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Bibliography on: Microbiome

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 14 Nov 2018 at 01:39 Created: 


It has long been known that every multicellular organism coexists with large prokaryotic ecosystems — microbiomes — that completely cover its surfaces, external and internal. Recent studies have shown that these associated microbiomes are not mere contamination, but instead have profound effects upon the function and fitness of the multicellular organism. We now know that all MCEs are actually functional composites, holobionts, composed of more prokaryotic cells than eukaryotic cells and expressing more prokaryotic genes than eukaryotic genes. A full understanding of the biology of "individual" eukaryotes will now depend on an understanding of their associated microbiomes.

Created with PubMed® Query: microbiome[tiab] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Cruz-Aguliar RM, Wantia N, Clavel T, et al (2018)

An Open-Labeled Study on Fecal Microbiota Transfer in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Reveals Improvement in Abdominal Pain Associated with the Relative Abundance of Akkermansia Muciniphila.

Digestion pii:000494252 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The gut microbiota is altered in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and microbiota manipulations by diet or antibiotics can reduce its symptoms. As fecal microbiota transfer (FMT) in IBS is still controversial, we investigated the clinical and side effects of FMT in a cohort of IBS patients with recurrent, treatment refractory symptoms, and studied gut microbiota signatures.

METHODS: Using an observational, prospective study design, we applied FMTs from one unrelated, healthy donor to 13 IBS patients. Fecal samples of patients and the donor were analyzed by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing.

RESULTS: On a symptom level, primarily abdominal pain symptoms were reduced after FMT, and no adverse effects were observed. Studying the microbiome, we found an increase in alpha diversity and changes in the composition of the gut microbiota after FMT. Beta diversity changes after FMT were prominent in a subset of 7 patients with microbiota profiles coming very close to the donor. These patients also showed most pronounced visceral pain reduction. The relative abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila was inversely correlated with pain reduction in our cohort.

CONCLUSION: Although exploratory in nature and with a pilot character, this study highlights the potential role of microbiota manipulations in IBS and describes a novel association of intestinal Akkermansia and pain modulation.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Okubo R, Koga M, Katsumata N, et al (2018)

Effect of bifidobacterium breve A-1 on anxiety and depressive symptoms in schizophrenia: A proof-of-concept study.

Journal of affective disorders, 245:377-385 pii:S0165-0327(18)31360-0 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Studies of probiotics have suggested they have a positive effect on anxiety and depressive symptoms in humans. This study investigated the effect of consuming the probiotic Bifidobacterium breve A-1 on anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and explored its effect on immune products such as cytokines and chemokines.

METHODS: In this open-label single-arm study, all participants received B. breve strain A-1 (1011 cfu/day) for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks of observation. The primary outcome was the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) score. Secondary outcomes were anxiety and depressive symptoms on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), blood test findings, and fecal microbiome composition.

RESULTS: Twenty-nine outpatients completed the study. HADS total score and PANSS anxiety/depression score were significantly improved at 4 weeks. Based on the criterion of a greater than 25% reduction in HADS total score at 4 weeks from baseline, there were 12 responders and 17 non-responders. Responders were found to have fewer negative symptoms, reduced intake of dairy products, and higher relative abundance of Parabacteroides in the gut microbiome than non-responders. Moreover, IL-22 and TRANCE expression was significantly increased at 4 weeks from baseline in responders but not in non-responders.

LIMITATIONS: This open-label, single-arm study cannot exclude a placebo effect.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest the potential effect of B. breve A-1 in improving anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Further studies should investigate this effect in patients with other psychiatric conditions and assess dietary habits and the gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

García-Jiménez B, de la Rosa T, MD Wilkinson (2018)

MDPbiome: microbiome engineering through prescriptive perturbations.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 34(17):i838-i847.

Motivation: Recent microbiome dynamics studies highlight the current inability to predict the effects of external perturbations on complex microbial populations. To do so would be particularly advantageous in fields such as medicine, bioremediation or industrial scenarios.

Results: MDPbiome statistically models longitudinal metagenomics samples undergoing perturbations as a Markov Decision Process (MDP). Given a starting microbial composition, our MDPbiome system suggests the sequence of external perturbation(s) that will engineer that microbiome to a goal state, for example, a healthier or more performant composition. It also estimates intermediate microbiome states along the path, thus making it possible to avoid particularly undesirable/unhealthy states. We demonstrate MDPbiome performance over three real and distinct datasets, proving its flexibility, and the reliability and universality of its output 'optimal perturbation policy'. For example, an MDP created using a vaginal microbiome time series, with a goal of recovering from bacterial vaginosis, suggested avoidance of perturbations such as lubricants or sex toys; while another MDP provided a quantitative explanation for why salmonella vaccine accelerates gut microbiome maturation in chicks. This novel analytical approach has clear applications in medicine, where it could suggest low-impact clinical interventions that will lead to achievement or maintenance of a healthy microbial population, or alternately, the sequence of interventions necessary to avoid strongly negative microbiome states.

