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Bibliography on: Human Microbiome

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 18 May 2024 at 01:53 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: 2024-05-13

Long AR, Mortara EL, Mendoza BN, et al (2024)

Sequence similarity network analysis of drug- and dye-modifying azoreductase enzymes found in the human gut microbiome.

Archives of biochemistry and biophysics pii:S0003-9861(24)00144-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Drug metabolism by human gut microbes is often exemplified by azo bond reduction in the anticolitic prodrug sulfasalazine. Azoreductase activity is often found in incubations with cell cultures or ex vivo gut microbiome samples and contributes to the xenobiotic metabolism of drugs and food additives. Applying metagenomic studies to personalized medicine requires knowledge of the genes responsible for sulfasalazine and other drug metabolism, and candidate genes and proteins for drug modifications are understudied. A representative gut-abundant azoreductase from Anaerotignum lactatifermentan DSM 14214 efficiently reduces sulfasalazine and another drug, phenazopyridine, but could not reduce all azo-bonded drugs in this class. We used enzyme kinetics to characterize this enzyme for its NADH-dependent reduction of these drugs and food additives and performed computational docking to provide the groundwork for understanding substrate specificity in this family. We performed an analysis of the Flavodoxin-like fold InterPro family (IPR003680) by computing a sequence similarity network to classify distinct subgroups of the family and then performed chemically-guided functional profiling to identify proteins that are abundant in the NIH Human Microbiome Project dataset. This strategy aims to reduce the number of unique azoreductases needed to characterize one protein family in the diverse set of potential drug- and dye-modifying activities found in the human gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-13

Pang Z, Korpela R, H Vapaatalo (2024)

Local aldosterone release and CYP11B2 expression in response to angiotensin peptides, glucose, and potassium - an ex vivo study on murine colon.

Journal of physiology and pharmacology : an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society, 75(2):185-194.

We have previously described local aldosterone synthesis in mouse colon. In the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), angiotensin II (Ang II) peptide is the physiological factor which stimulates aldosterone synthesis in the adrenal glands. We have recently demonstrated that Ang II stimulates aldosterone synthesis also in mouse colon. Here, we conducted a 75-min ex vivo incubation of murine colonic tissue and evaluated the effects of three other Ang peptides, Ang I (1 μM), Ang III (0.1 μM) and Ang (1-7) (0.1 μM) on aldosterone synthesis. As a possible mechanism, their effects on tissue levels of the rate-limiting enzyme, aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) were measured by ELISA and Western blot. Ang III significantly elevated the amount of tissue CYP11B2 protein in colon. The values of released aldosterone in colon tissue incubation were increased over the control in the presence of Ang I, II or III, however, being statistically non-significant. In Western blot analysis, the values of tissue CYP11B2 protein content were elevated by Ang I and II. Ang (1-7) alone in colon did not influence CYP11B2 protein levels in the incubation experiment but showed higher aldosterone release without statistical significance. Ang (1-7) showed an antagonistic effect towards Ang II in release of aldosterone in adrenal gland. An overall estimation of a single peptide (three measured variables), the results were always in an increasing direction. The responses of aldosterone synthesis to high levels of glucose (44 mM) and potassium (18.8 mM) as physiological stimulators in vivo were investigated in the colon incubation. Glucose, equal to four times the concentration of the control buffer in the incubation, showed higher values of aldosterone release in colon than control without statistical significance similarly to the effect seen in adrenal glands. Increasing the concentration of potassium in the incubation buffer exerted no effect on colonic aldosterone production. Intriguingly, no correlation was found between aldosterone release and the tissue CYP11B2 protein content in colon. In summary, the response of colonic aldosterone synthesis to different Ang peptides resembles, but is not identical to, the situation in the adrenal glands.

RevDate: 2024-05-12

Ma Y, Zhao Y, X Zhang (2024)

Factors Affecting Neutrophil Functions During Sepsis: Human Microbiome and Epigenetics.

Journal of leukocyte biology pii:7670684 [Epub ahead of print].

Sepsis is a severe disease that occurs when the body's immune system reacts excessively to infection. The body's response, which includes an intense anti-bacterial reaction, can damage its tissues and organs. Neutrophils are the major components of white blood cells in circulation and play a vital role in innate immunity while fighting against infections, and are considered a feature determining sepsis classification. There's a plethora of basic research detailing neutrophil functioning, among which, the study of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is providing novel insights into mechanisms and treatments of sepsis. This review explores their functions, dysfunctions, and influences in the context of sepsis. The interplay between neutrophils and the human microbiome and the impact of DNA methylation on neutrophil function in sepsis are crucial areas of study. The interaction between neutrophils and the human microbiome is complex, particularly in the context of sepsis where dysbiosis may occur. We highlight the importance of deciphering neutrophil's functional alterations and their epigenetic features in sepsis because it is critical for defining sepsis endotypes and opening up the possibility for novel diagnostic methods and therapy. Specifically, epigenetic signatures are pivotal since they will provide a novel implication for sepsis diagnostic method when used in combination with the cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Research is exploring how specific patterns of DNA methylation in neutrophils, detectable in cfDNA, could serve as biomarkers for the early detection of sepsis.

RevDate: 2024-05-13
CmpDate: 2024-05-11

Luiskari L, Lindén J, Lehto M, et al (2024)

Ketogenic Diet Protects from Experimental Colitis in a Mouse Model Regardless of Dietary Fat Source.

Nutrients, 16(9):.

While ketogenic diets (KDs) may have potential as adjunct treatments for gastrointestinal diseases, there is little knowledge on how the fat source of these diets impacts intestinal health. The objective of this study was to investigate how the source of dietary fat of KD influences experimental colitis. We fed nine-week-old male C57BL/6J mice (n = 36) with a low-fat control diet or KD high either in saturated fatty acids (SFA-KD) or polyunsaturated linoleic acid (LA-KD) for four weeks and then induced colitis with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). To compare the diets, we analyzed macroscopic and histological changes in the colon, intestinal permeability to fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran (FITC-dextran), and the colonic expression of tight junction proteins and inflammatory markers. While the effects were more pronounced with LA-KD, both KDs markedly alleviated DSS-induced histological lesions. LA-KD prevented inflammation-related weight loss and the shortening of the colon, as well as preserved Il1b and Tnf expression at a healthy level. Despite no significant between-group differences in permeability to FITC-dextran, LA-KD mitigated changes in tight junction protein expression. Thus, KDs may have preventive potential against intestinal inflammation, with the level of the effect being dependent on the dietary fat source.

RevDate: 2024-05-10

Richter D, J Piel (2024)

Novel types of RiPP-modifying enzymes.

Current opinion in chemical biology, 80:102463 pii:S1367-5931(24)00039-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Novel discoveries in natural product biosynthesis reveal hidden bioactive compounds and expand our knowledge in enzymology. Ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a rapidly growing class of natural products featuring diverse non-canonical amino acids introduced by maturation enzymes as a class-defining characteristic. Underexplored RiPP sources, such as the human microbiome, the oceans, uncultured microorganisms, and plants are rich hunting grounds for novel enzymology. Unusual α- and β-amino acids, peptide cleavages, lipidations, diverse macrocyclizations, and other features expand the range of chemical groups that are installed in RiPPs by often promiscuous enzymes. This review highlights the search for novelty in RiPP enzymology in the past two years, with respect to the discovery of new biochemical modifications but also towards novel applications.

RevDate: 2024-05-08

Nicholson LK, Kofonow JM, Robertson CE, et al (2024)

Clinical and Microbial Determinants of Upper Respiratory Colonization with Streptococcus pneumoniae and Native Microbiota in People with HIV-1 and Control Adults.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:7667308 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The substantial risk for respiratory and invasive infections with Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn) among people with HIV-1 (PWH) begins with asymptomatic colonization. The frequency of Spn colonization among U.S. adults with and without HIV-1 infection is not well-characterized in the conjugate vaccine era.

METHODS: We determined Spn colonization frequency by culture and specific lytA gene QPCR and microbiota profile by 16S rRNA gene sequencing in nasopharyngeal (NP) and oropharyngeal (OP) DNA from 138 PWH and 93 control adults and associated clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: The frequencies of Spn colonization among PWH and controls did not differ (11.6% vs 8.6%, respectively; p=0.46) using combined results of culture and PCR, independent of vaccination or behavioral risks. PWH showed altered microbiota composition (i.e., beta-diversity. NP: p=0.0028, OP: p=0.0098), decreased alpha-diversity (NP: p=0.024, OP: p=0.0045), and differences in the relative abundance of multiple bacterial taxa. Spn colonization was associated with altered beta-diversity in the NP (p=0.011), but not OP (p=0.21).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite widespread conjugate vaccine and antiretroviral use, frequencies of Spn colonization among PWH and controls are currently consistent with those reported in the pre-conjugate era. The persistently increased risk of pneumococcal disease despite ART may relate to behavioral and immunologic variables other than colonization.

RevDate: 2024-05-11
CmpDate: 2024-05-08

Akouris PP, Stuivenberg GA, Chmiel JA, et al (2024)

Ethanolamine enhances adhesion, promotes microcompartment formation, and modulates gene expression in Levilactobacillus brevis ATCC 14869.

Gut microbes, 16(1):2350778.

Ethanolamine is an abundant compound in the gastrointestinal tract and a valuable source of carbon and nitrogen for pathogenic bacteria harboring ethanolamine utilization (eut) genes. Eut-positive pathogens can consume free ethanolamine to outcompete commensal microbes, which often lack eut genes, and establish infection. Ethanolamine can also act as a host recognition signal for eut-positive pathogens to upregulate virulence genes during colonization. Therefore, reducing free ethanolamine titers may represent a novel approach to preventing infection by eut-positive pathogens. Interestingly, the commensal microorganism Levilactobacillus brevis ATCC 14869 was found to encode over 18 eut genes within its genome. This led us to hypothesize that L. brevis can compete with eut-positive pathogens by clearing free ethanolamine from the environment. Our results demonstrate that despite being unable to metabolize ethanolamine under most conditions, L. brevis ATCC 14869 responds to the compound by increasing the expression of genes encoding proteins involved in microcompartment formation and adhesion to the intestinal epithelial barrier. The improved intestinal adhesion of L. brevis in the presence of ethanolamine also enhanced the exclusion of eut-positive pathogens from adhering to intestinal epithelial cells. These findings support further studies to test whether L. brevis ATCC 14869 can counter enteric pathogens and prevent or reduce the severity of infections. Overall, the metabolic capabilities of L. brevis ATCC 14869 offer a unique opportunity to add to the armamentarium of antimicrobial therapies as well as our understanding of the mechanisms used by beneficial microbes to sense and adapt to host microenvironments.

RevDate: 2024-05-08

Yadegar A, Bar-Yoseph H, Monaghan TM, et al (2024)

Fecal microbiota transplantation: current challenges and future landscapes.

Clinical microbiology reviews [Epub ahead of print].

SUMMARYGiven the importance of gut microbial homeostasis in maintaining health, there has been considerable interest in developing innovative therapeutic strategies for restoring gut microbiota. One such approach, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), is the main "whole gut microbiome replacement" strategy and has been integrated into clinical practice guidelines for treating recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (rCDI). Furthermore, the potential application of FMT in other indications such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), metabolic syndrome, and solid tumor malignancies is an area of intense interest and active research. However, the complex and variable nature of FMT makes it challenging to address its precise functionality and to assess clinical efficacy and safety in different disease contexts. In this review, we outline clinical applications, efficacy, durability, and safety of FMT and provide a comprehensive assessment of its procedural and administration aspects. The clinical applications of FMT in children and cancer immunotherapy are also described. We focus on data from human studies in IBD in contrast with rCDI to delineate the putative mechanisms of this treatment in IBD as a model, including colonization resistance and functional restoration through bacterial engraftment, modulating effects of virome/phageome, gut metabolome and host interactions, and immunoregulatory actions of FMT. Furthermore, we comprehensively review omics technologies, metagenomic approaches, and bioinformatics pipelines to characterize complex microbial communities and discuss their limitations. FMT regulatory challenges, ethical considerations, and pharmacomicrobiomics are also highlighted to shed light on future development of tailored microbiome-based therapeutics.

RevDate: 2024-05-08

Ramkumar D, Marty A, Ramkumar J, et al (2024)

Food for thought: Making the case for food produced via regenerative agriculture in the battle against non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs).

One health (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 18:100734.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) pose a global health challenge, leading to substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic strain. Our review underscores the escalating incidence of NCDs worldwide and highlights the potential of regenerative agriculture (RA) products in mitigating these diseases. We also explore the efficacy of dietary interventions in NCD management and prevention, emphasizing the superiority of plant-based diets over those high in processed foods and red meat. Examining the role of the gut microbiome in various diseases, including liver disorders, allergies, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and colon cancer, we find compelling evidence implicating its influence on disease development. Notably, dietary modifications can positively affect the gut microbiome, fostering a symbiotic relationship with the host and making this a critical strategy in disease prevention and treatment. Investigating agricultural practices, we identify parallels between soil/plant and human microbiome studies, suggesting a crucial link between soil health, plant- and animal-derived food quality, and human well-being. Conventional/Industrial agriculture (IA) practices, characterized in part by use of chemical inputs, have adverse effects on soil microbiome diversity, food quality, and ecosystems. In contrast, RA prioritizes soil health through natural processes, and includes avoiding synthetic inputs, crop rotation, and integrating livestock. Emerging evidence suggests that food from RA systems surpasses IA-produced food in quality and nutritional value. Recognizing the interconnection between human, plant, and soil microbiomes, promoting RA-produced foods emerges as a strategy to improve human health and environmental sustainability. By mitigating climate change impacts through carbon sequestration and water cycling, RA offers dual benefits for human and planetary health and well-being. Emphasizing the pivotal role of diet and agricultural practices in combating NCDs and addressing environmental concerns, the adoption of regional RA systems becomes imperative. Increasing RA integration into local food systems can enhance food quality, availability, and affordability while safeguarding human health and the planet's future.

RevDate: 2024-05-06

Zhao F, J Wang (2024)

Another piece of the puzzle for the human microbiome: the gut virome under dietary modulation.

Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao pii:S1673-8527(24)00098-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The virome is the most abundant and highly variable microbial consortium in the gut. Because of difficulties in isolating and culturing gut viruses and consequently shorting of reference genomes, the virome has remained a relatively elusive aspect of the human microbiome. In recent years, studies on the virome have accumulated growing evidence showing that the virome is diet-modulated and widely involved in regulating health. Here, we review the responses of the gut virome to dietary intake and the potential health implications, presenting changes in the gut viral community, preferences of viral members to particular diets. We further discuss how viral-bacterial interactions and phage lifestyle shifts shape the gut microbiota. We also discuss the specific functions conferred by diet on the gut virome and bacterial community in the context of horizontal gene transfer, as well as the import of new viral members along with the diet. Collating these studies will expand our understanding of the dietary regulation of the gut virome and inspire dietary interventions and health maintenance strategies targeting the gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2024-05-06

Geaman W, Choi BI, Kaindl J, et al (2024)

Microbroth dilution method for antibiotic susceptibility testing of fastidious and anaerobic bacteria of the urinary microbiome.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Bacterial isolates from the human urinary microbiome have been extensively studied for their antibiotic resistance; however, little work has been done on those isolates that are difficult to grow in vitro. This study was designed to qualify a serum-based medium, New York City Broth III (NYCIII), in both sections =and a broth microdilution method to determine the antibiotic susceptibility of previously underreported or undescribed microbes that have a difficult time growing in standard Mueller-Hinton broth. Here, we demonstrate that NYCIII microbroth dilution can be an effective method for the determination of antibiotic susceptibility of species found in the human urinary microbiome. We show that this method serves well to characterize fastidious and anaerobic urinary microbes that have no Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines, including several in the families Aerococcaceae, Lactobacillaceae, or Actinomycetaceae. Previous studies using expanded quantitative urine culture reveal that urine samples from clinical patients are commonly polymicrobial in composition. Thus, we test whether NYCIII can serve as a viable harmonized medium, capable of supporting antibiotic susceptibility testing in a range of fastidious, non-fastidious, and anaerobic urinary microbes. We propose this methodology to be standardized comparable to CLSI standards to allow for resistance testing in uncharacterized urinary bacteria.

IMPORTANCE: Antibiotic susceptibilities of fastidious and anaerobic bacteria of the human urinary microbiome are largely underreported due to difficulty in growing them in the lab environment. The current standard medium, Muller-Hinton broth, has difficulty supporting the growth of many of these species, leaving microbiologists without a standardized method. To address this need, this study offers a methodology to survey susceptibilities in a high-throughput manner of these understudied microbes with a proposed harmonized medium, NYCIII, which is capable of supporting the growth of both fastidious and non-fastidious urinary microbes. Broader standardization of this method can allow for the development of antibiotic-resistant breakpoints of the many uncharacterized urinary microbes.

RevDate: 2024-05-07

Koudokpon H, Legba BB, Dougnon V, et al (2024)

Strengthening clinical bacteriology laboratory diagnostics to combat sepsis and antimicrobial resistance in Benin: a train-the-trainer approach.

Frontiers in medicine, 11:1281418.

INTRODUCTION: Improved laboratory diagnostics is needed to support sepsis diagnosis and combat increasing antibiotic resistance in Benin. We trained clinical laboratory experts and technicians to improve their skills in accurate and up-to-date diagnostics.

METHODS: A Train-the-Trainer (TtT) approach was used to design the course that combines theoretical and practical laboratory skills, specifically addressing the knowledge gaps we had previously identified in our national survey. Pedagogical methods were student-centered, including peer learning, use of online materials, practical laboratory work and pre-and post-course tests.

RESULTS: We first trained 10 trainers who in turn trained 40 laboratory technicians from across the country, from both public and private clinical and veterinary laboratories. The trainers also prepared standard operation procedures for blood culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing based on international standards. Three months after the training, follow-up visits were made to the laboratories where the implementation of the new skills was evaluated. The progress of the participants observed during the course and the implementation of the new skills afterwards proved the training to be effective.

DISCUSSION: The professional networks created during the training, the empowerment that utilizes local knowledge resources, and the government support for our initiative can be expected to bring sustainability to the initiative and support the participation of Beninese laboratories in international surveillance programs in the future.

