap in human studies investigating the oral and gut fungal microbiota in association with blood pressure. It characterizes the diversity and composition of the oral and gut fungal microbiome in human subjects, elucidates the dysbiosis of fungal ecology in a hypertensive population, and establishes oral-gut fungal correlations and fungus-clinical parameter correlations. Targeting fungi in the oral cavity and/or gut may provide novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of hypertension.

RevDate: 2022-12-07

Khan AZ, Badar S, O'Callaghan KM, et al (2022)

Fecal Iron Measurement in Studies of the Human Intestinal Microbiome.

Current developments in nutrition, 6(10):nzac143 pii:nzac143.

Iron is an essential micronutrient for humans and their intestinal microbiota. Host intestinal cells and iron-dependent bacteria compete for intraluminal iron, so the composition and functions of the gut microbiota may influence iron availability. Studies of the effects of the microbiota or probiotic interventions on host iron absorption may be particularly relevant to settings with high burdens of iron deficiency and gastrointestinal infections, since inflammation reduces iron bioavailability and unabsorbed intraluminal iron may modify the composition of the microbiota. The quantification of stool iron content may serve as an indicator of the amount of intraluminal iron to which the intestinal microbiota is exposed, which is particularly relevant for studies of the effect of iron on the intestinal microbiome, where fecal samples collected for purposes of microbiome characterization can be leveraged for stool iron analysis. However, few studies are available to guide researchers in the selection and implementation of stool iron assays, particularly because cross-comparison of available methods is limited in literature. This review aims to describe the available stool iron quantification methods and highlight their potential application in studies of iron-microbiome relationships, with a focus on pediatric research. MS-based methods offer high sensitivity and precision, but the need for expensive equipment and the high per-sample and maintenance costs may limit their widespread use. Conversely, colorimetric assays offer lower cost, ease of use, and rapid turnaround times but have thus far been optimized primarily for blood-derived matrices rather than stool. Further research efforts are needed to validate and standardize methods for stool iron assessment and to determine if the incorporation of such analyses in human microbiome studies 1) yields insights into the interactions between intestinal microbiota and iron and 2) contributes to the development of interventions that mitigate iron deficiency and promote a healthy microbiome.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Li C (2022)

Understanding interactions among diet, host and gut microbiota for personalized nutrition.

Life sciences pii:S0024-3205(22)00965-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Human responses to the same diets may vary to a large extent, depending on the complex diet-host-microbiota interactions. Recent scientific advance has indicated that this diet-host-microbiota interaction could be quantified to develop strategies for improving individual health (personalized nutrition). Compared to the host related factors (which are difficult to manipulate), the gut microbiome is more readily modulated by dietary exposures and has important roles in affecting human health via the synthesis of various bioactive compounds and participating the digestion and absorption process of macro- and micronutrients. Therefore, gut microbiota alterations induced by diets could possibly be utilized to improve human health in a targeted manner. However, limitations in the processing and analysis of 'big-data' concerning human microbiome still restrict the translational capacity of diet-host-microbiota interactions into tools to improve personalized human health. In the current review, recent advances in terms of understanding the specific diet-host-microbiota interactions were summarized, aiming to help the development of strategies for personalized nutrition.

RevDate: 2022-12-05

Velez-Cortes F, H Wang (2022)

Characterization and Spatial Mapping of the Human Gut Metasecretome.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Bacterially secreted proteins play an important role in microbial physiology and ecology in many environments, including the mammalian gut. While gut microbes have been extensively studied over the past decades, little is known about the proteins that they secrete into the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we developed and applied a computational pipeline to a comprehensive catalog of human-associated metagenome-assembled genomes in order to predict and analyze the bacterial metasecretome of the human gut, i.e., the collection of proteins secreted out of the cytoplasm by human gut bacteria. We identified the presence of large and diverse families of secreted carbohydrate-active enzymes and assessed their phylogenetic distributions across different taxonomic groups, which revealed an enrichment in Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia. By mapping secreted proteins to available metagenomic data from endoscopic sampling of the human gastrointestinal tract, we specifically pinpointed regions in the upper and lower intestinal tract along the lumen and mucosa where specific glycosidases are secreted by resident microbes. The metasecretome analyzed in this study constitutes the most comprehensive list of secreted proteins produced by human gut bacteria reported to date and serves as a useful resource for the microbiome research community. IMPORTANCE Bacterially secreted proteins are necessary for the proper functioning of bacterial cells and communities. Secreted proteins provide bacterial cells with the ability to harvest resources from the exterior, import these resources into the cell, and signal to other bacteria. In the human gut microbiome, these actions impact host health and allow the maintenance of a healthy gut bacterial community. We utilized computational tools to identify the major components of human gut bacterially secreted proteins and determined their spatial distribution in the gastrointestinal tract. Our analysis of human gut bacterial secreted proteins will allow a better understanding of the impact of gut bacteria on human health and represents a step toward identifying new protein functions with interesting applications in biomedicine and industry.