Code ( and result files ( are available online.

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Frioux C, Fremy E, Trottier C, et al (2018)

Scalable and exhaustive screening of metabolic functions carried out by microbial consortia.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 34(17):i934-i943.

Motivation: The selection of species exhibiting metabolic behaviors of interest is a challenging step when switching from the investigation of a large microbiota to the study of functions effectiveness. Approaches based on a compartmentalized framework are not scalable. The output of scalable approaches based on a non-compartmentalized modeling may be so large that it has neither been explored nor handled so far.

Results: We present the Miscoto tool to facilitate the selection of a community optimizing a desired function in a microbiome by reporting several possibilities which can be then sorted according to biological criteria. Communities are exhaustively identified using logical programming and by combining the non-compartmentalized and the compartmentalized frameworks. The benchmarking of 4.9 million metabolic functions associated with the Human Microbiome Project, shows that Miscoto is suited to screen and classify metabolic producibility in terms of feasibility, functional redundancy and cooperation processes involved. As an illustration of a host-microbial system, screening the Recon 2.2 human metabolism highlights the role of different consortia within a family of 773 intestinal bacteria.

Miscoto source code, instructions for use and examples are available at:

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Shah A, Morrison M, GJ Holtmann (2018)

Gastroduodenal "Dysbiosis": a New Clinical Entity.

Current treatment options in gastroenterology pii:10.1007/s11938-018-0207-x [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Like the rest of the gastrointestinal tract, the small intestine is colonised by microbes, but how this "microbiome" affects the immune system and digestive functions has largely been overlooked, especially in the "omics" era. Here, we present recent findings that show that the diversity, density and interactions of these microbes in the small intestine can play an important role in the pathogenesis of a number of gastrointestinal and extraintestinal disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS: Changes in the small intestinal mucosa-associated microbiota (SI-MAM) have been shown to occur with inflammatory bowel diseases, functional gastrointestinal disorders, metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. More recently, there is emerging evidence that small intestinal dysbiosis can be a driver for the progression of chronic liver disease. Initially believed that small intestinal dysbiosis (e.g. SIBO) is mainly due to alterations of luminal conditions (e.g. after surgical resections of the ileocecal valve), there is now enough evidence to conclude that small intestinal dysbiosis can occur without underlying structural abnormalities. Alterations of the SI-MAM appear to play a key role for the manifestation and progression of inflammatory and metabolic disorders.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Malfertheiner P, J Mayerle (2018)

[Gastrointestinal innovations].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 160(Suppl 3):58-63.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Macut D, Milutinović DV, Rašić-Marković A, et al (2018)

A decade in female reproduction: an endocrine view of the past and into the future.

Hormones (Athens, Greece) pii:10.1007/s42000-018-0073-x [Epub ahead of print].

Over the last decade, huge achievements have been made in the fields of neurophysiology, molecular endocrinology, and biochemistry, as well as in the successful translation of clinical research into diseases into clinical practice. As regards female reproduction, most of the advances made in this area were achieved in gonadal axis regulation, regulation of behavior through sex steroids, reproductive genetics, preservation of ovarian reproductive function, steroid profiling, and metabolic and overall reproductive outcomes. The coming years are expected to bring further understanding of the relationships between nutrition, energy metabolism, and reproductive function and to succeed in identifying new genetic markers linked to adverse metabolic and unfavorable cardiovascular outcomes in women. From our perspective, future research in the field of female reproduction should be directed toward doing research into genetic reproductive abnormalities and neuroendocrine diseases, pathophysiology, long-term health outcomes for oligo/amenorrhea, hyperandrogenism, and ovulatory dysfunction. It is additionally expected that a better understanding will be gained of the endocrinology of the placenta and of pregnancy, the role of the microbiome in female reproduction, the role of insulin sensitizers, anti-obesity and anti-diabetic drugs, and various advances in the prevention of ovarian damage caused by various oncology therapies, while new therapeutic options for the treatment of infertility, including kisspeptin, will be developed.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Cortez RV, Taddei CR, Sparvoli LG, et al (2018)

Microbiome and its relation to gestational diabetes.