RevDate: 2024-05-06

Alagiakrishnan K, Morgadinho J, T Halverson (2024)

Approach to the diagnosis and management of dysbiosis.

Frontiers in nutrition, 11:1330903.

All microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi that reside within a host environment are considered a microbiome. The number of bacteria almost equal that of human cells, however, the genome of these bacteria may be almost 100 times larger than the human genome. Every aspect of the physiology and health can be influenced by the microbiome living in various parts of our body. Any imbalance in the microbiome composition or function is seen as dysbiosis. Different types of dysbiosis are seen and the corresponding symptoms depend on the site of microbial imbalance. The contribution of the intestinal and extra-intestinal microbiota to influence systemic activities is through interplay between different axes. Whole body dysbiosis is a complex process involving gut microbiome and non-gut related microbiome. It is still at the stage of infancy and has not yet been fully understood. Dysbiosis can be influenced by genetic factors, lifestyle habits, diet including ultra-processed foods and food additives, as well as medications. Dysbiosis has been associated with many systemic diseases and cannot be diagnosed through standard blood tests or investigations. Microbiota derived metabolites can be analyzed and can be useful in the management of dysbiosis. Whole body dysbiosis can be addressed by altering lifestyle factors, proper diet and microbial modulation. The effect of these interventions in humans depends on the beneficial microbiome alteration mostly based on animal studies with evolving evidence from human studies. There is tremendous potential for the human microbiome in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of diseases, as well as, for the monitoring of health and disease in humans. Whole body system-based approach to the diagnosis of dysbiosis is better than a pure taxonomic approach. Whole body dysbiosis could be a new therapeutic target in the management of various health conditions.

RevDate: 2024-05-06
CmpDate: 2024-05-03

Shen S, Liu X, Huang J, et al (2024)

Efficacy of a mouthwash containing ε-poly-L-lysine, funme peptides and domiphen in reducing halitosis and supragingival plaque: a randomized clinical trial.

BMC oral health, 24(1):525.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the antibacterial effectiveness of a combination of ε-poly-L-lysine (ε-PL), funme peptide (FP) as well as domiphen against oral pathogens, and assess the efficacy of a BOP® mouthwash supplemented with this combination in reducing halitosis and supragingival plaque in a clinical trial.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of the compound against Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Streptococcus mutans, and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were determined by the gradient dilution method. Subsequently, the CCK-8 assay was used to detect the toxicity of mouthwash on human gingival fibroblastst, and the effectiveness in reducing halitosis and supragingival plaque of the mouthwash supplemented with the combination was analyzed by a randomized, double-blind, parallel-controlled clinical trial.

RESULTS: The combination exhibited significant inhibitory effects on tested oral pathogens with the MIC < 1.56% (v/v) and the MBC < 3.13% (v/v), and the mouthwash containing this combination did not inhibit the viability of human gingival fibroblasts at the test concentrations. The clinical trial showed that the test group displayed notably lower volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) at 0, 10, 24 h, and 7 d post-mouthwash (P < 0.05), compared with the baseline. After 7 days, the VSC levels of the and control groups were reduced by 50.27% and 32.12%, respectively, and notably cutting severe halitosis by 57.03% in the test group. Additionally, the Plaque Index (PLI) of the test and control group decreased by 54.55% and 8.38%, respectively, and there was a significant difference in PLI between the two groups after 7 days (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The combination of ε-PL, FP and domiphen demonstrated potent inhibitory and bactericidal effects against the tested oral pathogens, and the newly formulated mouthwash added with the combination exhibited anti-dental plaque and anti-halitosis properties in a clinical trial and was safe.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The randomized controlled clinical trial was registered on Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (No. ChiCTR2300073816, Date: 21/07/2023).

RevDate: 2024-05-03

Jang CS, Kim H, Kim D, et al (2024)

MicroPredict: predicting species-level taxonomic abundance of whole-shotgun metagenomic data using only 16S amplicon sequencing data.

Genes & genomics [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The importance of the human microbiome in the analysis of various diseases is emerging. The two main methods used to profile the human microbiome are 16S rRNA gene sequencing (16S sequencing) and whole-genome shotgun sequencing (WGS). Owing to the full coverage of the genome in sequencing, WGS has multiple advantages over 16S sequencing, including higher taxonomic profiling resolution at the species-level and functional profiling analysis. However, 16S sequencing remains widely used because of its relatively low cost. Although WGS is the standard method for obtaining accurate species-level data, we found that 16S sequencing data contained rich information to predict high-resolution species-level abundances with reasonable accuracy.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we proposed MicroPredict, a method for accurately predicting WGS-comparable species-level abundance data using 16S taxonomic profile data.

METHODS: We employed a mixed model using two key strategies: (1) modeling both sample- and species-specific information for predicting WGS abundances, and (2) accounting for the possible correlations among different species.

RESULTS: We found that MicroPredict outperformed the other machine learning methods.

CONCLUSION: We expect that our approach will help researchers accurately approximate the species-level abundances of microbiome profiles in datasets for which only cost-effective 16S sequencing has been applied.

RevDate: 2024-05-06
CmpDate: 2024-05-02

Araujo R, Merino-Ribas A, Pereira L, et al (2024)

The urogenital microbiome in chronic kidney disease patients on peritoneal dialysis.

Nefrologia, 44(2):194-203.

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Diabetes, dyslipidemia, older age, gender, urinary tract infections, and recent antibiotic intake have been associated with a decrease in the urobiome richness and other fluctuations in this microbiome. Gut and blood microbiome have been reported to be altered in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and specifically in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients. Still, there are currently no studies describing the urogenital microbiome in CKD-PD patients. In this study we characterized the urobiome profile in 46 PD patients and analyzed its clinical and inflammatory parameters.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Mid-stream urine, fecal and blood samples were collected from 46 patients undergoing PD at Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João (CHUSJ) in Porto, Portugal. Exclusion criteria were age under 18 years old, inability to give informed consent, history of infection in the last three months, and antibiotic intake in the last three months. The microbiome communities were analyzed by amplification and sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene. Correlations with the patients' clinical data and inflammatory profile were performed.

RESULTS: CKD-PD patients presented a unique urobiome profile dominated by Bacillota, Actinomycetota and Pseudomonadota and characterized by a lower Shannon diversity than fecal and blood microbiome. The taxonomic profiles of urogenital samples were organized in multiple subtypes dominated by populations of Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Gardnerella, Prevotella, Escherichia-Shigella, being similar to other non-PD-CKD patients. Gender, sCD14, residual diuresis and history of peritonitis were significantly associated to variations in the urobiome. Although not reaching statistical significance, diabetes and the time on PD also showed association with particular taxonomic groups. Depletion of Gardnerella, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Lactobacillus or Dermabacter populations correlated with CKD-PD patients with history of diabetes, history of peritonitis and altered levels of sCD14.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight urogenital microbiome as a potential partner and/or marker in the overall health state of CKD-PD patients.

RevDate: 2024-05-02
CmpDate: 2023-08-04

Fletcher AA, Kelly MS, Eckhoff AM, et al (2023)

Revisiting the intrinsic mycobiome in pancreatic cancer.

Nature, 620(7972):E1-E6.

A growing body of literature suggests that alterations in the human microbiome are causative of disease initiation and progression. Aykut et al. present data supporting the argument that alterations in the gut fungal microbiome (the “mycobiome”), along with the presence of fungal elements within pancreatic tissue (specifically those of the genus Malassezia), are associated with pancreatic oncogenesis. Upon analyzing the human sequencing data presented in the original manuscript, we found few fungal reads in pancreatic tissue samples and did not identify differences in pancreatic or gut mycobiome composition between healthy and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. Our re-analysis of these data does not support an association between an intrinsic pancreatic mycobiome and the development of human PDAC, and illustrates the challenges in analyzing microbiome sequencing data from low biomass samples.

RevDate: 2024-05-02
CmpDate: 2024-05-02

Roussel C, Sola M, Lessard-Lord J, et al (2024)

Human gut microbiota and their production of endocannabinoid-like mediators are directly affected by a dietary oil.

Gut microbes, 16(1):2335879.

Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) and the gut microbiome affect each other. We investigated the impact of supplementation with Buglossoides arvensis oil (BO), rich in stearidonic acid (SDA), on the human gut microbiome. Employing the Mucosal Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (M-SHIME), we simulated the ileal and ascending colon microbiomes of four donors. Our results reveal two distinct microbiota clusters influenced by BO, exhibiting shared and contrasting shifts. Notably, Bacteroides and Clostridia abundance underwent similar changes in both clusters, accompanied by increased propionate production in the colon. However, in the ileum, cluster 2 displayed a higher metabolic activity in terms of BO-induced propionate levels. Accordingly, a triad of bacterial members involved in propionate production through the succinate pathway, namely Bacteroides, Parabacteroides, and Phascolarctobacterium, was identified particularly in this cluster, which also showed a surge of second-generation probiotics, such as Akkermansia, in the colon. Finally, we describe for the first time the capability of gut bacteria to produce N-acyl-ethanolamines, and particularly the SDA-derived N-stearidonoyl-ethanolamine, following BO supplementation, which also stimulated the production of another bioactive endocannabinoid-like molecule, commendamide, in both cases with variations across individuals. Spearman correlations enabled the identification of bacterial genera potentially involved in endocannabinoid-like molecule production, such as, in agreement with previous reports, Bacteroides in the case of commendamide. This study suggests that the potential health benefits on the human microbiome of certain dietary oils may be amenable to stratified nutrition strategies and extend beyond n-3 PUFAs to include microbiota-derived endocannabinoid-like mediators.

RevDate: 2024-05-03

Zhang Y, Xue G, Wang F, et al (2024)

The impact of antibiotic exposure on antibiotic resistance gene dynamics in the gut microbiota of inflammatory bowel disease patients.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1382332.

BACKGROUND: While antibiotics are commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), their widespread application can disturb the gut microbiota and foster the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. However, the dynamic changes to the human gut microbiota and direction of resistance gene transmission under antibiotic effects have not been clearly elucidated.

METHODS: Based on the Human Microbiome Project, a total of 90 fecal samples were collected from 30 IBD patients before, during and after antibiotic treatment. Through the analysis workflow of metagenomics, we described the dynamic process of changes in bacterial communities and resistance genes pre-treatment, during and post-treatment. We explored potential consistent relationships between gut microbiota and resistance genes, and established gene transmission networks among species before and after antibiotic use.

RESULTS: Exposure to antibiotics can induce alterations in the composition of the gut microbiota in IBD patients, particularly a reduction in probiotics, which gradually recovers to a new steady state after cessation of antibiotics. Network analyses revealed intra-phylum transfers of resistance genes, predominantly between taxonomically close organisms. Specific resistance genes showed increased prevalence and inter-species mobility after antibiotic cessation.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that antibiotics shape the gut resistome through selective enrichment and promotion of horizontal gene transfer. The findings provide insights into ecological processes governing resistance gene dynamics and dissemination upon antibiotic perturbation of the microbiota. Optimizing antibiotic usage may help limit unintended consequences like increased resistance in gut bacteria during IBD management.

RevDate: 2024-05-02

Karaman I, Pathak A, Bayik D, et al (2024)

Harnessing Bacterial Extracellular Vesicle Immune Effects for Cancer Therapy.

Pathogens & immunity, 9(1):56-90.

There are a growing number of studies linking the composition of the human microbiome to disease states and treatment responses, especially in the context of cancer. This has raised significant interest in developing microbes and microbial products as cancer immunotherapeutics that mimic or recapitulate the beneficial effects of host-microbe interactions. Bacterial extracellular vesicles (bEVs) are nano-sized, membrane-bound particles secreted by essentially all bacteria species and contain a diverse bioactive cargo of the producing cell. They have a fundamental role in facilitating interactions among cells of the same species, different microbial species, and even with multicellular host organisms in the context of colonization (microbiome) and infection. The interaction of bEVs with the immune system has been studied extensively in the context of infection and suggests that bEV effects depend largely on the producing species. They thus provide functional diversity, while also being nonreplicative, having inherent cell-targeting qualities, and potentially overcoming natural barriers. These characteristics make them highly appealing for development as cancer immunotherapeutics. Both natively secreted and engineered bEVs are now being investigated for their application as immunotherapeutics, vaccines, drug delivery vehicles, and combinations of the above, with promising early results. This suggests that both the intrinsic immunomodulatory properties of bEVs and their ability to be modified could be harnessed for the development of next-generation microbe-inspired therapies. Nonetheless, there remain major outstanding questions regarding how the observed preclinical effectiveness will translate from murine models to primates, and humans in particular. Moreover, research into the pharmacology, toxicology, and mass manufacturing of this potential novel therapeutic platform is still at early stages. In this review, we highlight the breadth of bEV interactions with host cells, focusing on immunologic effects as the main mechanism of action of bEVs currently in preclinical development. We review the literature on ongoing efforts to develop natively secreted and engineered bEVs from a variety of bacterial species for cancer therapy and finally discuss efforts to overcome outstanding challenges that remain for clinical translation.

RevDate: 2024-04-30

Nagpal S, Mande SS, Hooda H, et al (2024)

EnsembleSeq: a workflow towards real-time, rapid, and simultaneous multi-kingdom-amplicon sequencing for holistic and resource-effective microbiome research at scale.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Bacterial communities are often concomitantly present with numerous microorganisms in the human body and other natural environments. Amplicon-based microbiome studies have generally paid skewed attention, that too at a rather shallow genus level resolution, to the highly abundant bacteriome, with interest now forking toward the other microorganisms, particularly fungi. Given the generally sparse abundance of other microbes in the total microbiome, simultaneous sequencing of amplicons targeting multiple microbial kingdoms could be possible even with full multiplexing. Guiding studies are currently needed for performing and monitoring multi-kingdom-amplicon sequencing and data capture at scale. Aiming to address these gaps, amplification of full-length bacterial 16S rRNA gene and entire fungal internal-transcribed spacer (ITS) region was performed for human saliva samples (n = 96, including negative and positive controls). Combined amplicon DNA libraries were prepared for nanopore sequencing using a major fraction of 16S molecules and a minor fraction of ITS amplicons. Sequencing was performed in a single run of an R10.4.1 flow cell employing the latest V14 chemistry. An approach for real-time monitoring of the species saturation using dynamic rarefaction was designed as a guiding determinant of optimal run time. Real-time saturation monitoring for both bacterial and fungal species enabled the completion of sequencing within 30 hours, utilizing less than 60% of the total nanopores. Approximately 5 million high quality (HQ) taxonomically assigned reads were generated (~4.2 million bacterial and 0.7 million fungal), providing a wider (beyond bacteriome) snapshot of human oral microbiota at species-level resolution. Among the more than 400 bacterial and 240 fungal species identified in the studied samples, the species of Streptococcus (e.g., Streptococcus mitis and Streptococcus oralis) and Candida (e.g., Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis) were observed to be the dominating microbes in the oral cavity, respectively. This conformed well with the previous reports of the human oral microbiota. EnsembleSeq provides a proof-of-concept toward the identification of both fungal and bacterial species simultaneously in a single fully multiplexed nanopore sequencing run in a time- and resource-effective manner. Details of this workflow, along with the associated codebase, are provided to enable large-scale application for a holistic species-level microbiome study.

IMPORTANCE: Human microbiome is a sum total of a variety of microbial genomes (including bacteria, fungi, protists, viruses, etc.) present in and on the human body. Yet, a majority of amplicon-based microbiome studies have largely remained skewed toward bacteriome as an assumed proxy of the total microbiome, primarily at a shallow genus level. Cost, time, effort, data quality/management, and importantly lack of guiding studies often limit progress in the direction of moving beyond bacteriome. Here, EnsembleSeq presents a proof-of-concept toward concomitantly capturing multiple-kingdoms of microorganisms (bacteriome and mycobiome) in a fully multiplexed (96-sample) single run of long-read amplicon sequencing. In addition, the workflow captures dynamic tracking of species-level saturation in a time- and resource-effective manner.

RevDate: 2024-04-30

Kallio S, Jian C, Korpela K, et al (2024)

Early-life gut microbiota associates with allergic rhinitis during 13-year follow-up in a Finnish probiotic intervention cohort.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Perinatal and early-life factors reported to affect risk of allergic diseases may be mediated by changes in the gut microbiota. Here, we explored the associations between the infant gut microbiota and allergic morbidity in childhood until 13 years of age in a subgroup of the FLORA probiotic intervention cohort. A mixture of four probiotic strains with galacto-oligosaccharides was administrated to the mothers from the 36th week of the pregnancy and later to their infants until 6 months of age. The infants were monitored for the manifestations of atopic eczema, food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and asthma by a pediatrician at 2 and 5 years of age; the allergic status was subsequently verified by a questionnaire at 10 and 13 years of age. The fecal microbiota at 3 months was profiled by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing targeting the V3-V4 region, with and without adjusting for potentially important early-life factors. Overall, the positive diagnosis for allergic rhinitis between 2 and 13 years was associated with microbiota composition both in non-adjusted and adjusted models. This association was more pronounced in children born to one parent with confirmed atopic diseases compared to those who had two atopic parents and was characterized by a lower relative abundance of Bifidobacterium and Escherichia/Shigella spp. and a higher proportion of Bacteroides. While the probiotic and galacto-oligosaccharides intervention in the entire cohort was previously shown to reduce the prevalence of eczema to a certain extent, no associations were found between the 3-month gut microbiota and childhood eczema in the studied sub-cohort.IMPORTANCEAllergic diseases have increased in prevalence during the past decades globally. Although probiotics have been considered a promising strategy for preventing certain allergy related symptoms, studies connecting the infant gut microbiota and later life allergic morbidity in various populations remain limited. The present study supports an association between the infant microbiota and allergic morbidity after first years of life, which has been rarely examined.CLINICAL TRIALSRegistered at (NCT00298337).

RevDate: 2024-04-30

Zhang Y, Miao D, Su M, et al (2024)

Synergistic Drug-Loaded Shear-Thinning Star Polymer Hydrogel Facilitates Gastrointestinal Lesion Resection and Promotes Wound Healing.

Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

Easy injection, long-lasting barrier, and drug loading are the critical properties of submucosal injection materials for endoscopic surgery. However, conventional injectable polymers face challenges in simultaneously attaining these properties due to the inherent conflict between injectability and in situ stability. Here, a multi-arm star polymer hydrogel (denoted as βCP hydrogel) with long-lasting submucosal barrier (exceeding 120 min), rapid hemostasis, and sustained antibacterial properties is successfully developed by grafting poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) (PEGMA) side-chains from β-CD via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). During the onset of shearing, βCP hydrogel experiences the unwinding of polymer side-chains between neighboring star polymers, which facilitates the process of endoscopic injectability. After submucosal injection, βCP hydrogel undergoes the winding of polymer side-chains, thereby establishing a long-lasting barrier cushion. Meanwhile, owing to its distinctive structures with a hydrophobic inner cavity and an outer layer of hydrophilic polymer side-chains, βCP hydrogel enables simultaneous loading and on-demand release of diverse categories of drugs. This unique performance can adapt to the diverse demands during different stages of wound healing in a porcine endoscopic surgery model. These results indicate an appealing prospect for new application of star polymers as a good submucosal injection material in endoscopic treatments.

RevDate: 2024-04-30

Chen See JR, Leister J, Wright JR, et al (2024)

Clostridioides difficile infection is associated with differences in transcriptionally active microbial communities.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1398018.

Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) is responsible for around 300,000 hospitalizations yearly in the United States, with the associated monetary cost being billions of dollars. Gut microbiome dysbiosis is known to be important to CDI. To the best of our knowledge, metatranscriptomics (MT) has only been used to characterize gut microbiome composition and function in one prior study involving CDI patients. Therefore, we utilized MT to investigate differences in active community diversity and composition between CDI+ (n = 20) and CDI- (n = 19) samples with respect to microbial taxa and expressed genes. No significant (Kruskal-Wallis, p > 0.05) differences were detected for richness or evenness based on CDI status. However, clustering based on CDI status was significant for both active microbial taxa and expressed genes datasets (PERMANOVA, p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, differential feature analysis revealed greater expression of the opportunistic pathogens Enterocloster bolteae and Ruminococcus gnavus in CDI+ compared to CDI- samples. When only fungal sequences were considered, the family Saccharomycetaceae expressed more genes in CDI-, while 31 other fungal taxa were identified as significantly (Kruskal-Wallis p ≤ 0.05, log(LDA) ≥ 2) associated with CDI+. We also detected a variety of genes and pathways that differed significantly (Kruskal-Wallis p ≤ 0.05, log(LDA) ≥ 2) based on CDI status. Notably, differential genes associated with biofilm formation were expressed by C. difficile. This provides evidence of another possible contributor to C. difficile's resistance to antibiotics and frequent recurrence in vivo. Furthermore, the greater number of CDI+ associated fungal taxa constitute additional evidence that the mycobiome is important to CDI pathogenesis. Future work will focus on establishing if C. difficile is actively producing biofilms during infection and if any specific fungal taxa are particularly influential in CDI.

RevDate: 2024-04-27

Luo X, Hounmanou YMG, Ndayisenga F, et al (2024)

Spontaneous fermentation mitigates the frequency of genes encoding antimicrobial resistance spreading from the phyllosphere reservoir to the diet.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)02859-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The phyllosphere microbiome of vegetable products constitutes an important reservoir for multidrug resistant bacteria and Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARG). Vegetable products including fermented products such as Paocai therefore may serve as a shuttle for extrinsic microorganisms with ARGs into the gut of consumers. Here we study the effect of fermentation on Paocai ARG dissemination by metagenomic analysis. Microbial abundance and diversity of the Paocai microbiome were diminished during fermentation, which correlated with the reduction of abundance in ARGs. Specifically, as fermentation progressed, Enterobacterales overtook Pseudomonadales as the predominant ARG carriers, and Lactobacillales and Enterobacteriales became the determinants of Paocai resistome variation. Moreover, the dual effect of microbes and metal resistance genes (MRGs) was the major contributor driving Paocai resistome dynamics. We recovered several metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) carrying acquired ARGs in the phyllosphere microbiome. ARGs of potential clinical and epidemiological relevance such as tet M and emrB-qacA, were mainly hosted by non-dominant bacterial genera. Overall, our study provides evidence that changes in microbial community composition by fermentation aid in constraining ARG dispersal from raw ingredients to the human microbiome but does not eliminate them.

RevDate: 2024-04-29

Brogna C, Bisaccia DR, Costanzo V, et al (2024)

Who Is the Intermediate Host of RNA Viruses? A Study Focusing on SARS-CoV-2 and Poliovirus.

Microorganisms, 12(4):.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a surge in research on microbiology and virology, shedding light on overlooked aspects such as the infection of bacteria by RNA virions in the animal microbiome. Studies reveal a decrease in beneficial gut bacteria during COVID-19, indicating a significant interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and the human microbiome. However, determining the origins of the virus remains complex, with observed phenomena such as species jumps adding layers to the narrative. Prokaryotic cells play a crucial role in the disease's pathogenesis and transmission. Analyzing previous studies highlights intricate interactions from clinical manifestations to the use of the nitrogen isotope test. Drawing parallels with the history of the Poliovirus underscores the need to prioritize investigations into prokaryotic cells hosting RNA viruses.

RevDate: 2024-04-29
CmpDate: 2024-04-27

Hernández-Zulueta J, Bolaños-Chang AJ, Santa Cruz-Pavlovich FJ, et al (2024)

Microbial Dynamics in Ophthalmic Health: Exploring the Interplay between Human Microbiota and Glaucoma Pathogenesis.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 60(4):.

The human microbiome has a crucial role in the homeostasis and health of the host. These microorganisms along with their genes are involved in various processes, among these are neurological signaling, the maturation of the immune system, and the inhibition of opportunistic pathogens. In this sense, it has been shown that a healthy ocular microbiota acts as a barrier against the entry of pathogens, contributing to the prevention of infections. In recent years, a relationship has been suggested between microbiota dysbiosis and the development of neurodegenerative diseases. In patients with glaucoma, it has been observed that the microbiota of the ocular surface, intraocular cavity, oral cavity, stomach, and gut differ from those observed in healthy patients, which may suggest a role in pathology development, although the evidence remains limited. The mechanisms involved in the relationship of the human microbiome and this neurodegenerative disease remain largely unknown. For this reason, the present review aims to show a broad overview of the influence of the structure and composition of the human oral and gut microbiota and relate its dysbiosis to neurodegenerative diseases, especially glaucoma.

RevDate: 2024-04-26

Sengupta S, Pabbaraja S, G Mehta (2024)

Natural products from the human microbiome: an emergent frontier in organic synthesis and drug discovery.

Organic & biomolecular chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Often referred to as the "second genome", the human microbiome is at the epicenter of complex inter-habitat biochemical networks like the "gut-brain axis", which has emerged as a significant determinant of cognition, overall health and well-being, as well as resistance to antibiotics and susceptibility to diseases. As part of a broader understanding of the nexus between the human microbiome, diseases and microbial interactions, whether encoded secondary metabolites (natural products) play crucial signalling roles has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the recent past. A major focus of these activities involves harvesting the genomic potential of the human microbiome via bioinformatics guided genome mining and culturomics. Through these efforts, an impressive number of structurally intriguing antibiotics, with enhanced chemical diversity vis-à-vis conventional antibiotics have been isolated from human commensal bacteria, thereby generating considerable interest in their total synthesis and expanding their therapeutic space for drug discovery. These developments augur well for the discovery of new drugs and antibiotics, particularly in the context of challenges posed by mycobacterial resistance and emerging new diseases. The current landscape of various synthetic campaigns and drug discovery initiatives on antibacterial natural products from the human microbiome is captured in this review with an intent to stimulate further activities in this interdisciplinary arena among the new generation.

RevDate: 2024-04-26

Farfour E, Vasse M, A Vallée (2024)

Oligella spp.: A systematic review on an uncommon urinary pathogen.

European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Oligella is an uncommon Gram-negative coccobacillus that was first thought to belong to the urogenital tract. The genus Oligella comprises two species that were recovered from various samples worldwide.

METHODS: We perform a systematic review focusing on Oligella microbiological characteristics, habitat, role in Human microbiome and infection, and antimicrobial susceptibility.

RESULTS: In humans, Oligella is mainly found as part of the microbiome of individuals with predisposing conditions. Oligella were also associated with invasive infections in patients with underlying diseases. Nevertheless, their prevalence remains to determine. Oligella culture requires up to 48 h on agar media in vitro, while urinary samples are usually incubated for 24 h. Consequently, microbiologists should be prompt to prolong the incubation of agar media when the direct examination showed Gram-negative coccobacilli. Oligella is accurately identified using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, but biochemical methods often provided inconsistent results. Specific guidelines for antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Oligella lack but the incubation could require up to 48 h of incubation. In contrast to O. urethralis, which is susceptible to third-generation cephalosporin, O. ureolytica is likely resistant to numerous antimicrobials. Genectic determinants of resistance were identified for beta-lactams and aminoglycosides.

CONCLUSION: Oligella is an uncommon pathogen that can be underrecognized. Microbiologists should be prompt to prolong the incubation of agar media plated with urines when the direct examination showed Gram-negative coccobacilli. Carbapenems should probably be given for the empirical treatment.

RevDate: 2024-04-26

Pujolassos M, Susín A, ML Calle (2024)

Microbiome compositional data analysis for survival studies.

NAR genomics and bioinformatics, 6(2):lqae038.

The growing interest in studying the relationship between the human microbiome and our health has also extended to time-to-event studies where researchers explore the connection between the microbiome and the occurrence of a specific event of interest. The analysis of microbiome obtained through high throughput sequencing techniques requires the use of specialized Compositional Data Analysis (CoDA) methods designed to accommodate its compositional nature. There is a limited availability of statistical tools for microbiome analysis that incorporate CoDA, and this is even more pronounced in the context of survival analysis. To fill this methodological gap, we present coda4microbiome for survival studies, a new methodology for the identification of microbial signatures in time-to-event studies. The algorithm implements an elastic-net penalized Cox regression model adapted to compositional covariates. We illustrate coda4microbiome algorithm for survival studies with a case study about the time to develop type 1 diabetes for non-obese diabetic mice. Our algorithm identified a bacterial signature composed of 21 genera associated with diabetes development. coda4microbiome for survival studies is integrated in the R package coda4microbiome as an extension of the existing functions for cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.

RevDate: 2024-04-25

Liang L, Zhang J, Chen J, et al (2024)

Bazedoxifene attenuates dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis in mice through gut microbiota modulation and inhibition of STAT3 and NF-κB pathways.

European journal of pharmacology pii:S0014-2999(24)00299-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic and relapsing inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract for which treatment options remain limited. In this study, we used a dual-luciferase-based screening of an FDA-approved drug library, identifying Bazedoxifene (BZA) as an inhibitor of the NF-κB pathway. We further investigated its therapeutic effects in a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis model and explored its impact on gut microbiota regulation and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Our results showed that BZA significantly reduced DSS-induced colitis symptoms in mice, evidenced by decreased colon length shortening, lower histological scores, and increased expression of intestinal mucosal barrier-associated proteins, such as Claudin 1, Occludin, Zo-1, Mucin 2 (Muc2), and E-cadherin. Used independently, BZA showed therapeutic effects comparable to those of infliximab (IFX). In addition, BZA modulated the abundance of gut microbiota especially Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, and influenced microbial metabolite production. Crucially, BZA's alleviation of DSS-induced colitis in mice was linked to change in gut microbiota composition, as evidenced by in vivo gut microbiota depletion and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) mice model. Molecularly, BZA inhibited STAT3 and NF-κB activation in DSS-induced colitis in mice. In general, BZA significantly reduced DSS-induced colitis in mice through modulating the gut microbiota and inhibiting STAT3 and NF-κB activation, and its independent use demonstrated a therapeutic potential comparable to IFX. This study highlights gut microbiota's role in IBD drug development, offering insights for BZA's future development and its clinical applications.

RevDate: 2024-04-26
CmpDate: 2024-04-25

Pedrazzoli E, Demozzi M, Visentin E, et al (2024)

CoCas9 is a compact nuclease from the human microbiome for efficient and precise genome editing.

Nature communications, 15(1):3478.

The expansion of the CRISPR-Cas toolbox is highly needed to accelerate the development of therapies for genetic diseases. Here, through the interrogation of a massively expanded repository of metagenome-assembled genomes, mostly from human microbiomes, we uncover a large variety (n = 17,173) of type II CRISPR-Cas loci. Among these we identify CoCas9, a strongly active and high-fidelity nuclease with reduced molecular size (1004 amino acids) isolated from an uncultivated Collinsella species. CoCas9 is efficiently co-delivered with its sgRNA through adeno associated viral (AAV) vectors, obtaining efficient in vivo editing in the mouse retina. With this study we uncover a collection of previously uncharacterized Cas9 nucleases, including CoCas9, which enriches the genome editing toolbox.

RevDate: 2024-04-23

Choi BI, Fontes Noronha M, Kaindl J, et al (2024)

Complete genome sequences of Aerococcus loyolae ATCC TSD-300[T], Aerococcus mictus ATCC TSD-301[T], and Aerococcus tenax ATCC TSD-302[T].

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

Previously identified under the single designation of Aerococcus urinae, three distinct taxonomic species have been distinguished as Aerococcus loyolae, Aerococcus mictus, and Aerococcus tenax. Here, we present the complete genome sequences of the type strains of these species assembled via a combination of short-read and long-read sequencing techniques.Registered at (NCT01166438).

RevDate: 2024-04-25
CmpDate: 2024-04-22

Filardo S, Di Pietro M, R Sessa (2024)

Current progresses and challenges for microbiome research in human health: a perspective.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 14:1377012.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the human microbiota, also known as "the hidden organ", possesses a pivotal role in numerous processes involved in maintaining the physiological functions of the host, such as nutrient extraction, biosynthesis of bioactive molecules, interplay with the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems, as well as resistance to the colonization of potential invading pathogens. In the last decade, the development of metagenomic approaches based on the sequencing of the bacterial 16s rRNA gene via Next Generation Sequencing, followed by whole genome sequencing via third generation sequencing technologies, has been one of the great advances in molecular biology, allowing a better profiling of the human microbiota composition and, hence, a deeper understanding of the importance of microbiota in the etiopathogenesis of different pathologies. In this scenario, it is of the utmost importance to comprehensively characterize the human microbiota in relation to disease pathogenesis, in order to develop novel potential treatment or preventive strategies by manipulating the microbiota. Therefore, this perspective will focus on the progress, challenges, and promises of the current and future technological approaches for microbiome profiling and analysis.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Sarrazin-Gendron R, Ghasemloo Gheidari P, Butyaev A, et al (2024)

Improving microbial phylogeny with citizen science within a mass-market video game.

Nature biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

Citizen science video games are designed primarily for users already inclined to contribute to science, which severely limits their accessibility for an estimated community of 3 billion gamers worldwide. We created Borderlands Science (BLS), a citizen science activity that is seamlessly integrated within a popular commercial video game played by tens of millions of gamers. This integration is facilitated by a novel game-first design of citizen science games, in which the game design aspect has the highest priority, and a suitable task is then mapped to the game design. BLS crowdsources a multiple alignment task of 1 million 16S ribosomal RNA sequences obtained from human microbiome studies. Since its initial release on 7 April 2020, over 4 million players have solved more than 135 million science puzzles, a task unsolvable by a single individual. Leveraging these results, we show that our multiple sequence alignment simultaneously improves microbial phylogeny estimations and UniFrac effect sizes compared to state-of-the-art computational methods. This achievement demonstrates that hyper-gamified scientific tasks attract massive crowds of contributors and offers invaluable resources to the scientific community.

RevDate: 2024-04-15

Lintala A, Vapalahti O, Nousiainen A, et al (2024)

Whole Blood as a Sample Matrix in Homogeneous Time-Resolved Assay-Förster Resonance Energy Transfer-Based Antibody Detection.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 14(7):.

The protein-L-utilizing Förster resonance energy transfer (LFRET) assay enables mix-and-read antibody detection, as demonstrated for sera from patients with, e.g., severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Zika virus, and orthohantavirus infections. In this study, we compared paired serum and whole blood (WB) samples of COVID-19 patients and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine recipients. We found that LFRET also detects specific antibodies in WB samples. In 44 serum-WB pairs from patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, LFRET showed a strong correlation between the sample materials. By analyzing 89 additional WB samples, totaling 133 WB samples, we found that LFRET results were moderately correlated with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results for samples collected 2 to 14 months after receiving COVID-19 diagnosis. However, the correlation decreased for samples >14 months after receiving a diagnosis. When comparing the WB LFRET results to neutralizing antibody titers, a strong correlation emerged for samples collected 1 to 14 months after receiving a diagnosis. This study also highlights the versatility of LFRET in detecting antibodies directly from WB samples and suggests that it could be employed for rapidly assessing antibody responses to infectious agents or vaccines.

RevDate: 2024-04-12

Heston SM, Hurst JH, MS Kelly (2024)

Understanding the influence of the microbiome on childhood infections.

Expert review of anti-infective therapy [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The microbiome is known to have a substantial impact on human health and disease. However, the impacts of the microbiome on immune system development, susceptibility to infectious diseases, and vaccine-elicited immune responses are emerging areas of interest.

AREAS COVERED: In this review, we provide an overview of development of the microbiome during childhood. We highlight available data suggesting that the microbiome is critical to maturation of the immune system and modifies susceptibility to a variety of infections during childhood and adolescence, including respiratory tract infections, Clostridioides difficile infection, and sexually transmitted infections. We discuss currently available and investigational therapeutics that have the potential to modify the microbiome to prevent or treat infections among children. Finally, we review the accumulating evidence that the gut microbiome influences vaccine-elicited immune responses among children.

EXPERT OPINION: Recent advances in sequencing technologies have led to an explosion of studies associating the human microbiome with the risk and severity of infectious diseases. As our knowledge of the extent to which the microbiome influences childhood infections continues to grow, microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics will increasingly be incorporated into clinical practice to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases among children.

RevDate: 2024-04-12
CmpDate: 2024-04-12

Soto-Dávila M, Langlois Fiorotto L, Heath JW, et al (2024)

The effects of Pediococcus acidilactici MA18/5M on growth performance, gut integrity, and immune response using in vitro and in vivo Pacific salmonid models.

Frontiers in immunology, 15:1306458.