RevDate: 2022-12-04

Villemin C, Six A, Neville BA, et al (2022)

The heightened importance of the microbiome in cancer immunotherapy.

Trends in immunology pii:S1471-4906(22)00237-X [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome is recognized as a key factor in health and disease. This has been further corroborated by identifying changes in microbiome composition and function as a novel hallmark in cancer. These effects are exerted through microbiome interactions with host cells, impacting a wide variety of developmental and physiological processes. In this review, we discuss some of the latest findings on how the bacterial component of the microbiome can influence outcomes for different cancer immunotherapy modalities, highlighting identified mechanisms of action. We also address the clinical efforts to utilize this knowledge to achieve better responses to immunotherapy. A refined understanding of microbiome variations in patients and microbiome-host interactions with cancer therapies is essential to realize optimal clinical responses.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Verkola M, Takala M, Nykäsenoja S, et al (2022)

Low-level colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in pigs is maintained by slowly evolving, closely related strains in Finnish pig farms.

Acta veterinaria Scandinavica, 64(1):34.

BACKGROUND: Over the past two decades, livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) has become widely prevalent in pig production in Europe. The carriage status of LA-MRSA is known to vary among individual pigs, but bacterial load in pigs has rarely been studied. We assessed the quantity of LA-MRSA in nasal and skin samples of pigs and investigated the genetic diversity of the strains together with sequenced strains from national surveillance and pathology samples from the Finnish Food Authority. On two farms with assumed MRSA-positive status, farm 1 and farm 2, 10 healthy pigs were sampled three times during 2 weeks from the nares and skin (study A). On farm 1, 54 additional pigs were sampled and from confirmed MRSA-positive animals, 10 were randomly selected and transported to a clean, controlled environment for further sampling (study B). From the samples taken on farms 1 and 2 and in the controlled environment, MRSA was isolated both by direct plating and enrichment on selective media. spa types, multilocus sequence types, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec types, resistance and virulence genes were determined. Core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis was performed, including the sequences deriving from the surveillance/pathology samples from the Finnish Food Authority.

RESULTS: All pigs on farm 1 carried LA-MRSA in the nares at all three time points and five pigs on farm 2 at one time point. Nasal quantity varied between 10 and 10[3] CFU/swab and quantity on the skin between 10 and 10[2] CFU/swab. In the controlled environment, MRSA was detected in at least one of the nasal samples from each animal. spa type t034 was predominant. cgMLST showed one cluster with minimum allele differences between 0 and 11.

CONCLUSIONS: The study shows predominantly low-level carriage (< 10[3] CFU/swab) of LA-MRSA on farms. In the controlled environment we observed a decline in nasal carriage but constant skin carriage. cgMLST showed that strains of spa type t034 are closely related at the national level.

RevDate: 2022-12-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-06

Kim HS, Kim DW, Kim S, et al (2022)

Biochemical characterization of the two novel mgCas12a proteins from the human gut metagenome.

Scientific reports, 12(1):20857.