Endocrine pii:10.1007/s12020-018-1813-z [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), the major endocrine pathology in pregnancy, has been associated with the development of an intense inflammatory process and increased insulin resistance. The maternal microbiota is involved in several metabolic functions; however, its role in GDM physiopathology remains unclear. The aim of this study was to assess the composition of the microbiota at different sites and evaluate its relationship with the occurrence of GDM.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study recruited women in the third trimester of gestation with and without GDM. Oral, vaginal, and stool samples were evaluated using next-generation sequencing. We included 68 participants: 26 with and 42 without GDM.

RESULTS: The analysis of the oral microbiome did not show significant differences in phyla and genus among the studied groups. In contrast, GDM patients presented a specific vaginal and intestinal microbiome composition, which was less diverse than those found in the control group, showing genera related to dysbiosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that changes in the composition of the vaginal and intestinal microbiome might be involved in the development of GDM. The follow-up of these patients in order to evaluate vaginal and intestinal samples after delivery may contribute to understanding the development of metabolic disease in women with previous GDM.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

López Nadal A, Peggs D, Wiegertjes GF, et al (2018)

Exposure to Antibiotics Affects Saponin Immersion-Induced Immune Stimulation and Shift in Microbial Composition in Zebrafish Larvae.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2588.

In the last decades, pollution of the environment by large scale use of antibiotics in agriculture and human medicine have led to increased antimicrobial resistance in both the environment and the host animal microbiome. Disturbances in the host microbiome can result in impaired immunity and reduced resilience of aquaculture species. Here, we investigated whether environmentally measured levels of the commonly used antibiotics ciprofloxacin and oxytetracycline influences the host microbiome and susceptibility toward saponin-induced immune stimulation in larval zebrafish. Firstly, neutrophil and macrophage reporter zebrafish larvae were exposed to different concentrations of soy saponin by immersion. A dose-dependent increase in neutrophil presence in the intestinal area was observed together with increased expression of immune genes il1b, tnfa, il22 and mmp9. To investigate the effect of antibiotics, larval zebrafish were immersed in ciprofloxacin or oxytetracycline in the presence or absence of a low dose of saponin. In vivo imaging revealed that antibiotic treatment did not reduce the number of neutrophils that were recruited to the intestinal area upon saponin exposure, although it did tend to lower pro-inflammatory cytokine levels. Microbial sequencing of whole larvae revealed that exposure to a low dose of saponin already shifted the microbial composition. The combination of oxytetracycline and saponin significantly increased α-diversity compared to the controls. In conclusion, the current study provides evidence that the combination of low levels of antibiotics with low levels of anti-nutritional factors (saponin) can induce inflammatory phenotypes and can modify the microbiota, which might lead to altered disease susceptibility.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

De Vrieze M, Germanier F, Vuille N, et al (2018)

Combining Different Potato-Associated Pseudomonas Strains for Improved Biocontrol of Phytophthora infestans.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2573.

Late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans is considered as the most devastating disease of potato and is a re-emerging problem worldwide. Current late blight control practices rely mostly on synthetic fungicides or copper-based products, but growing awareness of the negative impact of these compounds on the environment has led to the search for alternative control measures. A collection of Pseudomonas strains isolated from both the rhizosphere and the phyllosphere of potato was recently characterized for in vitro protective effects against P. infestans. In the present study, we used a leaf disk assay with three different potato cultivars to compare the disease inhibition capacity of nine selected Pseudomonas strains when applied alone or in all possible dual and triple combinations. Results showed a strong cultivar effect and identified strains previously thought to be inactive based on in vitro assays as the best biocontrol candidates. One strain was much more active alone than in combination with other strains, while two other strains provided significantly better protection in dual combination than when applied alone. A subset of five strains was then further selected to determine their mutual influence on each other's survival and growth, as well as to characterize their activity against P. infestans in more details. This revealed that the two strains whose dual combination was particularly efficient were only weakly interfering with each other's growth and had complementary modes of action. Our results highlight the potential to harness the crop's native rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbiome through re-assembling strains with differing modes of action into small communities, thereby providing more consistent protection than with the application of single strains. We consider this as a first step toward more elaborate microbiome management efforts, which shall be integrated into global strategies for sustainable control of potato late blight.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Galand PE, Chapron L, Meistertzheim AL, et al (2018)

The Effect of Captivity on the Dynamics of Active Bacterial Communities Differs Between Two Deep-Sea Coral Species.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2565.