Microbial management is central to aquaculture's efficiency. Pediococcus acidilactici MA18/5M has shown promising results promoting growth, modulation of the immune response, and disease resistance in many fishes. However, the mechanisms through which this strain confers health benefits in fish are poorly understood, particularly in Pacific salmonid models. Briefly, the aims of this study were to i) assess the protective effects of P. acidilactici MA18/5M by examining gut barrier function and the expression of tight junction (TJ) and immune genes in vitro and in vivo, and ii) to determine the protective effects of this strain against a common saltwater pathogen, Vibrio anguillarum J382. An in vitro model of the salmonid gut was employed utilizing the cell line RTgutGC. Barrier formation and integrity assessed by TEER measurements in RTgutGC, showed a significant decrease in resistance in cells exposed only to V. anguillarum J382 for 24 h, but pre-treatment with P. acidilactici MA18/5M for 48 h mitigated these effects. While P. acidilactici MA18/5M did not significantly upregulate tight junction and immune molecules, pre-treatment with this strain protected against pathogen-induced insults to the gut barrier. In particular, the expression of ocldn was significantly induced by V. anguillarum J382, suggesting that this molecule might play a role in the host response against this pathogen. To corroborate these observations in live fish, the effects of P. acidilactici MA18/5M was evaluated in Chinook salmon reared in real aquaculture conditions. Supplementation with P. acidilactici MA18/5M had no effect on Chinook salmon growth parameters after 10 weeks. Interestingly, histopathological results did not show alterations associated with P. acidilactici MA18/5M supplementation, indicating that this strain is safe to be used in the industry. Finally, the expression pattern of transcripts encoding TJ and immune genes in all the treatments suggest that variation in expression is more likely to be due to developmental processes rather than P. acidilactici MA18/5M supplementation. Overall, our results showed that P. acidilactici MA18/5M is a safe strain for use in fish production, however, to assess the effects on growth and immune response previously observed in other salmonid species, an assessment in adult fish is needed.

RevDate: 2024-04-13
CmpDate: 2024-04-12

Hong A, Umar A, Chen H, et al (2024)

Advances in the study of the interaction between schistosome infections and the host's intestinal microorganisms.

Parasites & vectors, 17(1):185.

Schistosomiasis, also called bilharziasis, is a neglected tropical disease induced by schistosomes that infects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In the life cycle of schistosomiasis, eggs are regarded as the main pathogenic factor, causing granuloma formation in the tissues and organs of hosts, which can cause severe gastrointestinal and liver granulomatous immune responses and irreversible fibrosis. Increasing evidence suggests that the gut microbiome influences the progression of schistosomiasis and plays a central role in liver disease via the gut-liver axis. When used as pharmaceutical supplements or adjunctive therapy, probiotics have shown promising results in preventing, mitigating, and even treating schistosomiasis. This review elucidates the potential mechanisms of this three-way parasite-host-microbiome interaction by summarizing schistosome-mediated intestinal flora disorders, local immune changes, and host metabolic changes, and elaborates the important role of the gut microbiome in liver disease after schistosome infection through the gut-liver axis. Understanding the mechanisms behind this interaction may aid in the discovery of probiotics as novel therapeutic targets and sustainable control strategies for schistosomiasis.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Franceschetti L, Lodetti G, Blandino A, et al (2024)

Exploring the role of the human microbiome in forensic identification: opportunities and challenges.

International journal of legal medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Forensic microbiology is rapidly emerging as a novel tool for human identification. The human microbiome, comprising diverse microbial communities including fungi, bacteria, protozoa, and viruses, is unique to each individual, offering a new dimension to forensic investigations. While traditional identification methods primarily rely on DNA profiling and fingerprint analysis, they face limitations when complete DNA or fingerprints profiles are unattainable or degraded. In this context, the microbial signatures of the human skin microbiome present a promising alternative due to their resilience to environmental stresses and individual-specific composition. This review explores the potential of microbiome analysis in forensic human identification, evaluating its applications, advantages, limitations, and future prospects. The uniqueness of an individual's microbial community, particularly the skin microbiota, can provide distinctive biological markers for identification purposes, while technological advancements like 16 S rRNA sequencing and metagenomic shotgun sequencing are enhancing the specificity of microbial identification, enabling detailed analysis of these complex ecological communities. Despite these promising findings, current research has not yet achieved a level of identification probability that could establish microbial analysis as a stand-alone evidence tool. Therefore, it is presently considered ancillary to traditional methods, contributing to a more comprehensive biological profile of individuals.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Jian C, Sorensen N, Lutter R, et al (2024)

The impact of daily supplementation with rhamnogalacturonan-I on the gut microbiota in healthy adults: A randomized controlled trial.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 174:116561 pii:S0753-3322(24)00445-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Pectin and its derivatives have been shown to modulate immune signaling as well as gut microbiota in preclinical studies, which may constitute the mechanisms by which supplementation of specific pectic polysaccharides confers protection against viral respiratory infections. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled rhinovirus (RV16) challenge study, healthy volunteers were randomized to consume placebo (0.0 g/day) (N = 46), low-dose (0.3 g/day) (N = 49) or high-dose (1.5 g/day) (N = 51) of carrot derived rhamnogalacturonan-I (cRG-I) for eight weeks and they were subsequently challenged with RV-16. Here, the effect of 8-week cRG-I supplementation on the gut microbiota was studied. While the overall gut microbiota composition in the population was generally unaltered by this very low dose of fibre, the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium spp. (mainly B. adolescentis and B. longum) was significantly increased by both doses of cRG-1. Moreover, daily supplementation of cRG-I led to a dose-dependent reduction in inter- and intra-individual microbiota heterogeneity, suggesting a stabilizing effect on the gut microbiota. The severity of respiratory symptoms did not directly correlate with the cRG-I-induced microbial changes, but several dominant groups of the Ruminococcaceae family and microbiota richness were positively associated with a reduced and hence desired post-infection response. Thus, the present results on the modulation of the gut microbiota composition support the previously demonstrated immunomodulatory and protective effect of cRG-I during a common cold infection.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Zhong Q, Liao B, Liu J, et al (2024)

Episymbiotic Saccharibacteria TM7x modulates the susceptibility of its host bacteria to phage infection and promotes their coexistence.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 121(16):e2319790121.

Bacteriophages (phages) play critical roles in modulating microbial ecology. Within the human microbiome, the factors influencing the long-term coexistence of phages and bacteria remain poorly investigated. Saccharibacteria (formerly TM7) are ubiquitous members of the human oral microbiome. These ultrasmall bacteria form episymbiotic relationships with their host bacteria and impact their physiology. Here, we showed that during surface-associated growth, a human oral Saccharibacteria isolate (named TM7x) protects its host bacterium, a Schaalia odontolytica strain (named XH001) against lytic phage LC001 predation. RNA-Sequencing analysis identified in XH001 a gene cluster with predicted functions involved in the biogenesis of cell wall polysaccharides (CWP), whose expression is significantly down-regulated when forming a symbiosis with TM7x. Through genetic work, we experimentally demonstrated the impact of the expression of this CWP gene cluster on bacterial-phage interaction by affecting phage binding. In vitro coevolution experiments further showed that the heterogeneous populations of TM7x-associated and TM7x-free XH001, which display differential susceptibility to LC001 predation, promote bacteria and phage coexistence. Our study highlights the tripartite interaction between the bacterium, episymbiont, and phage. More importantly, we present a mechanism, i.e., episymbiont-mediated modulation of gene expression in host bacteria, which impacts their susceptibility to phage predation and contributes to the formation of "source-sink" dynamics between phage and bacteria in biofilm, promoting their long-term coexistence within the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Vijayan S, Kandi V, Palacholla PS, et al (2024)

Probiotics in Allergy and Immunological Diseases: A Comprehensive Review.

Cureus, 16(3):e55817.

Allergy and immunological disorders like autoimmune diseases are vastly prevalent worldwide. These conditions account for a substantial amount of personal and social burden. Such illnesses have lengthy, uncertain, and spotted courses with unpredictable exacerbations. A definite tendency for improving the overall quality of life of individuals suffering from such diseases is crucial to tackling these diseases, especially through diet or lifestyle modification. Further, interventions like microbiome-based therapeutics such as prebiotics or probiotics were explored. Changes in the microbial population were evident during the flare-up of autoimmune and allergic conditions. The realization that the human microbiome is a central player in immunological diseases is a hallmark of its potential usefulness in therapy for such illnesses. This review focuses on the intricate symphony in the orchestra of the human microbiome and the immune system. New therapeutic strategies involving probiotics appear to be the future of personalized medicine. Through this review, we explore the narrative of probiotics and reaffirm their use as therapeutic and preventive agents in immunological disorders.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Rezzani R, Favero G, Gianò M, et al (2024)

Transient Receptor Potential Channels in the Healthy and Diseased Blood-Brain Barrier.

The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society [Epub ahead of print].

The large family of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are integral membrane proteins that function as environmental sensors and act as ion channels after activation by mechanical (touch), physical (heat, pain), and chemical stimuli (pungent compounds such as capsaicin). Most TRP channels are localized in the plasma membrane of cells but some of them are localized in membranes of organelles and function as intracellular Ca[2+]-ion channels. TRP channels are involved in neurological disorders but their precise role(s) and relevance in these disorders are not clear. Endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) express TRP channels such as TRP vanilloid 1-4 and are involved in thermal detection by regulating BBB permeability. In neurological disorders, TRP channels in the BBB are responsible for edema formation in the brain. Therefore, drug design to modulate locally activity of TRP channels in the BBB is a hot topic. Today, the application of TRP channel antagonists against neurological disorders is still limited.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Chung IY, Kim J, A Koh (2024)

The Microbiome Matters: Its Impact on Cancer Development and Therapeutic Responses.

Journal of microbiology (Seoul, Korea) [Epub ahead of print].

In the evolving landscape of cancer research, the human microbiome emerges as a pivotal determinant reshaping our understanding of tumorigenesis and therapeutic responses. Advanced sequencing technologies have uncovered a vibrant microbial community not confined to the gut but thriving within tumor tissues. Comprising bacteria, viruses, and fungi, this diverse microbiota displays distinct signatures across various cancers, with most research primarily focusing on bacteria. The correlations between specific microbial taxa within different cancer types underscore their pivotal roles in driving tumorigenesis and influencing therapeutic responses, particularly in chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This review amalgamates recent discoveries, emphasizing the translocation of the oral microbiome to the gut as a potential marker for microbiome dysbiosis across diverse cancer types and delves into potential mechanisms contributing to cancer promotion. Furthermore, it highlights the adverse effects of the microbiome on cancer development while exploring its potential in fortifying strategies for cancer prevention and treatment.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Ho PY, KC Huang (2024)

Challenges in quantifying functional redundancy and selection in microbial communities.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.26.586891.

Microbiomes can exhibit large variations in species abundances but high reproducibility in abundances of functional units, an observation often considered evidence for functional redundancy. Based on such reduction in functional variability, selection is hypothesized to act on functional units in these ecosystems. However, the link between functional redundancy and selection remains unclear. Here, we show that reduction in functional variability does not always imply selection on functional profiles. We propose empirical null models to account for the confounding effects of statistical averaging and bias toward environment-independent beneficial functions. We apply our models to existing data sets, and find that the abundances of metabolic groups within microbial communities from bromeliad foliage do not exhibit any evidence of the previously hypothesized functional selection. By contrast, communities of soil bacteria or human gut commensals grown in vitro are selected for metabolic capabilities. By separating the effects of averaging and functional bias on functional variability, we find that the appearance of functional selection in gut microbiome samples from the Human Microbiome Project is artifactual, and that there is no evidence of selection for any molecular function represented by KEGG orthology. These concepts articulate a basic framework for quantifying functional redundancy and selection, advancing our understanding of the mapping between microbiome taxonomy and function.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Hunter C, Dia K, Boykins J, et al (2024)

An investigation for phylogenetic characterization of human Pancreatic cancer microbiome by 16SrDNA Sequencing and Bioinformatics techniques.

Research square

Pancreatic cancer is a significant public health concern, with increasing incidence rates and limited treatment options. Recent studies have highlighted the role of the human microbiome, particularly the gut microbiota, in the development and progression of this disease. Microbial dysbiosis, characterized by alterations in the composition and function of the gut microbiota, has been implicated in pancreatic carcinogenesis through mechanisms involving chronic inflammation, immune dysregulation, and metabolic disturbances. Researchers have identified specific microbial signatures associated with pancreatic cancer, offering potential biomarkers for early detection and prognostication. By leveraging advanced sequencing and bioinformatics tools, scientists have delineated differences in the gut microbiota between pancreatic cancer patients and healthy individuals, providing insights into disease pathogenesis and potential diagnostic strategies. Moreover, the microbiome holds promise as a therapeutic target in pancreatic cancer treatment. Interventions aimed at modulating the microbiome, such as probiotics, prebiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation, have demonstrated potential in enhancing the efficacy of existing cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and immunotherapy. These approaches can influence immune responses, alter tumor microenvironments, and sensitize tumors to treatment, offering new avenues for improving patient outcomes and overcoming therapeutic resistance. Overall, understanding the complex interplay between the microbiome and pancreatic cancer is crucial for advancing our knowledge of disease mechanisms and identifying innovative therapeutic strategies. Here we report phylogenetic analysis of the 16S microbial sequences of the pancreatic cancer mice microbiome and corresponding age matched healthy mice microbiome. We successfully identified differentially abundance of microbiota in the pancreatic cancer.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Kiljunen S, G Resch (2024)

Editorial: Standards in personalized phage therapy: from phage collection to phage production.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 14:1376386.

RevDate: 2024-04-07

Douillard FP, Derman Y, Jian C, et al (2024)

Case report: Aberrant fecal microbiota composition of an infant diagnosed with prolonged intestinal botulism.

Gut pathogens, 16(1):20.

BACKGROUND: Intestinal botulism is primarily reported in small babies as a condition known as infant botulism. The condition results from the ingestion of environmental or foodborne spores of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) producing Clostridia, usually Clostridium botulinum, and subsequent spore germination into active botulinum neurotoxinogenic cultures in the gut. It is generally considered that small babies are susceptible to C. botulinum colonization because of their immature gut microbiota. Yet, it is poorly understood which host factors contribute to the clinical outcome of intestinal botulism. We previously reported a case of infant botulism where the infant recovered clinically in six weeks but continued to secrete C. botulinum cells and/or BoNT in the feces for seven months.

CASE PRESENTATION: To further understand the microbial ecology behind this exceptionally long-lasting botulinum neurotoxinogenic colonization, we characterized the infant fecal microbiota using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing over the course of disease and recovery. C. botulinum could be detected in the infant fecal samples at low levels through the acute phase of the disease and three months after recovery. Overall, we observed a temporal delay in the maturation of the infant fecal microbiota associated with a persistently high-level bifidobacterial population and a low level of Lachnospiraceae, Bacteroidaceae and Ruminococcaceae compared to healthy infants over time.

CONCLUSION: This study brings novel insights into the infant fecal composition associated with intestinal botulism and provides a basis for a more systematic analysis of the gut microbiota of infants diagnosed with botulism. A better understanding of the gut microbial ecology associated with infant botulism may support the development of prophylactic strategies against this life-threatening disease in small babies.

RevDate: 2024-04-05

Rivet-Noor CR, Merchak AR, Render C, et al (2024)

Stress-induced mucin 13 reductions drive intestinal microbiome shifts and despair behaviors.

Brain, behavior, and immunity pii:S0889-1591(24)00309-X [Epub ahead of print].

Depression is a prevalent psychological condition with limited treatment options. While its etiology is multifactorial, both chronic stress and changes in microbiome composition are associated with disease pathology. Stress is known to induce microbiome dysbiosis, defined here as a change in microbial composition associated with a pathological condition. This state of dysbiosis is known to feedback on depressive symptoms. While studies have demonstrated that targeted restoration of the microbiome can alleviate depressive-like symptoms in mice, translating these findings to human patients has proven challenging due to the complexity of the human microbiome. As such, there is an urgent need to identify factors upstream of microbial dysbiosis. Here we investigate the role of mucin 13 as an upstream mediator of microbiome composition changes in the context of stress. Using a model of chronic stress, we show that the glycocalyx protein, mucin 13, is selectively reduced after psychological stress exposure. We further demonstrate that the reduction of Muc13 is mediated by the Hnf4 transcription factor family. Finally, we determine that deleting Muc13 is sufficient to drive microbiome shifts and despair behaviors. These findings shed light on the mechanisms behind stress-induced microbial changes and reveal a novel regulator of mucin 13 expression.

RevDate: 2024-04-05

Kozajda A, Miśkiewicz E, K Jeżak (2024)

Zoonotic bacteria in the vicinity of animal farms as a factor disturbing the human microbiome: a review.

International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health pii:181790 [Epub ahead of print].

This review is aimed at summarizing the current state of knowledge about the relationship between environmental exposure to the bioaerosol emitted by intensive livestock farming and changes in the microbiome of people living in livestock farm vicinity. The PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched by crossing keywords from the following 3 groups: a) "livestock," "animal farms," "animal breeding"; b) "microbiome," "resistome"; c) "livestock vicinity," "farm vicinity," "neighborhoods and health" in 2010-2022. Literature screening did not reveal any paper related to the full microbiome composition in the population studied. In the study, the authors included 7 papers (5 from the Netherlands, 1 from the USA, and 1 from China). The studies confirmed the carriage of Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), livestockassociated MRSA (LA-MRSA MC398) and multidrug-resistant S. aureus (MDRSA) in the nasal microbiome of adults and children living within 500-2000 m from a livestock farm. Clostridium difficile, including LA-ribotype RT078 carriage, was detected in the intestinal microbiome of adults living within 500-1000 m. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae were confirmed in the intestinal microbiome of adults living within 500-6200 m. Knowledge on the composition of the microflora of people living in livestock farm vicinity is insufficient to conclude about changes in the microbiome caused by the environmental emission of bioaerosol. The carriage prevalence of the LA-bacteria, including both strains with antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial resistance genes, confirms the presence of zoonotic bacteria in the human microflora in populations without occupational contact with animals. It cannot be ruled out that zoonotic bacteria, as a component of the microbiome, have a negative impact on people's health. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2024;37(2).