CRISPR/Cas9 and Cas12a belonging to the Class II CRISPR system are characterized by a single-component effector protein. Despite unique features of Cas12a like DNA cleavage with 5' staggered ends and a single crRNA, Cas12a has not been adopted in biotechnological applications to the similar extent as Cas9. To better understand the CRISPR/Cas12 systems, we selected two candidates, designated mgCas12a-1 and mgCas12a-2, from an analysis of the human microbiome metagenome (mg) and provided biochemical characterization. These new Cas12a proteins shared about 37% identity in amino acid sequences and shared the same direct repeat sequences in the crRNA with FnCas12a from Francisella novicida. The purification yield of the recombinant proteins was up to 3.6-fold greater than that of FnCas12a. In cell-free DNA cleavage assays, both mgCas12a proteins showed the higher cleavage efficiencies when Mn[2+] was provided with KCl (< 100 mM) than tested other divalent ions. They were able to tolerate ranges of pH points and temperature, and showed the highest cleavage efficiencies at pH 8.0 and 50 °C. In addition, mgCas12a proteins showed 51% less crRNA-independent and 56% less crRNA-dependent non-specific nuclease activity upon prolonged incubation than did FnCas12a. Considering their greater yield in protein preparation and reduced non-specific nuclease activity, our findings may expedite the use of Cas12a especially when genome editing needs to be practiced with the form of ribonucleoproteins.

RevDate: 2022-12-03

Kalia VC, Gong C, Shanmugam R, et al (2022)

Prospecting Microbial Genomes for Biomolecules and Their Applications.

Indian journal of microbiology, 62(4):516-523.

Bioactive molecules of microbial origin are finding increasing biotechnological applications. Their sources range from the terrestrial, marine, and endophytic to the human microbiome. These biomolecules have unique chemical structures and related groups, which enable them to improve the efficiency of the bioprocesses. This review focuses on the applications of biomolecules in bioremediation, agriculture, food, pharmaceutical industries, and human health.

RevDate: 2022-12-03

Larsen PE, Y Dai (2022)

Modeling interaction networks between host, diet, and bacteria predicts obesogenesis in a mouse model.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 9:1059094.

Host-microbiome interactions are known to have substantial effects on human health, but the diversity of the human microbiome makes it difficult to definitively attribute specific microbiome features to a host phenotype. One approach to overcoming this challenge is to use animal models of host-microbiome interaction, but it must be determined that relevant aspects of host-microbiome interactions are reflected in the animal model. One such experimental validation is an experiment by Ridura et al. In that experiment, transplanting a microbiome from a human into a mouse also conferred the human donor's obesity phenotype. We have aggregated a collection of previously published host-microbiome mouse-model experiments and combined it with thousands of sequenced and annotated bacterial genomes and metametabolomic pathways. Three computational models were generated, each model reflecting an aspect of host-microbiome interactions: 1) Predict the change in microbiome community structure in response to host diet using a community interaction network, 2) Predict metagenomic data from microbiome community structure, and 3) Predict host obesogenesis from modeled microbiome metagenomic data. These computationally validated models were combined into an integrated model of host-microbiome-diet interactions and used to replicate the Ridura experiment in silico. The results of the computational models indicate that network-based models are significantly more predictive than similar but non-network-based models. Network-based models also provide additional insight into the molecular mechanisms of host-microbiome interaction by highlighting metabolites and metabolic pathways proposed to be associated with microbiome-based obesogenesis. While the models generated in this study are likely too specific to the animal models and experimental conditions used to train our models to be of general utility in a broader understanding of obesogenesis, the approach detailed here is expected to be a powerful tool of investigating multiple types of host-microbiome interactions.

RevDate: 2022-12-03

Liu B, Li Y, Suo L, et al (2022)

Characterizing microbiota and metabolomics analysis to identify candidate biomarkers in lung cancer.

Frontiers in oncology, 12:1058436.

BACKGROUND: Lung cancer is the leading malignant disease and cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Most patients with lung cancer had insignificant early symptoms so that most of them were diagnosed at an advanced stage. In addition to factors such as smoking, pollution, lung microbiome and its metabolites play vital roles in the development of lung cancer. However, the interaction between lung microbiota and carcinogenesis is lack of systematically characterized and controversial. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to excavate the features of the lung microbiota and metabolites in patients and verify potential biomarkers for lung cancer diagnosis.

METHODS: Lung tissue flushing solutions and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples came from patients with lung cancer and non-lung cancer. The composition and variations of the microbiota and metabolites in samples were explored using muti-omics technologies including 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metabolomics.