Microbes play a crucial role in sustaining the coral holobiont's functions and in particular under the pressure of environmental stressors. The effect of a changing environment on coral health is now a major branch of research that relies heavily on aquarium experiments. However, the effect of captivity on the coral microbiome remains poorly known. Here we show that different cold-water corals species have different microbiome responses to captivity. For both the DNA and the RNA fraction, Madrepora oculata bacterial communities were maintained for at least 6 months of aquarium rearing, while Lophelia pertusa bacteria changed within a day. Interestingly, bacteria from the genus Endozoicomonas, a ubiquitous symbiont of numerous marine hosts, were resilient and remained active in M. oculata for several months. Our results demonstrate that a good knowledge of the coral microbiome and an understanding of the ecological strategy of the holobiont is needed before designing aquarium experiments.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Levy B, E Jami (2018)

Exploring the Prokaryotic Community Associated With the Rumen Ciliate Protozoa Population.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2526.

Ciliate protozoa are an integral part of the rumen microbiome and were found to exert a large effect on the rumen ecosystem itself as well as their host animal physiology. Part of these effects have been attributed to their ability to harbor a diverse ecto- and endo-symbiotic community of prokaryotic cells. Studies on the relationship between the protozoa population and their associated prokaryotic community in the rumen mainly focused on the methanogens, revealing that protozoa play a major role in enhancing methanogenesis potential. In contrast, little is known about the composition and function of the bacteria associated with rumen protozoa and the extent of this association. In this study, we characterize the prokaryotic communities associated with different protozoa populations and compare their structure to the free-living prokaryotic population residing in the cow rumen. We show that the overall protozoa associated prokaryotic community structure differs significantly compared to the free-living community in terms of richness and composition. The methanogens proportion was significantly higher in all protozoa populations compared to the free-living fraction, while the Lachnospiraceae was the most prevalent bacterial family in the protozoa associated bacterial communities. Several taxa not detected or detected in extremely low abundance in the free-living community were enriched in the protozoa associated bacterial community. These include members of the Endomicrobia class, previously identified as protozoa symbionts in the termite gut. Our results show that rumen protozoa harbor prokaryotic communities that are compositionally different from their surroundings, which may be the result of specific tropism between the prokaryotic community and protozoa.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Li W, Yuan Y, Xia Y, et al (2018)

A Cross-Scale Neutral Theory Approach to the Influence of Obesity on Community Assembly of Human Gut Microbiome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2320.

Background: The implications of gut microbiome to obesity have been extensively investigated in recent years although the exact mechanism is still unclear. The question whether or not obesity influences gut microbiome assembly has not been addressed. The question is significant because it is fundamental for investigating the diversity maintenance and stability of gut microbiome, and the latter should hold a key for understanding the etiological implications of gut microbiome to obesity. Methods: In this study, we adopt a dual neutral theory modeling strategy to address this question from both species and community perspectives, with both discrete and continuous neutral theory models. The first neutral theory model we apply is Hubbell's neutral theory of biodiversity that has been extensively tested in macro-ecology of plants and animals, and the second we apply is Sloan's neutral theory model that was developed particularly for microbial communities based on metagenomic sequencing data. Both the neutral models are complementary to each other and integrated together offering a comprehensive approach to more accurately revealing the possible influence of obesity on gut microbiome assembly. This is not only because the focus of both neutral theory models is different (community vs. species), but also because they adopted two different modeling strategies (discrete vs. continuous). Results: We test both the neutral theory models with datasets from Turnbaugh et al. (2009). Our tests showed that the species abundance distributions of more than ½ species (59-69%) in gut microbiome satisfied the prediction of Sloan's neutral theory, although at the community level, the number of communities satisfied the Hubbell's neutral theory was negligible (2 out of 278). Conclusion: The apparently contradictory findings above suggest that both stochastic neutral effects and deterministic environmental (host) factors play important roles in shaping the assembly and diversity of gut microbiome. Furthermore, obesity may just be one of the host factors, but its influence may not be strong enough to tip the balance between stochastic and deterministic forces that shape the community assembly. Finally, the apparent contradiction from both the neutral theories should not be surprising given that there are still near 30-40% species that do not obey the neutral law.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Wang Y, Wiesnoski DH, Helmink BA, et al (2018)

Fecal microbiota transplantation for refractory immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated colitis.

Nature medicine pii:10.1038/s41591-018-0238-9 [Epub ahead of print].