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Chulenbayeva L, Ganzhula Y, Kozhakhmetov S, et al (2024)

The Trajectory of Successful Aging: Insights from Metagenome and Cytokine Profiling.

Gerontology, 70(4):390-407.

INTRODUCTION: The longevity is influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. The specific changes that occur in the gut microbiome during the aging process, and their relationship to longevity and immune function, have not yet been fully understood. The ongoing research of other microbiome based on longevity cohort in Kazakhstan provides preliminary information on longevity-related aging, where cytokine expression is associated with specific microbial communities and microbial functions.

METHODS: Metagenomic shotgun sequencing study of 40 long-lived individuals aged 90 years and over was carried out, who were conditionally healthy and active, able to serve themselves, without a history of serious infection and cancer, who had not taken any antimicrobials, including probiotics. Blood serum was analyzed for clinical and laboratory characteristics. The cytokine and chemokine profile in serum and stool samples was assessed using multiplex analysis.

RESULTS: We found a significant increase in the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1a, IL-6, 12p70, IP-10, IFNα2, IL-15, TNFa, as well as chemokines MIP-1a/CCL3 and MIP-1b/CCL4, chemokine motif ligands MCP-3/CCL7 and MDC/CCL22(1c). Nonagenerians and centenarians demonstrated a greater diversity of core microbiota genera and showed an elevated prevalence of the genera Bacteroides, Clostridium, Escherichia, and Alistipes. Conversely, there was a decrease in the abundance of the genera Ruminococcus, Fusicatenibacter, Dorea, as well as the species Fusicatenibacter saccharivorans. Furthermore, functional analysis revealed that the microbiome in long-lived group has a high capacity for lipid metabolism, amino acid degradation, and potential signs of chronic inflammatory status.

CONCLUSION: Long-lived individuals exhibit an immune system imbalance and observed changes in the composition of the gut microbiota at the genus level between to the two age-groups. Age-related changes in the gut microbiome, metabolic functions of the microbial community, and chronic inflammation all contribute to immunosenescence. In turn, the inflammatory state and microbial composition of the gut is related to nutritional status.

RevDate: 2024-04-05

Salvadori M, G Rosso (2024)

Update on the gut microbiome in health and diseases.

World journal of methodology, 14(1):89196.

The Human Microbiome Project, Earth Microbiome Project, and next-generation sequencing have advanced novel genome association, host genetic linkages, and pathogen identification. The microbiome is the sum of the microbes, their genetic information, and their ecological niche. This study will describe how millions of bacteria in the gut affect the human body in health and disease. The gut microbiome changes in relation with age, with an increase in Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Host and environmental factors affecting the gut microbiome are diet, drugs, age, smoking, exercise, and host genetics. In addition, changes in the gut microbiome may affect the local gut immune system and systemic immune system. In this study, we discuss how the microbiome may affect the metabolism of healthy subjects or may affect the pathogenesis of metabolism-generating metabolic diseases. Due to the high number of publications on the argument, from a methodologically point of view, we decided to select the best papers published in referred journals in the last 3 years. Then we selected the previously published papers. The major goals of our study were to elucidate which microbiome and by which pathways are related to healthy and disease conditions.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Zhang M, Zhao Y, Umar A, et al (2024)

Comparative analysis of microbial composition and functional characteristics in dental plaque and saliva of oral cancer patients.

BMC oral health, 24(1):411.

BACKGROUND: The oral cavity is home to various ecological niches, each with its own unique microbial composition. Understanding the microbial communities and gene composition in different ecological niches within the oral cavity of oral cancer (OC) patients is crucial for determining how these microbial populations contribute to disease progression.

METHODS: In this study, saliva and dental plaque samples were collected from patients with OC. Metagenomic sequencing was employed to analyze the microbial community classification and functional composition of the different sample groups.

RESULTS: The results of the study revealed significant differences in both the function and classification of microbial communities between saliva and dental plaque samples. The diversity of microbial species in saliva was found to be higher compared to  that in plaque samples. Notably, Actinobacteria were enriched in the dental plaque of OC patients. Furthermore, the study identified several inter-group differential marker species, including Prevotella intermedia, Haemophilus parahaemolyticus, Actinomyces radius, Corynebacterium matruchitii, and Veillonella atypica. Additionally, 1,353 differential genes were annotated into 23 functional pathways. Interestingly, a significant correlation was observed between differentially labeled species and Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection, which may be related to the occurrence and development of cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences in the microbial and genetic composition of saliva and dental plaque samples were observed in OC patients. Furthermore, pathogenic bacteria associated with oral diseases were predominantly enriched in saliva. The identification of inter-group differential biomarkers and pathways provide insights into the relationship between oral microbiota and the occurrence and development of OC.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Zhang M, Zhou Y, Yao S, et al (2024)

Effect of stress urinary incontinence on vaginal microbial communities.

BMC microbiology, 24(1):112.

BACKGROUND: Postpartum women often experience stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and vaginal microbial dysbiosis, which seriously affect women's physical and mental health. Understanding the relationship between SUI and vaginal microbiota composition may help to prevent vaginal diseases, but research on the potential association between these conditions is limited.

RESULTS: This study employed 16S rRNA gene sequencing to explore the association between SUI and vaginal dysbiosis. In terms of the vaginal microbiota, both species richness and evenness were significantly higher in the SUI group. Additionally, the results of NMDS and species composition indicated that there were differences in the composition of the vaginal microbiota between the two groups. Specifically, compared to postpartum women without SUI (Non-SUI), the relative abundance of bacteria associated with bacterial dysbiosis, such as Streptococcus, Prevotella, Dialister, and Veillonella, showed an increase, while the relative abundance of Lactobacillus decreased in SUI patients. Furthermore, the vaginal microbial co-occurrence network of SUI patients displayed higher connectivity, complexity, and clustering.

CONCLUSION: The study highlights the role of Lactobacillus in maintaining vaginal microbial homeostasis. It found a correlation between SUI and vaginal microbiota, indicating an increased risk of vaginal dysbiosis. The findings could enhance our understanding of the relationship between SUI and vaginal dysbiosis in postpartum women, providing valuable insights for preventing bacterial vaginal diseases and improving women's health.

RevDate: 2024-04-05
CmpDate: 2024-04-05

Caffrey EB, Sonnenburg JL, S Devkota (2024)

Our extended microbiome: The human-relevant metabolites and biology of fermented foods.

Cell metabolism, 36(4):684-701.

One of the key modes of microbial metabolism occurring in the gut microbiome is fermentation. This energy-yielding process transforms common macromolecules like polysaccharides and amino acids into a wide variety of chemicals, many of which are relevant to microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions. Analogous transformations occur during the production of fermented foods, resulting in an abundance of bioactive metabolites. In foods, the products of fermentation can influence food safety and preservation, nutrient availability, and palatability and, once consumed, may impact immune and metabolic status, disease expression, and severity. Human signaling pathways perceive and respond to many of the currently known fermented food metabolites, though expansive chemical novelty remains to be defined. Here we discuss several aspects of fermented food-associated microbes and metabolites, including a condensed history, current understanding of their interactions with hosts and host-resident microbes, connections with commercial probiotics, and opportunities for future research on human health and disease and food sustainability.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Wojciechowska D, Salamon S, K Wróblewska-Seniuk (2024)

It's time to shed some light on the importance of fungi in neonatal intensive care units: what do we know about the neonatal mycobiome?.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1355418.

The 21st century, thanks to the development of molecular methods, including DNA barcoding, using Sanger sequencing, and DNA metabarcoding, based on next-generation sequencing (NGS), is characterized by flourishing research on the human microbiome. Microbial dysbiosis is perceived as a new pathogenetic factor for neonatal diseases. Fungi are crucial, but neglected, components of the neonatal microbiome, which, despite their low abundance, significantly impact morbidity and mortality rates of premature infants hospitalized in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). The neonatal mycobiome's composition and effect on health remain poorly studied research areas. Our knowledge about neonatal mycobiome, composed of limited genera, is mainly based on research on the bacterial microbiome. We presume it is influenced by clinical factors, including prematurity, antibiotic therapy, and type of delivery. Understanding these risk factors may be useful in prevention strategies against dysbiosis and invasive fungal infections. Despite the methodological challenges resulting from the biology of the fungal cell, this topic is an attractive area of research that may contribute to more effective treatment, especially of newborns from risk groups. In this mini review, we discuss the current state of knowledge, research gaps, study difficulties, and future research directions on the neonatal mycobiome, concerning potential future clinical applications.

RevDate: 2024-04-04
CmpDate: 2024-04-04

Núñez Casal A (2024)

Race and indigeneity in human microbiome science: microbiomisation and the historiality of otherness.

History and philosophy of the life sciences, 46(2):17.

This article reformulates Stephan Helmreich´s the ¨microbiomisation of race¨ as the historiality of otherness in the foundations of human microbiome science. Through the lens of my ethnographic fieldwork of a transnational community of microbiome scientists that conducted a landmark human microbiome research on indigenous microbes and its affiliated and first personalised microbiome initiative, the American Gut Project, I follow and trace the key actors, experimental systems and onto-epistemic claims in the emergence of human microbiome science a decade ago. In doing so, I show the links between the reinscription of race, comparative research on the microbial genetic variation of human populations and the remining of bioprospected data for personalised medicine. In these unpredictable research movements, the microbiome of non-Western peoples and territories is much more than a side project or a specific approach within the field: it constitutes the nucleus of its experimental system, opening towards subsequent and cumulative research processes and knowledge production in human microbiome science. The article demonstrates that while human microbiome science is articulated upon the microbial 'makeup' of non-wester(nised) communities, societies, and locales, its results and therapeutics are only applicable to medical conditions affecting rich nations (i.e., inflammatory, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases). My reformulation of ¨microbiomisation of race¨ as the condition of possibility of human microbiome science reveals that its individual dimension is sustained by microbial DNA data from human populations through bioprospecting practices and gains meaning through personalised medicine initiatives, informal online networks of pseudoscientific and commodified microbial-related evidence.

RevDate: 2024-04-03
CmpDate: 2024-04-03

Zhu J, Yin J, Chen J, et al (2024)

Integrative analysis with microbial modelling and machine learning uncovers potential alleviators for ulcerative colitis.

Gut microbes, 16(1):2336877.

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a challenging form of inflammatory bowel disease, and its etiology is intricately linked to disturbances in the gut microbiome. To identify the potential alleviators of UC, we employed an integrative analysis combining microbial community modeling with advanced machine learning techniques. Using metagenomics data sourced from the Integrated Human Microbiome Project, we constructed individualized microbiome community models for each participant. Our analysis highlighted a significant decline in both α and β-diversity of strain-level microbial populations in UC subjects compared to controls. Distinct differences were also observed in the predicted fecal metabolite profiles and strain-to-metabolite contributions between the two groups. Using tree-based machine learning models, we successfully identified specific microbial strains and their associated metabolites as potential alleviators of UC. Notably, our experimental validation using a dextran sulfate sodium-induced UC mouse model demonstrated that the administration of Parabacteroides merdae ATCC 43,184 and N-acetyl-D-mannosamine provided notable relief from colitis symptoms. In summary, our study underscores the potential of an integrative approach to identify novel therapeutic avenues for UC, paving the way for future targeted interventions.

RevDate: 2024-04-03

Wilson NG, Hernandez-Leyva A, Schwartz DJ, et al (2024)

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

FEMS microbes, 5:xtae010.

Asthma is a common allergic airway disease that has been associated with the development of 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 a cross-sectional cohort of 59 healthy and 36 subjects with moderate-to-severe asthma to characterize the metagenomes of gut microbiota in adults and children 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. Several differentially abundant ARGs in the asthma cohort encode resistance to macrolide antibiotics, which are often prescribed to patients with asthma. Lastly, we found that ARG and virulence factor (VF) richness in the microbiome were correlated in both cohorts. ARG and VF pairs co-occurred in both cohorts suggesting that virulence and antibiotic resistance traits are coselected 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: 2024-04-02
CmpDate: 2024-04-02

Tutelyan VA, DB Nikityuk (2024)

[Key challenges in the dietary intake structure and cutting edge technologies for optimizing nutrition to protect the health of the Russian рopulation].

Voprosy pitaniia, 93(1):6-21.

This article presents an analysis of some of the results of the work of the Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Biotechnology (Center) in recent years, highlighting the most important, promising areas of Nutrition Science and Food Hygiene that need further development. The priority area of Center functioning is scientific support for the implementation of the Doctrine of Food Security of the Russian Federation (Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated January 21, 2020 No. 20), Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated July 21, 2020 No. 474 «On the national development goals of the Russian Federation for the period until 2030 «in terms of ensuring an increase in life expectancy and improving the life quality of the population, the Strategy for Improving the Quality of Food Products in the Russian Federation until 2030 (Order of the Government of the Russian Federation dated June 29, 2016 No. 1364-r). The Center coordinates all research on medical nutrition problems in the Russian Federation within the framework of the work of the Problem Commission on Nutrition Hygiene of the Scientific Council of the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare, the Scientific Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences on Medical Nutrition Problems, the Scientific and Technical Committee of the Comprehensive Scientific Program «Priority Research in the Field of Nutrition of the Population», Profile Commission on Dietetics of the Expert Council in the Field of Health of the Ministry of Healthcare of Russian Federation, ensuring the implementation of their results with the participation of members of the Consortium "Healthcare, Nutrition, Demography". The most important area of the Center's work is scientific and expert support in the field of international and national technical regulation of the production and turnover of foods and raw materials, in particular, the work of the Russian national contact point of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (established by FAO and WHO), as well as the work of the Russian side in the Eurasian Economic Commission regarding the preparation of proposals for technical regulations of the Customs Union in the field of food safety, evaluation of draft technical regulations and amendments and additions to them.

RevDate: 2024-03-31

Kuehnast T, Kumpitsch C, Mohammadzadeh R, et al (2024)

Exploring the human archaeome: its relevance for health and disease, and its complex interplay with the human immune system.

The FEBS journal [Epub ahead of print].

This Review aims to coalesce existing knowledge on the human archaeome, a less-studied yet critical non-bacterial component of the human microbiome, with a focus on its interaction with the immune system. Despite a largely bacteria-centric focus in microbiome research, archaea present unique challenges and opportunities for understanding human health. We examine the archaeal distribution across different human body sites, such as the lower gastrointestinal tract (LGT), upper aerodigestive tract (UAT), urogenital tract (UGT), and skin. Variability in archaeal composition exists between sites; methanogens dominate the LGT, while Nitrososphaeria are prevalent on the skin and UAT. Archaea have yet to be classified as pathogens but show associations with conditions such as refractory sinusitis and vaginosis. In the LGT, methanogenic archaea play critical metabolic roles by converting bacterial end-products into methane, correlating with various health conditions, including obesity and certain cancers. Finally, this work looks at the complex interactions between archaea and the human immune system at the molecular level. Recent research has illuminated the roles of specific archaeal molecules, such as RNA and glycerolipids, in stimulating immune responses via innate immune receptors like Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) and 'C-type lectin domain family 4 member E' (CLEC4E; also known as MINCLE). Additionally, metabolic by-products of archaea, specifically methane, have demonstrated immunomodulatory effects through anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative pathways. Despite these advancements, the mechanistic underpinnings of how archaea influence immune activity remain a fertile area for further investigation.

RevDate: 2024-04-01
CmpDate: 2024-04-01

Ma ZS (2024)

Towards a unified medical microbiome ecology of the OMU for metagenomes and the OTU for microbes.

BMC bioinformatics, 25(1):137.

BACKGROUND: Metagenomic sequencing technologies offered unprecedented opportunities and also challenges to microbiology and microbial ecology particularly. The technology has revolutionized the studies of microbes and enabled the high-profile human microbiome and earth microbiome projects. The terminology-change from microbes to microbiomes signals that our capability to count and classify microbes (microbiomes) has achieved the same or similar level as we can for the biomes (macrobiomes) of plants and animals (macrobes). While the traditional investigations of macrobiomes have usually been conducted through naturalists' (Linnaeus & Darwin) naked eyes, and aerial and satellite images (remote-sensing), the large-scale investigations of microbiomes have been made possible by DNA-sequencing-based metagenomic technologies. Two major types of metagenomic sequencing technologies-amplicon sequencing and whole-genome (shotgun sequencing)-respectively generate two contrastingly different categories of metagenomic reads (data)-OTU (operational taxonomic unit) tables representing microorganisms and OMU (operational metagenomic unit), a new term coined in this article to represent various cluster units of metagenomic genes.

RESULTS: The ecological science of microbiomes based on the OTU representing microbes has been unified with the classic ecology of macrobes (macrobiomes), but the unification based on OMU representing metagenomes has been rather limited. In a previous series of studies, we have demonstrated the applications of several classic ecological theories (diversity, composition, heterogeneity, and biogeography) to the studies of metagenomes. Here I push the envelope for the unification of OTU and OMU again by demonstrating the applications of metacommunity assembly and ecological networks to the metagenomes of human gut microbiomes. Specifically, the neutral theory of biodiversity (Sloan's near neutral model), Ning et al.stochasticity framework, core-periphery network, high-salience skeleton network, special trio-motif, and positive-to-negative ratio are applied to analyze the OMU tables from whole-genome sequencing technologies, and demonstrated with seven human gut metagenome datasets from the human microbiome project.

CONCLUSIONS: All of the ecological theories demonstrated previously and in this article, including diversity, composition, heterogeneity, stochasticity, and complex network analyses, are equally applicable to OMU metagenomic analyses, just as to OTU analyses. Consequently, I strongly advocate the unification of OTU/OMU (microbiomes) with classic ecology of plants and animals (macrobiomes) in the context of medical ecology.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Monteiro JS, Kaushik K, de Arruda JAA, et al (2024)

Fungal footprints in oral cancer: unveiling the oral mycobiome.

Frontiers in oral health, 5:1360340.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common type of head and neck cancer, with a high mortality rate. There is growing evidence supporting a link between oral cancer and the microbiome. The microbiome can impact various aspects of cancer, such as pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. While there is existing information on bacteria and its connection to oral cancer, the fungi residing in the oral cavity represent a significant component of the microbiome that remains in its early stages of exploration and understanding. Fungi comprise a minuscule part of the human microbiome called the mycobiome. Mycobiome is ubiquitous in the human body but a weakened immune system offers a leeway space for fungi to showcase its virulence. The role of mycobiome as a colonizer, facilitator, or driver of carcinogenesis is still ambiguous. Reactivating the mycobiome that undergoes collateral damage associated with cancer treatment can be watershed event in cancer research. The coordinated, virulent, non-virulent behavior of the fungi once they reach a critical density must be hacked, considering its diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications in cancer. This review highlights the diversity of the mycobiome and its potential role in oral cancer.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Ellinghaus D (2023)

COVID-19 host genetics and ABO blood group susceptibility.