RESULTS: The metabolomics analysis indicated that 40 different metabolites, such as 9,10-DHOME, sphingosine, and cysteinyl-valine, were statistically significant between two groups (VIP > 1 and P < 0.05). These metabolites were significantly enriched into 11 signal pathways including sphingolipid, autophagy and apoptosis signaling pathway (P < 0.05). The analysis of lung microbiota showed that significant changes reflected the decrease of microbial diversity, changes of distribution of microbial taxa, and variability of the correlation networks of lung microbiota in lung cancer patients. In particular, we found that oral commensal microbiota and multiple probiotics might be connected with the occurrence and progression of lung cancer. Moreover, our study found 3 metabolites and 9 species with significantly differences, which might be regarded as the potential clinical diagnostic markers associated with lung cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: Lung microbiota and metabolites might play important roles in the pathogenesis of lung cancer, and the altered metabolites and microbiota might have the potential to be clinical diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets associated with lung cancer.

RevDate: 2022-12-01

Zhang W, Han N, Zhang T, et al (2022)

The Spatial Features and Temporal Changes in the Gut Microbiota of a Healthy Chinese Population.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

In this study, we aimed to understand the characteristics of the gut microbial composition in a healthy Chinese population and to evaluate if they differed across different regions. In addition, we aimed to understand the changes in the gut microbial composition over time. We collected 239 fecal samples from healthy Chinese adults living in four regions and performed a 1-year time cohort study in a small population in Beijing. The Chinese gut microbiota share 34 core bacterial genera and 39 core bacterial species, which exist in all collected samples. Several disease-related microorganisms (DRMs), virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes were found in one or more healthy Chinese samples. Differences in gut microbiota were observed in samples from different regions, locations, individuals, and time points. Compared to other factors, time was associated with a lower degree of change in the gut microbiota. Our findings revealed spatial and temporal changes in the gut microbiota of healthy Chinese individuals. Compared to fecal microbiomes of 152 samples in the publicly released the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) project from the United States, samples in this study have higher variability in the fecal microbiome, with higher richness, Shannon diversity indices, and Pielou evenness indexes, at both the genus and species levels. The microbiota data obtained in this study will provide a detailed basis for further understanding the composition of the gut microbiota in the healthy Chinese population. IMPORTANCE China accounts for approximately 1/5th of the world's total population. Differences in environment, ethnicity, and living habits could impart unique features to the structure of the gut microbiota of Chinese individuals. In 2016, we started to investigate healthy Chinese people and their gut microbiomes. Phase I results for 16S rRNA amplicons have been released. However, owing to the limitations of 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, the gut microbiome of a healthy Chinese population could not be examined thoroughly at the species level, and the detailed changes in the gut microbiota over time need to be investigated. To address these knowledge gaps, we started a phase II study and investigated the basis for variations in the gut microbiome composition in a healthy Chinese population at the species level using shotgun metagenomics technology. In the phase II study, we also conducted a time scale analysis of fecal samples from healthy Chinese subjects, as a pioneered study, which quantitatively clarified the changes in the gut microbiota at both the spatial and temporal levels and elucidated the distribution pattern of DRMs in healthy Chinese individuals.

RevDate: 2022-12-01

Ndika J, Suojalehto H, Lindström I, et al (2022)

Systemic gene signature of inhaled corticosteroid treatment in allergic asthma to flour.

RevDate: 2022-12-02

Wang Z, Li L, Wang S, et al (2022)

The role of the gut microbiota and probiotics associated with microbial metabolisms in cancer prevention and therapy.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 13:1025860.

Cancer is the second leading cause of elevated mortality worldwide. Thus, the development of drugs and treatments is needed to enhance the survival rate of the cancer-affected population. Recently, gut microbiota research in the healthy development of the human body has garnered widespread attention. Many reports indicate that changes in the gut microbiota are strongly associated with chronic inflammation-related diseases, including colitis, liver disease, and cancer within the intestine and the extraintestinal tract. Different gut bacteria are vital in the occurrence and development of tumors within the gut and extraintestinal tract. The human gut microbiome has significant implications for human physiology, including metabolism, nutrient absorption, and immune function. Moreover, diet and lifestyle habits are involved in the evolution of the human microbiome throughout the lifetime of the host and are involved in drug metabolism. Probiotics are a functional food with a protective role in cancer development in animal models. Probiotics alter the gut microbiota in the host; thus, beneficial bacterial activity is stimulated, and detrimental activity is inhibited. Clinical applications have revealed that some probiotic strains could reduce the occurrence of postoperative inflammation among cancer patients. An association network was constructed by analyzing the previous literature to explore the role of probiotics from the anti-tumor perspective. Therefore, it provides direction and insights for research on tumor treatment.