Cambridge prisms. Precision medicine, 1:e10.

Twenty-five susceptibility loci for SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or COVID-19 disease severity have been identified in the human genome by genome-wide association studies, and the most frequently replicated genetic findings for susceptibility are genetic variants at the ABO gene locus on chromosome 9q34.2, which is supported by the association between ABO blood group distribution and COVID-19. The ABO blood group effect appears to influence a variety of disease conditions and pathophysiological mechanisms associated with COVID-19. Transmission models for SARS-CoV-2 combined with observational public health and genome-wide data from patients and controls, as well as receptor binding experiments in cell lines and human samples, indicate that there may be a reduction or slowing of infection events by up to 60% in certain ABO blood group constellations of index and contact person in the early phase of a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. The strength of the ABO blood group effect on reducing infection rates further depends on the distribution of the ABO blood groups in the respective population and the proportion of blood group O in that population. To understand in detail the effect of ABO blood groups on COVID-19, further studies are needed in relation to different demographic characteristics, but also in relation to recent data on reinfection with new viral variants and in the context of the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Edwin NR, Fitzpatrick AH, Brennan F, et al (2024)

An in-depth evaluation of metagenomic classifiers for soil microbiomes.

Environmental microbiome, 19(1):19.

BACKGROUND: Recent endeavours in metagenomics, exemplified by projects such as the human microbiome project and TARA Oceans, have illuminated the complexities of microbial biomes. A robust bioinformatic pipeline and meticulous evaluation of their methodology have contributed to the success of these projects. The soil environment, however, with its unique challenges, requires a specialized methodological exploration to maximize microbial insights. A notable limitation in soil microbiome studies is the dearth of soil-specific reference databases available to classifiers that emulate the complexity of soil communities. There is also a lack of in-vitro mock communities derived from soil strains that can be assessed for taxonomic classification accuracy.

RESULTS: In this study, we generated a custom in-silico mock community containing microbial genomes commonly observed in the soil microbiome. Using this mock community, we simulated shotgun sequencing data to evaluate the performance of three leading metagenomic classifiers: Kraken2 (supplemented with Bracken, using a custom database derived from GTDB-TK genomes along with its own default database), Kaiju, and MetaPhlAn, utilizing their respective default databases for a robust analysis. Our results highlight the importance of optimizing taxonomic classification parameters, database selection, as well as analysing trimmed reads and contigs. Our study showed that classifiers tailored to the specific taxa present in our samples led to fewer errors compared to broader databases including microbial eukaryotes, protozoa, or human genomes, highlighting the effectiveness of targeted taxonomic classification. Notably, an optimal classifier performance was achieved when applying a relative abundance threshold of 0.001% or 0.005%. The Kraken2 supplemented with bracken, with a custom database demonstrated superior precision, sensitivity, F1 score, and overall sequence classification. Using a custom database, this classifier classified 99% of in-silico reads and 58% of real-world soil shotgun reads, with the latter identifying previously overlooked phyla using a custom database.

CONCLUSION: This study underscores the potential advantages of in-silico methodological optimization in metagenomic analyses, especially when deciphering the complexities of soil microbiomes. We demonstrate that the choice of classifier and database significantly impacts microbial taxonomic profiling. Our findings suggest that employing Kraken2 with Bracken, coupled with a custom database of GTDB-TK genomes and fungal genomes at a relative abundance threshold of 0.001% provides optimal accuracy in soil shotgun metagenome analysis.

RevDate: 2024-03-29

Tosado-Rodríguez E, Alvarado-Vélez I, Romaguera J, et al (2024)

Vaginal Microbiota and HPV in Latin America: A Narrative Review.

Microorganisms, 12(3):.

With the expansion of human microbiome studies in the last 15 years, we have realized the immense implications of microbes in human health. The human holobiont is now accepted, given the commensal relationships with bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses, and human cells. The cervicovaginal microbiota is a specific case within the human microbiome where diversity is lower to maintain a chemical barrier of protection against infections. This narrative review focuses on the vaginal microbiome. It summarizes key findings on how native bacteria protect women from disease or predispose them to damaging inflammatory processes with an emphasis on the role of HPV infections in Latin America, one of the world's regions with the highest cervical cancer prevalence.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Efremova I, Maslennikov R, Medvedev O, et al (2024)

Gut Microbiota and Biomarkers of Intestinal Barrier Damage in Cirrhosis.

Microorganisms, 12(3): pii:microorganisms12030463.

Gut dysbiosis and subclinical intestinal damage are common in cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to examine the association of intestinal damage biomarkers (diamine oxidase [DAO], claudin 3, and intestinal fatty acid binding protein [I-FABP; FABP2]) with the state of the gut microbiota in cirrhosis. The blood levels of DAO were inversely correlated with blood levels of claudin 3, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), presepsin, TNF-α, and the severity of cirrhosis according to Child-Pugh scores. The blood level of I-FABP was directly correlated with the blood level of claudin 3 but not with that of DAO. Patients with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) had lower DAO levels than patients without SIBO. There was no significant difference in claudin 3 levels and I-FABP detection rates between patients with and without SIBO. The DAO level was directly correlated with the abundance of Akkermansiaceae, Akkermansia, Allisonella, Clostridiaceae, Dialister, Lactobacillus, Muribaculaceae, Negativibacillus, Ruminococcus, Thiomicrospiraceae, Verrucomicrobiae, and Verrucomicrobiota; and it was inversely correlated with the abundance of Anaerostipes, Erysipelatoclostridium, and Vibrio. The I-FABP level was directly correlated with Anaerostipes, Bacteroidia, Bacteroidota, Bilophila, Megamonas, and Selenomonadaceae; and it was inversely correlated with the abundance of Brucella, Pseudomonadaceae, Pseudomonas, and Vibrionaceae. The claudin 3 level was directly correlated with Anaerostipes abundance and was inversely correlated with the abundance of Brucella, Coriobacteriia, Eggerthellaceae, and Lactobacillus.

RevDate: 2024-03-29
CmpDate: 2024-03-29

Nikoloudaki O, Pinto D, Acin Albiac M, et al (2024)

Exploring the Gut Microbiome and Metabolome in Individuals with Alopecia Areata Disease.

Nutrients, 16(6):.

In recent years, heightened attention has been devoted to unravelling the intricate interplay between genetic and environmental factors shaping the gut microbiota and its significance for human health. This study delves into exploring the plausible connection between Alopecia Areata (AA), an autoimmune disease, and the dynamics of the gut microbiome. Examining a cohort of healthy adults and individuals with AA, both the gut microbiota composition and volatile organic compound (VOC) metabolites from faeces and urine were analysed. While overall microbiota composition showed no significant differences, intra-individual variability revealed distinctions related to age, gender, and pathology status, with AA individuals exhibiting reduced species richness and evenness. Differential abundance analysis identified microbial biomarkers for AA, notably Firmicutes, Lachnospirales, and Blautia, while Coprococcus stood out for healthy individuals. The Data Integration Analysis for Biomarker discovery using Latent Components (DIABLO) method further supported these findings including metabolite biomarkers, such as esters of branched chain fatty acids and branched chain amino acids as predictors for AA, suggesting potential links to oxidative stress. Despite certain limitations, the study highlights the complexity of the gut microbiome and its metabolites in the context of AA, while the biomarkers identified could be useful starting points for upcoming studies.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Mak AL, Augustijn QJJ, Heymann CJF, et al (2024)

Anaerobutyricum soehngenii Reduces Hepatic Lipogenic Pathways and Increases Intestinal Gluconeogenic Gene Expression in Metabolic-Dysfunction-Associated Steatotic Liver Disease (MASLD) Mice.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(6): pii:ijms25063481.

Metabolic-dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is a growing health problem for which no therapy exists to date. The modulation of the gut microbiome may have treatment potential for MASLD. Here, we investigated Anaerobutyricum soehngenii, a butyrate-producing anaerobic bacterium with beneficial effects in metabolic syndrome, in a diet-induced MASLD mouse model. Male C57BL/6J mice received a Western-type high-fat diet and water with 15% fructose (WDF) to induce MASLD and were gavaged with A. soehngenii (10[8] or 10[9] colony-forming units (CFU) 3 times per week) or a placebo for 6 weeks. The A. soehngenii gavage increased the cecal butyrate concentrations. Although there was no effect on histological MASLD scores, A. soehngenii improved the glycemic response to insulin. In the liver, the WDF-associated altered expression of three genes relevant to the MASLD pathophysiology was reversed upon treatment with A. soehngenii: Lipin-1 (Lpin1), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (Igfbp1) and Interleukin 1 Receptor Type 1 (Il1r1). A. soehngenii administration also increased the intestinal expression of gluconeogenesis and fructolysis genes. Although these effects did not translate into significant histological improvements in MASLD, these results provide a basis for combined gut microbial approaches to induce histological improvements in MASLD.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Uzelac M, Xin R, WM Ongkeko (2024)

Microbiome Dysbiosis Is Associated with Castration Resistance and Cancer Stemness in Metastatic Prostate Cancer.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(6): pii:ijms25063291.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in males in America, with advanced prostate cancers exhibiting a 5-year survival rate of only 32%. Castration resistance often develops during the course of treatment, but its pathogenesis is poorly understood. This study explores the human microbiome for its implications in castration resistance and metastasis in prostate cancer. RNA sequencing data were downloaded for the bone and soft tissue biopsies of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. These included both metastatic and adjacent normal biopsies. These sequences were mapped to bacterial sequences, yielding species-level counts. A vast majority of species were found to be significantly underabundant in the CRPC samples. Of these, numerous were found to correlate with the expression of known markers of castration resistance, including AR, PI3K, and AKT. Castration resistance-associated signaling pathways were also enriched with these species, including PI3K-AKT signaling and endocrine resistance. For their implications in cancer aggression and metastasis, cancer stem cell markers were further explored for a relation to these species. EGFR and SLC3A2 were widely downregulated, with a greater abundance of most species. Our results suggest that the microbiome is heavily associated with castration resistance and stemness in prostate cancer. By considering the microbiome's importance in these factors, we may better understand the highly aggressive and highly invasive nature of castration-resistant prostate cancer, allowing for the needed improvements in the treatment of this disease.

RevDate: 2024-03-26

Cao B, Wang X, Yin W, et al (2024)

The human microbiota is a beneficial reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 mutations.

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

UNLABELLED: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutations are rapidly emerging. In particular, beneficial mutations in the spike (S) protein, which can either make a person more infectious or enable immunological escape, are providing a significant obstacle to the prevention and treatment of pandemics. However, how the virus acquires a high number of beneficial mutations in a short time remains a mystery. We demonstrate here that variations of concern may be mutated due in part to the influence of the human microbiome. We searched the National Center for Biotechnology Information database for homologous fragments (HFs) after finding a mutation and the six neighboring amino acids in a viral mutation fragment. Among the approximate 8,000 HFs obtained, 61 mutations in S and other outer membrane proteins were found in bacteria, accounting for 62% of all mutation sources, which is 12-fold higher than the natural variable proportion. A significant proportion of these bacterial species-roughly 70%-come from the human microbiota, are mainly found in the lung or gut, and share a composition pattern with COVID-19 patients. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase replicates corresponding bacterial mRNAs harboring mutations, producing chimeric RNAs. SARS-CoV-2 may collectively pick up mutations from the human microbiota that change the original virus's binding sites or antigenic determinants. Our study clarifies the evolving mutational mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2.

IMPORTANCE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutations are rapidly emerging, in particular advantageous mutations in the spike (S) protein, which either increase transmissibility or lead to immune escape and are posing a major challenge to pandemic prevention and treatment. However, how the virus acquires a high number of advantageous mutations in a short time remains a mystery. Here, we provide evidence that the human microbiota is a reservoir of advantageous mutations and aids mutational evolution and host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2. Our findings demonstrate a conceptual breakthrough on the mutational evolution mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 for human adaptation. SARS-CoV-2 may grab advantageous mutations from the widely existing microorganisms in the host, which is undoubtedly an "efficient" manner. Our study might open a new perspective to understand the evolution of virus mutation, which has enormous implications for comprehending the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2024-03-28
CmpDate: 2024-03-27

Buetas E, Jordán-López M, López-Roldán A, et al (2024)

Full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing by PacBio improves taxonomic resolution in human microbiome samples.

BMC genomics, 25(1):310.

BACKGROUND: Sequencing variable regions of the 16S rRNA gene (≃300 bp) with Illumina technology is commonly used to study the composition of human microbiota. Unfortunately, short reads are unable to differentiate between highly similar species. Considering that species from the same genus can be associated with health or disease it is important to identify them at the lowest possible taxonomic rank. Third-generation sequencing platforms such as PacBio SMRT, increase read lengths allowing to sequence the whole gene with the maximum taxonomic resolution. Despite its potential, full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing is not widely used yet. The aim of the current study was to compare the sequencing output and taxonomic annotation performance of the two approaches (Illumina short read sequencing and PacBio long read sequencing of 16S rRNA gene) in different human microbiome samples. DNA from saliva, oral biofilms (subgingival plaque) and faeces of 9 volunteers was isolated. Regions V3-V4 and V1-V9 were amplified and sequenced by Illumina Miseq and by PacBio Sequel II sequencers, respectively.

RESULTS: With both platforms, a similar percentage of reads was assigned to the genus level (94.79% and 95.06% respectively) but with PacBio a higher proportion of reads were further assigned to the species level (55.23% vs 74.14%). Regarding overall bacterial composition, samples clustered by niche and not by sequencing platform. In addition, all genera with > 0.1% abundance were detected in both platforms for all types of samples. Although some genera such as Streptococcus tended to be observed at higher frequency in PacBio than in Illumina (20.14% vs 14.12% in saliva, 10.63% vs 6.59% in subgingival plaque biofilm samples) none of the differences were statistically significant when correcting for multiple testing.

CONCLUSIONS: The results presented in the current manuscript suggest that samples sequenced using Illumina and PacBio are mostly comparable. Considering that PacBio reads were assigned at the species level with higher accuracy than Illumina, our data support the use of PacBio technology for future microbiome studies, although a higher cost is currently required to obtain an equivalent number of reads per sample.

RevDate: 2024-03-28
CmpDate: 2024-03-27

Wang B, Sun F, Y Luan (2024)

Comparison of the effectiveness of different normalization methods for metagenomic cross-study phenotype prediction under heterogeneity.

Scientific reports, 14(1):7024.

The human microbiome, comprising microorganisms residing within and on the human body, plays a crucial role in various physiological processes and has been linked to numerous diseases. To analyze microbiome data, it is essential to account for inherent heterogeneity and variability across samples. Normalization methods have been proposed to mitigate these variations and enhance comparability. However, the performance of these methods in predicting binary phenotypes remains understudied. This study systematically evaluates different normalization methods in microbiome data analysis and their impact on disease prediction. Our findings highlight the strengths and limitations of scaling, compositional data analysis, transformation, and batch correction methods. Scaling methods like TMM show consistent performance, while compositional data analysis methods exhibit mixed results. Transformation methods, such as Blom and NPN, demonstrate promise in capturing complex associations. Batch correction methods, including BMC and Limma, consistently outperform other approaches. However, the influence of normalization methods is constrained by population effects, disease effects, and batch effects. These results provide insights for selecting appropriate normalization approaches in microbiome research, improving predictive models, and advancing personalized medicine. Future research should explore larger and more diverse datasets and develop tailored normalization strategies for microbiome data analysis.

RevDate: 2024-03-25

Wan X, M Skurnik (2024)

Multidisciplinary Methods for Screening Toxic Proteins from Phages and Their Potential Molecular Targets.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2793:237-256.

This chapter presents a comprehensive methodology for the identification, characterization, and functional analyses of potentially toxic hypothetical proteins of unknown function (toxHPUFs) in phages. The methods begin with in vivo toxicity verification of toxHPUFs in bacterial hosts, utilizing conventional drop tests and following growth curves. Computational methods for structural and functional predictions of toxHPUFs are outlined, incorporating the use of tools such as Phyre2, HHpred, and AlphaFold2. To ascertain potential targets, a comparative genomic approach is described using bioinformatics toolkits for sequence alignment and functional annotation. Moreover, steps are provided to predict protein-protein interactions and visualizing these using PyMOL. The culmination of these methods equips researchers with an effective pipeline to identify and analyze toxHPUFs and their potential targets, laying the groundwork for future experimental confirmations.

RevDate: 2024-03-24

Bijla M, Saini SK, Pathak A, et al (2024)

Microbiome interactions with different risk factors in development of myocardial infarction.

Experimental gerontology pii:S0531-5565(24)00051-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Among all non-communicable diseases, Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) stand as the leading global cause of mortality. Within this spectrum, Myocardial Infarction (MI) strikingly accounts for over 15 % of all deaths. The intricate web of risk factors for MI, comprising family history, tobacco use, oral health, hypertension, nutritional pattern, and microbial infections, is firmly influenced by the human gut and oral microbiota, their diversity, richness, and dysbiosis, along with their respective metabolites. Host genetic factors, especially allelic variations in signaling and inflammatory markers, greatly affect the progression or severity of the disease. Despite the established significance of the human microbiome-nutrient-metabolite interplay in associations with CVDs, the unexplored terrain of the gut-heart-oral axis has risen as a critical knowledge gap. Moreover, the pivotal role of the microbiome and the complex interplay with host genetics, compounded by age-related changes, emerges as an area of vital importance in the development of MI. In addition, a distinctive disease susceptibility and severity influenced by gender-based or ancestral differences, adds a crucial insights to the association with increased mortality. Here, we aimed to provide an overview on interactions of microbiome (oral and gut) with major risk factors (tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diet, hypertension host genetics, gender, and aging) in the development of MI and therapeutic regulation.

RevDate: 2024-03-21

Khawaja T, Kajova M, Levonen I, et al (2024)

Double-blinded, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of convalescent plasma for COVID-19: analyses by neutralising antibodies homologous to donors' variants.

Infectious diseases (London, England) [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Convalescent plasma (CP) emerged as potential treatment for COVID-19 early in the pandemic. While efficacy in hospitalised patients has been lacklustre, CP may be beneficial at the first stages of disease. Despite multiple new variants emerging, no trials have involved analyses on variant-specific antibody titres of CP.

METHODS: We recruited hospitalised COVID-19 patients within 10 days of symptom onset and, employing a double-blinded approach, randomised them to receive 200 ml convalescent plasma with high (HCP) or low (LCP) neutralising antibody (NAb) titre against the ancestral strain (Wuhan-like variant) or placebo in 1:1:1 ratio. Primary endpoints comprised intubation, corticosteroids for symptom aggravation, and safety assessed as serious adverse events. For a preplanned ad hoc analysis, the patients were regrouped by infused CP's NAb titers to variants infecting the recipients i.e. by titres of homologous HCP (hHCP) or LCP (hLCP).

RESULTS: Of the 57 patients, 18 received HCP, 19 LCP and 20 placebo, all groups smaller than planned. No significant differences were found for primary endpoints. In ad hoc analysis, hHCPrecipients needed significantly less respiratory support, and appeared to be given corticosteroids less frequently (1/14; 7.1%) than those receiving hLCP (9/23; 39.1%) or placebo (8/20; 40%), (p = 0.077).

DISCUSSION: Our double-blinded, placebo-controlled CP therapy trial remained underpowered and does not allow any firm conclusions for early-stage hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, however, regrouping by homologous - recipients' variant-specific - CP titres suggested benefits for hHCP. We encourage similar re-analysis of ongoing/previous larger CP studies.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier: NCT0473040.

RevDate: 2024-03-23
CmpDate: 2024-03-22

Gellman RH, Olm MR, Terrapon N, et al (2023)

Hadza Prevotella require diet-derived microbiota-accessible carbohydrates to persist in mice.

Cell reports, 42(11):.

Industrialization has transformed the gut microbiota, reducing the prevalence of Prevotella relative to Bacteroides. Here, we isolate Bacteroides and Prevotella strains from the microbiota of Hadza hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, a population with high levels of Prevotella. We demonstrate that plant-derived microbiota-accessible carbohydrates (MACs) are required for persistence of Prevotella copri but not Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron in vivo. Differences in carbohydrate metabolism gene content, expression, and in vitro growth reveal that Hadza Prevotella strains specialize in degrading plant carbohydrates, while Hadza Bacteroides isolates use both plant and host-derived carbohydrates, a difference mirrored in Bacteroides from non-Hadza populations. When competing directly, P. copri requires plant-derived MACs to maintain colonization in the presence of B. thetaiotaomicron, as a no-MAC diet eliminates P. copri colonization. Prevotella's reliance on plant-derived MACs and Bacteroides' ability to use host mucus carbohydrates could explain the reduced prevalence of Prevotella in populations consuming a low-MAC, industrialized diet.

RevDate: 2024-03-23

Koskenvuo L, Lunkka P, Varpe P, et al (2024)

Morbidity After Mechanical Bowel Preparation and Oral Antibiotics Prior to Rectal Resection: The MOBILE2 Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA surgery [Epub ahead of print].

IMPORTANCE: Surgical site infections (SSIs)-especially anastomotic dehiscence-are major contributors to morbidity and mortality after rectal resection. The role of mechanical and oral antibiotics bowel preparation (MOABP) in preventing complications of rectal resection is currently disputed.

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether MOABP reduces overall complications and SSIs after elective rectal resection compared with mechanical bowel preparation (MBP) plus placebo.

This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial was conducted at 3 university hospitals in Finland between March 18, 2020, and October 10, 2022. Patients aged 18 years and older undergoing elective resection with primary anastomosis of a rectal tumor 15 cm or less from the anal verge on magnetic resonance imaging were eligible for inclusion. Outcomes were analyzed using a modified intention-to-treat principle, which included all patients who were randomly allocated to and underwent elective rectal resection with an anastomosis.

INTERVENTIONS: Patients were stratified according to tumor distance from the anal verge and neoadjuvant treatment given and randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive MOABP with an oral regimen of neomycin and metronidazole (n = 277) or MBP plus matching placebo tablets (n = 288). All study medications were taken the day before surgery, and all patients received intravenous antibiotics approximately 30 minutes before surgery.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was overall cumulative postoperative complications measured using the Comprehensive Complication Index. Key secondary outcomes were SSI and anastomotic dehiscence within 30 days after surgery.

RESULTS: In all, 565 patients were included in the analysis, with 288 in the MBP plus placebo group (median [IQR] age, 69 [62-74] years; 190 males [66.0%]) and 277 in the MOABP group (median [IQR] age, 70 [62-75] years; 158 males [57.0%]). Patients in the MOABP group experienced fewer overall postoperative complications (median [IQR] Comprehensive Complication Index, 0 [0-8.66] vs 8.66 [0-20.92]; Wilcoxon effect size, 0.146; P < .001), fewer SSIs (23 patients [8.3%] vs 48 patients [16.7%]; odds ratio, 0.45 [95% CI, 0.27-0.77]), and fewer anastomotic dehiscences (16 patients [5.8%] vs 39 patients [13.5%]; odds ratio, 0.39 [95% CI, 0.21-0.72]) compared with patients in the MBP plus placebo group.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Findings of this randomized clinical trial indicate that MOABP reduced overall postoperative complications as well as rates of SSIs and anastomotic dehiscences in patients undergoing elective rectal resection compared with MBP plus placebo. Based on these findings, MOABP should be considered as standard treatment in patients undergoing elective rectal resection.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT04281667.

RevDate: 2024-03-21
CmpDate: 2024-03-21

Brogna C, Montano L, Zanolin ME, et al (2024)

A retrospective cohort study on early antibiotic use in vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

Journal of medical virology, 96(3):e29507.

The bacteriophage behavior of SARS-CoV-2 during the acute and post-COVID-19 phases appears to be an important factor in the development of the disease. The early use of antibiotics seems to be crucial to inhibit disease progression-to prevent viral replication in the gut microbiome, and control toxicological production from the human microbiome. To study the impact of specific antibiotics on recovery from COVID-19 and long COVID (LC) taking into account: vaccination status, comorbidities, SARS-CoV-2 wave, time of initiation of antibiotic therapy and concomitant use of corticosteroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A total of 211 COVID-19 patients were included in the study: of which 59 were vaccinated with mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 while 152 were unvaccinated. Patients were enrolled in three waves: from September 2020 to October 2022, corresponding to the emergence of the pre-Delta, Delta, and Omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The three criteria for enrolling patients were: oropharyngeal swab positivity or fecal findings; moderate symptoms with antibiotic intake; and measurement of blood oxygen saturation during the period of illness. The use of antibiotic combinations, such as amoxicillin with clavulanic acid (875 + 125 mg tablets, every 12 h) plus rifaximin (400 mg tablets every 12 h), as first choice, as suggested from the previous data, or azithromycin (500 mg tablets every 24 h), plus rifaximin as above, allows healthcare professionals to focus on the gut microbiome and its implications in COVID-19 disease during patient care. The primary outcome measured in this study was the estimated average treatment effect, which quantified the difference in mean recovery between patients receiving antibiotics and those not receiving antibiotics at 3 and 9 days after the start of treatment. In the analysis, both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups had a median illness duration of 7 days (interquartile range [IQR] 6-9 days for each; recovery crude hazard ratio [HR] = 0.94, p = 0.700). The median illness duration for the pre-Delta and Delta waves was 8 days (IQR 7-10 days), while it was shorter, 6.5 days, for Omicron (IQR 6-8 days; recovery crude HR = 1.71, p < 0.001). These results were confirmed by multivariate analysis. Patients with comorbidities had a significantly longer disease duration: median 8 days (IQR 7-10 days) compared to 7 days (IQR 6-8 days) for those without comorbidities (crude HR = 0.75, p = 0.038), but this result was not confirmed in multivariate analysis as statistical significance was lost. Early initiation of antibiotic therapy resulted in a significantly shorter recovery time (crude HR = 4.74, p < 0.001). Concomitant use of NSAIDs did not reduce disease duration and in multivariate analysis prolonged the disease (p = 0.041). A subgroup of 42 patients receiving corticosteroids for a median of 3 days (IQR 3-6 days) had a longer recovery time (median 9 days, IQR 8-10 days) compared to others (median 7 days, IQR 6-8 days; crude HR = 0.542, p < 0.001), as confirmed also by the adjusted HR. In this study, a statistically significant reduction in recovery time was observed among patients who received early antibiotic treatment. Early initiation of antibiotics played a crucial role in maintaining higher levels of blood oxygen saturation. In addition, it is worth noting that a significant number of patients who received antibiotics in the first 3 days and for a duration of 7 days, during the acute phase did not develop LC.

RevDate: 2024-03-20
CmpDate: 2024-03-19

Singh A, RJ Luallen (2024)

Understanding the factors regulating host-microbiome interactions using Caenorhabditis elegans.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1901):20230059.

The Human Microbiome Project was a research programme that successfully identified associations between microbial species and healthy or diseased individuals. However, a major challenge identified was the absence of model systems for studying host-microbiome interactions, which would increase our capacity to uncover molecular interactions, understand organ-specificity and discover new microbiome-altering health interventions. Caenorhabditis elegans has been a pioneering model organism for over 70 years but was largely studied in the absence of a microbiome. Recently, ecological sampling of wild nematodes has uncovered a large amount of natural genetic diversity as well as a slew of associated microbiota. The field has now explored the interactions of C. elegans with its associated gut microbiome, a defined and non-random microbial community, highlighting its suitability for dissecting host-microbiome interactions. This core microbiome is being used to study the impact of host genetics, age and stressors on microbiome composition. Furthermore, single microbiome species are being used to dissect molecular interactions between microbes and the animal gut. Being amenable to health altering genetic and non-genetic interventions, C. elegans has emerged as a promising system to generate and test new hypotheses regarding host-microbiome interactions, with the potential to uncover novel paradigms relevant to other systems. This article is part of the theme issue 'Sculpting the microbiome: how host factors determine and respond to microbial colonization'.

RevDate: 2024-03-19
CmpDate: 2024-03-18

Elradi M, Ahmed AI, Saleh AM, et al (2024)

Derivation of a novel antimicrobial peptide from the Red Sea Brine Pools modified to enhance its anticancer activity against U2OS cells.

BMC biotechnology, 24(1):14.

Cancer associated drug resistance is a major cause for cancer aggravation, particularly as conventional therapies have presented limited efficiency, low specificity, resulting in long term deleterious side effects. Peptide based drugs have emerged as potential alternative cancer treatment tools due to their selectivity, ease of design and synthesis, safety profile, and low cost of manufacturing. In this study, we utilized the Red Sea metagenomics database, generated during AUC/KAUST Red Sea microbiome project, to derive a viable anticancer peptide (ACP). We generated a set of peptide hits from our library that shared similar composition to ACPs. A peptide with a homeodomain was selected, modified to improve its anticancer properties, verified to maintain high anticancer properties, and processed for further in-silico prediction of structure and function. The peptide's anticancer properties were then assessed in vitro on osteosarcoma U2OS cells, through cytotoxicity assay (MTT assay), scratch-wound healing assay, apoptosis/necrosis detection assay (Annexin/PI assay), RNA expression analysis of Caspase 3, KI67 and Survivin, and protein expression of PARP1. L929 mouse fibroblasts were also assessed for cytotoxicity treatment. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of the peptide was also examined on E coli and S. aureus, as sample representative species of the human bacterial microbiome, by examining viability, disk diffusion, morphological assessment, and hemolytic analysis. We observed a dose dependent cytotoxic response from peptide treatment of U2OS, with a higher tolerance in L929s. Wound closure was debilitated in cells exposed to the peptide, while annexin fluorescent imaging suggested peptide treatment caused apoptosis as a major mode of cell death. Caspase 3 gene expression was not altered, while KI67 and Survivin were both downregulated in peptide treated cells. Additionally, PARP-1 protein analysis showed a decrease in expression with peptide exposure. The peptide exhibited minimal antimicrobial activity on critical human microbiome species E. coli and S. aureus, with a low inhibition rate, maintenance of structural morphology and minimal hemolytic impact. These findings suggest our novel peptide displayed preliminary ACP properties against U2OS cells, through limited specificity, while triggering apoptosis as a primary mode of cell death and while having minimal impact on the microbiological species E. coli and S. aureus.

RevDate: 2024-03-15

Huang Y, Zhang R, Hong X, et al (2024)

Correlation between sarcopenia index and cognitive function in older adult women: A cross-sectional study using NHANES data.

Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, 122:73-79 pii:S0967-5868(24)00087-0 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The Sarcopenia Index (SI) has the potential as a biomarker for sarcopenia, which is characterized by muscle loss. There is a clear association between sarcopenia and cognitive impairment. However, the relationship between SI and cognitive impairment is yet to be fully understood.

METHODS: We employed data extracted from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) spanning the years 1999 to 2002. Our study encompassed individuals aged 65 to 80 who possessed accessible information regarding both SI and cognitive evaluations with a GFR ≥ 90. Cognitive function was assessed using the digit symbol substitution test (DSST). SI was calculated by serum creatinine (mg/dL)/cystatin C (mg/L)*100. Employing multivariate modeling, we estimated the connection between SI and cognitive performance. Furthermore, to enhance the reliability of our data analysis, we categorized SI using tertiles and subsequently calculated the P-value for trend.

RESULTS: After adjustment for potential confounders, we found SI was significantly and positively correlated with cognitive function scores both in older female in the American population [β = 0.160, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.050 to 0.271, P = 0.00461]. Similarly, when the total cognitive function score was treated as a categorical variable according to tertiles, higher SI was related to better total cognitive function scores in females [odds ratio (OR) = 3.968, 95 % CI 1.863 to 6.073, P = 0.00025] following adjustment for confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher SI was correlated with a lower prevalence of cognitive impairment among older adult women with normal kidney function.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

Zheng J, Zhang XM, Tang W, et al (2024)

An insular cortical circuit required for itch sensation and aversion.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(24)00242-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Itch encompasses both sensory and emotional dimensions, with the two dimensions reciprocally exacerbating each other. However, whether a shared neural circuit mechanism governs both dimensions remains elusive. Here, we report that the anterior insular cortex (AIC) is activated by both histamine-dependent and -independent itch stimuli. The activation of AIC elicits aversive emotion and exacerbates pruritogen-induced itch sensation and aversion. Mechanistically, AIC excitatory neurons project to the GABAergic neurons in the dorsal bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBNST). Manipulating the activity of the AIC → dBNST pathway affects both itch sensation and itch-induced aversion. Our study discovers the shared neural circuit (AIC → dBNST pathway) underlying the itch sensation and aversion, highlights the critical role of the AIC as a central hub for the itch processing, and provides a framework to understand the neural mechanisms underlying the sensation and emotion interaction.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

Guillen MN, Li C, Rosener B, et al (2024)

Antibacterial activity of nonantibiotics is orthogonal to standard antibiotics.

Science (New York, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

Numerous nonantibiotic drugs have potent antibacterial activity and can adversely impact the human microbiome. The mechanistic underpinning of this toxicity remains largely unknown. We investigated the antibacterial activity of 200 drugs using genetic screens with thousands of barcoded Escherichia coli knockouts. We analyzed 2 million gene-drug interactions underlying drug-specific toxicity. Network-based analysis of drug-drug similarities revealed that antibiotics clustered into modules consistent with the mode of action of their established classes, while nonantibiotics remained unconnected. Half of the nonantibiotics clustered into separate modules, potentially revealing shared and unexploited targets for novel antimicrobials. Analysis of efflux systems revealed they widely impact antibiotics and nonantibiotics alike, suggesting that the impact of nonantibiotics on antibiotic cross-resistance should be investigated closely in vivo.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Zhou X, Shen X, Johnson JS, et al (2024)

Longitudinal profiling of the microbiome at four body sites reveals core stability and individualized dynamics during health and disease.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(24)00056-8 [Epub ahead of print].

To understand the dynamic interplay between the human microbiome and host during health and disease, we analyzed the microbial composition, temporal dynamics, and associations with host multi-omics, immune, and clinical markers of microbiomes from four body sites in 86 participants over 6 years. We found that microbiome stability and individuality are body-site specific and heavily influenced by the host. The stool and oral microbiome are more stable than the skin and nasal microbiomes, possibly due to their interaction with the host and environment. We identify individual-specific and commonly shared bacterial taxa, with individualized taxa showing greater stability. Interestingly, microbiome dynamics correlate across body sites, suggesting systemic dynamics influenced by host-microbial-environment interactions. Notably, insulin-resistant individuals show altered microbial stability and associations among microbiome, molecular markers, and clinical features, suggesting their disrupted interaction in metabolic disease. Our study offers comprehensive views of multi-site microbial dynamics and their relationship with host health and disease.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Zhang J, Qi H, Li M, et al (2024)

Diet Mediate the Impact of Host Habitat on Gut Microbiome and Influence Clinical Indexes by Modulating Gut Microbes and Serum Metabolites.

Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

The impact of external factors on the human gut microbiota and how gut microbes contribute to human health is an intriguing question. Here, the gut microbiome of 3,224 individuals (496 with serum metabolome) with 109 variables is studied. Multiple analyses reveal that geographic factors explain the greatest variance of the gut microbiome and the similarity of individuals' gut microbiome is negatively correlated with their geographic distance. Main food components are the most important factors that mediate the impact of host habitats on the gut microbiome. Diet and gut microbes collaboratively contribute to the variation of serum metabolites, and correlate to the increase or decrease of certain clinical indexes. Specifically, systolic blood pressure is lowered by vegetable oil through increasing the abundance of Blautia and reducing the serum level of 1-palmitoyl-2-palmitoleoyl-GPC (16:0/16:1), but it is reduced by fruit intake through increasing the serum level of Blautia improved threonate. Besides, aging-related clinical indexes are also closely correlated with the variation of gut microbes and serum metabolites. In this study, the linkages of geographic locations, diet, the gut microbiome, serum metabolites, and physiological indexes in a Chinese population are characterized. It is proved again that gut microbes and their metabolites are important media for external factors to affect human health.