RevDate: 2022-12-03
CmpDate: 2022-12-01

Paone P, Suriano F, Jian C, et al (2022)

Prebiotic oligofructose protects against high-fat diet-induced obesity by changing the gut microbiota, intestinal mucus production, glycosylation and secretion.

Gut microbes, 14(1):2152307.

Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and gut microbiota plays a key role in influencing the host energy homeostasis. Moreover, obese mice have a different gut microbiota composition, associated with an alteration of the intestinal mucus layer, which represents the interface between the bacteria and the host. We previously demonstrated that prebiotic treatment with oligofructose (FOS) counteracted the effects of diet-induced obesity, together with changes in the gut microbiota composition, but it is not known if the intestinal mucus layer could be involved. In this study, we found that, in addition to preventing high-fat diet (HFD) induced obesity in mice, the treatment with FOS increased the expression of numerous genes involved in mucus production, glycosylation and secretion, the expression of both secreted and transmembrane mucins, and the differentiation and number of goblet cells. These results were associated with significant changes in the gut microbiota composition, with FOS significantly increasing the relative and absolute abundance of the bacterial genera Odoribacter, Akkermansia, two unknown Muribaculaceae and an unknown Ruminococcaceae. Interestingly, all these bacterial genera had a negative association with metabolic parameters and a positive association with markers of the mucus layer. Our study shows that FOS treatment is able to prevent HFD-induced metabolic disorders, at least in part, by acting on all the processes of the mucus production. These data suggest that targeting the mucus and the gut microbiota by using prebiotics could help to prevent or mitigate obesity and related disorders.

RevDate: 2022-12-06

Pereira MS, MA Kriegel (2022)

Evolving concepts of host-pathobiont interactions in autoimmunity.

Current opinion in immunology, 80:102265 pii:S0952-7915(22)00112-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Autoimmune diseases are complex, multifactorial diseases with a polygenic trait and diverse environmental factors that contribute to triggering and exacerbating each disorder. The human microbiome is increasingly implicated in the multistep pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. We summarize here the latest developments in the field of how the microbiota interacts with the host on a cellular and molecular level. We review how pathobionts evolve within the gut of autoimmune-prone hosts to translocate to secondary lymphoid tissues. On mucosal sites and in non-gut tissues, pathobionts trigger autoimmune pathways through various mechanisms, including cross-reactivity with autoantigens and secretion of metabolites that alter immune functions. A better understanding of these mechanisms will hasten the development of unconventional therapeutic approaches for autoimmune diseases.

RevDate: 2022-12-02
CmpDate: 2022-11-30

Jang H, Koh H, Gu W, et al (2022)

Integrative web cloud computing and analytics using MiPair for design-based comparative analysis with paired microbiome data.

Scientific reports, 12(1):20465.

Pairing (or blocking) is a design technique that is widely used in comparative microbiome studies to efficiently control for the effects of potential confounders (e.g., genetic, environmental, or behavioral factors). Some typical paired (block) designs for human microbiome studies are repeated measures designs that profile each subject's microbiome twice (or more than twice) (1) for pre and post treatments to see the effects of a treatment on microbiome, or (2) for different organs of the body (e.g., gut, mouth, skin) to see the disparity in microbiome between (or across) body sites. Researchers have developed a sheer number of web-based tools for user-friendly microbiome data processing and analytics, though there is no web-based tool currently available for such paired microbiome studies. In this paper, we thus introduce an integrative web-based tool, named MiPair, for design-based comparative analysis with paired microbiome data. MiPair is a user-friendly web cloud service that is built with step-by-step data processing and analytic procedures for comparative analysis between (or across) groups or between baseline and other groups. MiPair employs parametric and non-parametric tests for complete or incomplete block designs to perform comparative analyses with respect to microbial ecology (alpha- and beta-diversity) and taxonomy (e.g., phylum, class, order, family, genus, species). We demonstrate its usage through an example clinical trial on the effects of antibiotics on gut microbiome. MiPair is an open-source software that can be run on our web server ( or on user's computer (

RevDate: 2022-12-02

Wei Y, Wang Z, Liu Y, et al (2022)

Extracellular vesicles of Candida albicans regulate its own growth through the L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Candida albicans is the main conditional pathogenic fungus among the human microbiome. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by C. albicans are important for its pathogenesis. However, the effects and mechanisms of EVs on C. albicans own growth are not clear. Here, we isolated EVs from C. albicans cells grown in four culture media, including RPMI 1640, DMEM, YPD, and YNB, and measured their effects on the own growth of C. albicans in these media. All the C. albicans EVs from the four media could promote the growth of C. albicans in RPMI 1640 and DMEM media, but had no effects in YPD and YNB media, indicating that the effects of EVs on C. albicans growth were dependent on some media contents. By comparing the media contents and transcriptome analysis, arginine was identified as the key factor for the growth promotion of C. albicans EVs. EVs activated the L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway to promote the growth of C. albicans through that EVs increased the NO levels and upregulated the expression of NO dioxygenase gene YHB1 to reduce the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and cell apoptosis. During the host cell infections, C. albicans EVs synergistically enhanced the destructive effects of C. albicans to host cells, including RAW264.7, HOK, TR146, and HGEC, suggesting that the growth promotion by EVs enhanced the pathogenesis of C. albicans. Our results demonstrated the important roles of EVs on C. albicans own growth for the first time and highlight its synergism with C. albicans to increase the pathogenesis. KEY POINTS: • C. albicans extracellular vesicles (EVs) promoted its own growth. • EVs activated the l-arginine/NO pathway to reduce ROS and apoptosis of C. albicans. • EVs enhanced the damage to the host cell caused by C. albicans.

RevDate: 2022-11-29

Tong L, Constancias F, Hou A, et al (2022)

Shotgun metagenomic sequencing analysis of ocular surface microbiome in Singapore residents with mild dry eye.

Frontiers in medicine, 9:1034131.

The ocular surface microbiome has implications for ocular surface inflammation and immunology. Previous shotgun metagenomics analyses were performed in China, showing results that differed according to environment and age. Patients with Sjogren's syndrome were reported to have altered conjunctival microbiome, but such studies have not been done in milder dry eye. The aim of this study is to describe the conjunctival microbiome in people with mild dry eye in Singapore. Samples were collected from 14 participants with mild dry eye and 10 age-matched comparison participants recruited from Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) clinics. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing analysis was employed to evaluate the conjunctival microbiome composition. Proteobacteria formed the predominant phylum in the conjunctiva. As in a study from a coastal city in China, Achromobacter spp. was numerically most abundant. Compared to age-matched controls, the conjunctival microbial composition in mild dry eye was similar. Several microorganisms, including Streptococcus spp. increased in representation with age, and the abundance of Staphylococcus correlated with Schirmer readings. In addition, when cultured corneal epithelial cells were exposed to three strains of Achromobacter xylosoxidans, cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6 were upregulated in the cell lysates and supernatants. Ourresults suggest that age is an important factor that affects composition of the conjunctival microbiome, and relative abundance of specific microorganism may vary according to the environment of the human host.

RevDate: 2022-11-26

Hussain A, Patwekar U, Mongad DS, et al (2022)

Strategizing the human microbiome for small molecules: approaches and perspectives.

Drug discovery today pii:S1359-6446(22)00452-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Studies of the human microbiome are providing a deeper understanding of its significance to human health {AuQ: Edit OK?}, and increasing evidence links the microbiota with several diseases. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms involved in human-microbe interactions are mostly undefined. The genomic potential of the human microbiome to biosynthesize distinct molecules outmatches its known chemical space, and small-molecule discovery in this context remains in its infancy. The profiling of {AuQ: Edit OK?} microbiome-derived small molecules and their contextualization through cause-effect mechanistic studies may provide a better understanding of host-microbe interactions, guide new therapeutic interventions, and modulate microbiome-based therapies. This review describes the advances, approaches, and allied challenges in mining new microbial scaffolds from the human microbiome using genomic, microbe cultivation {AuQ: Edit OK?}, and chemical analytic platforms. In the future, the complete biological characterization of a single microbe-derived molecule that has a specific therapeutic application could resolve the current limitations of microbiota-modulating therapies.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Pino A, Vaccalluzzo A, Caggia C, et al (2022)

Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus CA15 (DSM 33960) as a Candidate Probiotic Strain for Human Health.