RevDate: 2024-03-14
CmpDate: 2024-03-14

Hong BY, Driscoll M, Gratalo D, et al (2024)

Improved DNA Extraction and Amplification Strategy for 16S rRNA Gene Amplicon-Based Microbiome Studies.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(5):.

Next-generation sequencing technology has driven the rapid advancement of human microbiome studies by enabling community-level sequence profiling of microbiomes. Although all microbiome sequencing methods depend on recovering the DNA from a sample as a first critical step, lysis methods can be a major determinant of microbiome profile bias. Gentle enzyme-based DNA preparation methods preserve DNA quality but can bias the results by failing to open difficult-to-lyse bacteria. Mechanical methods like bead beating can also bias DNA recovery because the mechanical energy required to break tougher cell walls may shear the DNA of the more easily lysed microbes, and shearing can vary depending on the time and intensity of beating, influencing reproducibility. We introduce a non-mechanical, non-enzymatic, novel rapid microbial DNA extraction procedure suitable for 16S rRNA gene-based microbiome profiling applications that eliminates bead beating. The simultaneous application of alkaline, heat, and detergent ('Rapid' protocol) to milligram quantity samples provided consistent representation across the population of difficult and easily lysed bacteria equal to or better than existing protocols, producing sufficient high-quality DNA for full-length 16S rRNA gene PCR. The novel 'Rapid' method was evaluated using mock bacterial communities containing both difficult and easily lysed bacteria. Human fecal sample testing compared the novel Rapid method with a standard Human Microbiome Project (HMP) protocol for samples from lung cancer patients and controls. DNA recovered from both methods was analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the V1V3 and V4 regions on the Illumina platform and the V1V9 region on the PacBio platform. Our findings indicate that the 'Rapid' protocol consistently yielded higher levels of Firmicutes species, which reflected the profile of the bacterial community structure more accurately, which was confirmed by mock community evaluation. The novel 'Rapid' DNA lysis protocol reduces population bias common to bead beating and enzymatic lysis methods, presenting opportunities for improved microbial community profiling, combined with the reduction in sample input to 10 milligrams or less, and it enables rapid transfer and simultaneous lysis of 96 samples in a standard plate format. This results in a 20-fold reduction in sample handling time and an overall 2-fold time advantage when compared to widely used commercial methods. We conclude that the novel 'Rapid' DNA extraction protocol offers a reliable alternative for preparing fecal specimens for 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

Cai J, Lin K, Luo T, et al (2024)

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is noninferior to chemoradiotherapy for early-onset locally advanced rectal cancer in the FOWARC trial.

British journal of cancer [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The early-onset rectal cancer with rapidly increasing incidence is considered to have distinct clinicopathological and molecular profiles with high-risk features. This leads to challenges in developing specific treatment strategies for early-onset rectal cancer patients and questions of whether early-onset locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) needs aggressive neoadjuvant treatment.

METHODS: In this post hoc analysis of FOWARC trial, we investigated the role of preoperative radiation in early-onset LARC by comparing the clinicopathological profiles and short-term and long-term outcomes between the early-onset and late-onset LARCs.

RESULTS: We revealed an inter-tumor heterogeneity of clinical profiles and treatment outcomes between the early-onset and late-onset LARCs. The high-risk features were more prevalent in early-onset LARC. The neoadjuvant radiation brought less benefits of tumor response and more risk of complications in early-onset group (pCR: OR = 3.75, 95% CI = 1.37-10.27; complications: HR = 11.35, 95% CI = 1.46-88.31) compared with late-onset group (pCR: OR = 5.33, 95% CI = 1.83-15.58; complications: HR = 5.80, 95% CI = 2.32-14.49). Furthermore, the addition of radiation to neoadjuvant chemotherapy didn't improve long-term OS (HR = 1.37, 95% CI = 0.49-3.87) and DFS (HR = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.58-1.90) for early-onset patients.

CONCLUSION: Preoperative radiation plus chemotherapy may not be superior to the chemotherapy alone in the early-onset LARC. Our findings provide insight into the treatment of early-onset LARC by interrogating the aggressive treatment and alternative regimens.

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Ghelfenstein-Ferreira T, Serris A, Salmona M, et al (2024)

Revealing the hidden interplay: the unexplored relationship between fungi and viruses beyond HIV, SARS-CoV-2 and influenza.

Medical mycology pii:7627438 [Epub ahead of print].

The complex interaction between viruses and fungi has profound implications, especially given the significant impact of these microorganisms on human health. While well-known examples such as HIV, influenza and SARS-CoV-2 are recognized as risk factors for invasive fungal diseases (IFD), the relationship between viruses and fungi remains largely underexplored outside of these cases. Fungi and viruses can engage in symbiotic or synergistic interactions. Remarkably, some viruses, known as mycoviruses, can directly infect fungi, may influencing their phenotype and potentially their virulence. In addition, viruses and fungi can coexist within the human microbiome, a complex ecosystem of microorganisms. Under certain conditions, viral infection might predispose the host to an invasive fungal infection, as observed with Influenza-associated pulmonary aspergillosis or COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis. We aim in this review to highlight potential connections between fungi and viruses (CMV and other herpesviruses, HTLV-1 and respiratory viruses), excluding SARS-CoV-2 and influenza.

RevDate: 2024-03-12

Bhosle A, Bae S, Zhang Y, et al (2024)

Integrated annotation prioritizes metabolites with bioactivity in inflammatory bowel disease.

Molecular systems biology [Epub ahead of print].

Microbial biochemistry is central to the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Improved knowledge of microbial metabolites and their immunomodulatory roles is thus necessary for diagnosis and management. Here, we systematically analyzed the chemical, ecological, and epidemiological properties of ~82k metabolic features in 546 Integrative Human Microbiome Project (iHMP/HMP2) metabolomes, using a newly developed methodology for bioactive compound prioritization from microbial communities. This suggested >1000 metabolic features as potentially bioactive in IBD and associated ~43% of prevalent, unannotated features with at least one well-characterized metabolite, thereby providing initial information for further characterization of a significant portion of the fecal metabolome. Prioritized features included known IBD-linked chemical families such as bile acids and short-chain fatty acids, and less-explored bilirubin, polyamine, and vitamin derivatives, and other microbial products. One of these, nicotinamide riboside, reduced colitis scores in DSS-treated mice. The method, MACARRoN, is generalizable with the potential to improve microbial community characterization and provide therapeutic candidates.

RevDate: 2024-03-11

Cheng G, Westerholm M, A Schnürer (2024)

Complete genome sequence of Citroniella saccharovorans DSM 29873, isolated from human fecal sample.

Microbiology resource announcements [Epub ahead of print].

A complete genome was recovered from Citroniella saccharovorans, strain DSM 29873, using Oxford Nanopore Technologies. The genome assembly contains 1,413,868 bp with 30.23% G+C content. The species belongs to the family Peptoniphilaceae and, as of yet, is the only cultivated representative of the genus Citroniella.

RevDate: 2024-03-12
CmpDate: 2024-03-12

Michán-Doña A, Vázquez-Borrego MC, C Michán (2024)

Are there any completely sterile organs or tissues in the human body? Is there any sacred place?.

Microbial biotechnology, 17(3):e14442.

The human microbiome comprises an ample set of organisms that inhabit and interact within the human body, contributing both positively and negatively to our health. In recent years, several research groups have described the presence of microorganisms in organs or tissues traditionally considered as 'sterile' under healthy and pathological conditions. In this sense, microorganisms have been detected in several types of cancer, including those in 'sterile' organs. But how can the presence of microorganisms be detected? In most studies, 16S and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequencing has led to the identification of prokaryotes and fungi. However, a major limitation of this technique is that it cannot distinguish between living and dead organisms. RNA-based methods have been proposed to overcome this limitation, as the shorter half-life of the RNA would identify only the transcriptionally active microorganisms, although perhaps not all the viable ones. In this sense, metaproteomic techniques or the search for molecular metabolic signatures could be interesting alternatives for the identification of living microorganisms. In summary, new technological advances are challenging the notion of 'sterile' organs in our body. However, to date, evidence for a structured living microbiome in most of these organs is scarce or non-existent. The implementation of new technological approaches will be necessary to fully understand the importance of the microbiome in these organs, which could pave the way for the development of a wide range of new therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2024-03-11

Zolfo M, Silverj A, Blanco-Miguez A, et al (2024)

Discovering and exploring the hidden diversity of human gut viruses using highly enriched virome samples.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.02.19.580813.

Viruses are an abundant and crucial component of the human microbiome, but accurately discovering them via metagenomics is still challenging. Currently, the available viral reference genomes poorly represent the diversity in microbiome samples, and expanding such a set of viral references is difficult. As a result, many viruses are still undetectable through metagenomics even when considering the power of de novo metagenomic assembly and binning, as viruses lack universal markers. Here, we describe a novel approach to catalog new viral members of the human gut microbiome and show how the resulting resource improves metagenomic analyses. We retrieved >3,000 viral-like particles (VLP) enriched metagenomic samples (viromes), evaluated the efficiency of the enrichment in each sample to leverage the viromes of highest purity, and applied multiple analysis steps involving assembly and comparison with hundreds of thousands of metagenome-assembled genomes to discover new viral genomes. We reported over 162,000 viral sequences passing quality control from thousands of gut metagenomes and viromes. The great majority of the retrieved viral sequences (~94.4%) were of unknown origin, most had a CRISPR spacer matching host bacteria, and four of them could be detected in >50% of a set of 18,756 gut metagenomes we surveyed. We included the obtained collection of sequences in a new MetaPhlAn 4.1 release, which can quantify reads within a metagenome matching the known and newly uncovered viral diversity. Additionally, we released the viral database for further virome and metagenomic studies of the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2024-03-09

Karisola P, Nikkola V, Joronen H, et al (2024)

Narrow-band UVB radiation triggers diverse changes in the gene expression and induces the accumulation of M1 macrophages in human skin.

Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology, 253:112887 pii:S1011-1344(24)00047-2 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The underlying molecular mechanisms that determine the biological effects of UVB radiation exposure on human skin are still only partially comprehended.

OBJECTIVES: Our goal is to examine the human skin transcriptome and related molecular mechanisms following a single exposure to UVB in the morning versus evening.

METHODS: We exposed 20 volunteer females to four-fold standard erythema doses (SED4) of narrow-band UVB (309-313 nm) in the morning or evening and studied skin transcriptome 24 h after the exposure. We performed enrichment analyses of gene pathways, predicted changes in skin cell composition using cellular deconvolution, and correlated cell proportions with gene expression.

RESULTS: In the skin transcriptome, UVB exposure yielded 1384 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the morning and 1295 DEGs in the evening, of which the most statistically significant DEGs enhanced proteasome and spliceosome pathways. Unexposed control samples showed difference by 321 DEGs in the morning vs evening, which was related to differences in genes associated with the circadian rhythm. After the UVB exposure, the fraction of proinflammatory M1 macrophages was significantly increased at both timepoints, and this increase was positively correlated with pathways on Myc targets and mTORC1 signaling. In the evening, the skin clinical erythema was more severe and had stronger positive correlation with the number of M1 macrophages than in the morning after UVB exposure. The fractions of myeloid and plasmacytoid dendritic cells and CD8 T cells were significantly decreased in the morning but not in the evening.

CONCLUSIONS: NB-UVB-exposure causes changes in skin transcriptome, inhibiting cell division, and promoting proteasome activity and repair responses, both in the morning and in the evening. Inflammatory M1 macrophages may drive the UV-induced skin responses by exacerbating inflammation and erythema. These findings highlight how the same UVB exposure influences skin responses differently in morning versus evening and presents a possible explanation to the differences in gene expression in the skin after UVB irradiation at these two timepoints.

RevDate: 2024-03-09

Reid G (2024)

A value chain to improve human, animal and insect health in developing countries.

Microbiome research reports, 3(1):10.

RevDate: 2024-03-07

Jones JM, Reinke SN, Mousavi-Derazmahalleh M, et al (2024)

Maternal prebiotic supplementation during pregnancy and lactation modifies the microbiome and short chain fatty acid profile of both mother and infant.

Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 43(4):969-980 pii:S0261-5614(24)00074-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Improving maternal gut health in pregnancy and lactation is a potential strategy to improve immune and metabolic health in offspring and curtail the rising rates of inflammatory diseases linked to alterations in gut microbiota. Here, we investigate the effects of a maternal prebiotic supplement (galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides), ingested daily from <21 weeks' gestation to six months' post-partum, in a double-blinded, randomised placebo-controlled trial.

METHODS: Stool samples were collected at multiple timepoints from 74 mother-infant pairs as part of a larger, double-blinded, randomised controlled allergy intervention trial. The participants were randomised to one of two groups; with one group receiving 14.2 g per day of prebiotic powder (galacto-oligosaccharides GOS and fructo-oligosaccharides FOS in ratio 9:1), and the other receiving a placebo powder consisting of 8.7 g per day of maltodextrin. The faecal microbiota of both mother and infants were assessed based on the analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene (V4 region) sequences, and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations in stool.

RESULTS: Significant differences in the maternal microbiota profiles between baseline and either 28-weeks' or 36-weeks' gestation were found in the prebiotic supplemented women. Infant microbial beta-diversity also significantly differed between prebiotic and placebo groups at 12-months of age. Supplementation was associated with increased abundance of commensal Bifidobacteria in the maternal microbiota, and a reduction in the abundance of Negativicutes in both maternal and infant microbiota. There were also changes in SCFA concentrations with maternal prebiotics supplementation, including significant differences in acetic acid concentration between intervention and control groups from 20 to 28-weeks' gestation.

CONCLUSION: Maternal prebiotic supplementation of 14.2 g per day GOS/FOS was found to favourably modify both the maternal and the developing infant gut microbiome. These results build on our understanding of the importance of maternal diet during pregnancy, and indicate that it is possible to intervene and modify the development of the infant microbiome by dietary modulation of the maternal gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2024-03-07

Lucchetti M, Oluwasegun AK, Grandmougin L, et al (2024)

An Organ-on-chip Platform for Simulating Drug Metabolism along the Gut-liver Axis.

Advanced healthcare materials [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome significantly influences drug metabolism through the gut-liver axis, leading to modified drug responses and potential toxicity. Due to the complex nature of the human gut environment, our understanding of microbiome-driven impacts on these processes is limited. To address this, we introduce a multiorgan-on-a-chip (MOoC) platform that combines the human microbial-crosstalk (HuMiX) gut-on-chip (GoC) and the Dynamic42 liver-on-chip (LoC), mimicking the bidirectional interconnection between the gut and liver known as the gut-liver axis. This platform supports the viability and functionality of intestinal and liver cells. In a proof-of-concept study, we replicated the metabolism of irinotecan, a widely used colorectal cancer drug, within our MOoC. Utilizing liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we tracked irinotecan metabolites, confirming the platform's ability to represent drug metabolism along the gut-liver axis. Furthermore, using our gut-liver platform, we show that the colorectal cancer-associated gut bacterium, Escherichia coli, modifies irinotecan metabolism through the transformation of its inactive metabolite SN-38G into its toxic metabolite SN-38. This platform serves as a robust tool for investigating the intricate interplay between gut microbes and pharmaceuticals, offering a representative alternative to animal models and providing novel drug development strategies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2024-03-08

Bragazzi NL, Woldegerima WA, A Siri (2024)

Economic microbiology: exploring microbes as agents in economic systems.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1305148.

Microbial communities exhibit striking parallels with economic markets, resembling intricate ecosystems where microorganisms engage in resource exchange akin to human market transactions. This dynamic network of resource swapping mirrors economic trade in human markets, with microbes specializing in metabolic functions much like businesses specializing in goods and services. Cooperation and competition are central dynamics in microbial communities, with alliances forming for mutual benefit and species vying for dominance, similar to businesses seeking market share. The human microbiome, comprising trillions of microorganisms within and on our bodies, is not only a marker of socioeconomic status but also a critical factor contributing to persistent health inequalities. Social and economic factors shape the composition of the gut microbiota, impacting healthcare access and quality of life. Moreover, these microbes exert indirect influence over human decisions by affecting neurotransmitter production, influencing mood, behavior, and choices related to diet and emotions. Human activities significantly impact microbial communities, from dietary choices and antibiotic use to environmental changes, disrupting these ecosystems. Beyond their natural roles, humans harness microbial communities for various applications, manipulating their interactions and resource exchanges to achieve specific goals in fields like medicine, agriculture, and environmental science. In conclusion, the concept of microbial communities as biological markets offers valuable insights into their intricate functioning and adaptability. It underscores the profound interplay between microbial ecosystems and human health and behavior, with far-reaching implications for multiple disciplines. To paraphrase Alfred Marshall, "the Mecca of the economist lies in economic microbiology."

RevDate: 2024-03-06

Greenzaid JD, Chan LJ, Chandani BM, et al (2024)

Microbiome modulators for atopic eczema: a systematic review of experimental and investigational therapeutics.

Expert opinion on investigational drugs [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common inflammatory cutaneous disease that arises due to dysregulation of the Th2 immune response, impaired skin barrier integrity, and dysbiosis of the skin and gut microbiota. An abundance of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in AD lesions increases the Th2 immune response, and gut bacteria release breakdown products such as Short Chain Fatty Acids that regulate the systemic immune response.

AREAS COVERED: We aim to evaluate therapies that modulate the microbiome in humans and discuss the clinical implications of these treatments. We performed a review of the literature in which 2,673 records were screened, and describe the findings of 108 studies that were included after full-text review. All included studies discussed the effects of therapies on the human microbiome and AD severity. Oral probiotics, topical probiotics, biologics, and investigational therapies were included in our analysis.

EXPERT OPINION: Oral probiotics demonstrate mixed efficacy at relieving AD symptoms. Topical probiotics reduce S. aureus abundance in AD lesional skin, yet for moderate-severe disease, these therapies may not reduce AD severity scores to the standard of biologics. Dupilumab and tralokinumab target key inflammatory pathways in AD and modulate the skin microbiome, further improving disease severity.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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 large collection of user-selected side-by-side timelines (e.g., all science vs. all other categories, or arts and culture vs. world history), designed to provide a comparative context for appreciating world events.


Biographical information about many key scientists (e.g., Walter Sutton).

Selected Bibliographies

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

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