Nutrients, 14(22): pii:nu14224902.

Lactobacilli with probiotic properties have emerged as promising tools for both the prevention and treatment of vaginal dysbiosis. The present study aimed to study the in vitro probiotic potential of the Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus CA15 (DSM 33960) strain isolated from a healthy vaginal ecosystem. The strain was evaluated for both functional (antagonistic activity against pathogens; H2O2, organic acid, and lactic acid production; antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities; ability to adhere to intestinal mucus and to both CaCo-2 and VK7/E6E7 cell lines; exopolysaccharide production; surface properties; and ability to survive during gastrointestinal transit) and safety (hemolytic, DNase, and gelatinase activities; mucin degradation ability; production of biogenic amines; and resistance to antimicrobials) characteristics. Data revealed that the tested strain was able to antagonize a broad spectrum of vaginal pathogens. In addition, the adhesion capacity to both vaginal and intestinal cell lines, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, was detected. The ability of the Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus CA15 (DSM 33960) strain to survive under harsh environmental conditions occurring during the gastrointestinal passage suggests its possible oral delivery. Thus, in vitro data highlighted interesting probiotic properties of the CA15 (DSM 33960) strain, which could represent a valuable candidate for in vivo vaginal infections treatment.

RevDate: 2022-11-29
CmpDate: 2022-11-29

Tilocca B, Soggiu A, Iavarone F, et al (2022)

The Functional Characteristics of Goat Cheese Microbiota from a One-Health Perspective.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(22): pii:ijms232214131.

Goat cheese is an important element of the Mediterranean diet, appreciated for its health-promoting features and unique taste. A pivotal role in the development of these characteristics is attributed to the microbiota and its continuous remodeling over space and time. Nevertheless, no thorough study of the cheese-associated microbiota using two metaomics approaches has previously been conducted. Here, we employed 16S rRNA gene sequencing and metaproteomics to explore the microbiota of a typical raw goat milk cheese at various ripening timepoints and depths of the cheese wheel. The 16S rRNA gene-sequencing and metaproteomics results described a stable microbiota ecology across the selected ripening timepoints, providing evidence for the microbiologically driven fermentation of goat milk products. The important features of the microbiota harbored on the surface and in the core of the cheese mass were highlighted in both compositional and functional terms. We observed the rind microbiota struggling to maintain the biosafety of the cheese through competition mechanisms and/or by preventing the colonization of the cheese by pathobionts of animal or environmental origin. The core microbiota was focused on other biochemical processes, supporting its role in the development of both the health benefits and the pleasant gustatory nuances of goat cheese.

RevDate: 2022-11-25

Najmanová L, Vídeňská P, M Cahová (2022)

Healthy Microbiome - A Mere Idea Or A Sound Concept? (Review).

Physiological research pii:934967 [Epub ahead of print].

Hundreds of studies in last decades have aimed to compare the microbiome of patients suffering from diverse diseases with that of healthy controls. The microbiome-related component was additionally identified in pathophysiology of many diseases formerly considered to depend only on the host physiology. This, however, opens important questions like: "What is the healthy microbiome?" or "Is it possible to define it unequivocally?". In this review, we describe the main hindrances complicating the definition of "healthy microbiome" in terms of microbiota composition. We discuss the human microbiome from the perspective of classical ecology and we advocate for the shift from the stress on microbiota composition to the functions that microbiome ensures for the host. Finally, we propose to leave the concept of ideal healthy microbiome and replace it by focus on microbiome advantageous for the host, which always depends on the specific context like the age, genetics, dietary habits, body site or physiological state.


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.

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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.

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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
961 Red Tail Lane
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 )