We report the first case series of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI)-associated colitis successfully treated with fecal microbiota transplantation, with reconstitution of the gut microbiome and a relative increase in the proportion of regulatory T-cells within the colonic mucosa. These preliminary data provide evidence that modulation of the gut microbiome may abrogate ICI-associated colitis.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Yost S, Stashenko P, Choi Y, et al (2018)

Increased virulence of the oral microbiome in oral squamous cell carcinoma revealed by metatranscriptome analyses.

International journal of oral science, 10(4):32 pii:10.1038/s41368-018-0037-7.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most prevalent and most commonly studied oral cancer. However, there is a void regarding the role that the oral microbiome may play in OSCC. Although the relationship between microbial community composition and OSCC has been thoroughly investigated, microbial profiles of the human microbiome in cancer are understudied. Here we performed a small pilot study of community-wide metatranscriptome analysis to profile mRNA expression in the entire oral microbiome in OSCC to reveal molecular functions associated with this disease. Fusobacteria showed a statistically significantly higher number of transcripts at tumour sites and tumour-adjacent sites of cancer patients compared to the healthy controls analysed. Regardless of the community composition, specific metabolic signatures were consistently found in disease. Activities such as iron ion transport, tryptophanase activity, peptidase activities and superoxide dismutase were over-represented in tumour and tumour-adjacent samples when compared to the healthy controls. The expression of putative virulence factors in the oral communities associated with OSCC showed that activities related to capsule biosynthesis, flagellum synthesis and assembly, chemotaxis, iron transport, haemolysins and adhesins were upregulated at tumour sites. Moreover, activities associated with protection against reactive nitrogen intermediates, chemotaxis, flagellar and capsule biosynthesis were also upregulated in non-tumour sites of cancer patients. Although they are preliminary, our results further suggest that Fusobacteria may be the leading phylogenetic group responsible for the increase in expression of virulence factors in the oral microbiome of OSCC patients.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Gay MCL, Koleva PT, Slupsky CM, et al (2018)

Worldwide Variation in Human Milk Metabolome: Indicators of Breast Physiology and Maternal Lifestyle?.

Nutrients, 10(9): pii:nu10091151.

Human milk provides essential substrates for the optimal growth and development of a breastfed infant. Besides providing nutrients to the infant, human milk also contains metabolites which form an intricate system between maternal lifestyle, such as the mother's diet and the gut microbiome, and infant outcomes. This study investigates the variation of these human milk metabolites from five different countries. Human milk samples (n = 109) were collected one month postpartum from Australia, Japan, the USA, Norway, and South Africa and were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance. The partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) showed separation between either maternal countries of origin or ethnicities. Variation between countries in concentration of metabolites, such as 2-oxoglutarate, creatine, and glutamine, in human milk, between countries, could provide insights into problems, such as mastitis and/or impaired functions of the mammary glands. Several important markers of milk production, such as lactose, betaine, creatine, glutamate, and glutamine, showed good correlation between each metabolite. This work highlights the importance of milk metabolites with respect to maternal lifestyle and the environment, and also provides the framework for future breastfeeding and microbiome studies in a global context.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Cáliz J, Triadó-Margarit X, Camarero L, et al (2018)

A long-term survey unveils strong seasonal patterns in the airborne microbiome coupled to general and regional atmospheric circulations.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1812826115 [Epub ahead of print].

Airborne microbes (bacteria, archaea, protists, and fungi) were surveyed over a 7-y period via high-throughput massive sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes in rain and snow samples collected fortnightly at a high-elevation mountain Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network site (LTER-Aigüestortes, Central Pyrenees, Spain). This survey constitutes the most comprehensive mountain-top aerobiology study reported to date. The air mass origins were tracked through modeled back-trajectories and analysis of rain water chemical composition. Consistent microbial seasonal patterns were observed with highly divergent summer and winter communities recurrent in time. Indicative microbial taxa were unveiled as a forensic signature, and ubiquitous taxa were observed as common atmosphere inhabitants, highlighting aerosols as a potentially successful mechanism for global microbial dispersal. Source-tracking analyses identified freshwater, cropland, and urban biomes as the most important sources for airborne bacteria in summer, while marine and forest biomes prevailed in winter, in agreement with air mass retrotrajectories and the prevailing general and regional atmospheric circulation.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

de Souza Moraes B, Mary Dos Santos G, Palladino Delforno T, et al (2018)

Enriched microbial consortia for dark fermentation of sugarcane vinasse towards value-added short-chain organic acids and alcohol production.

Journal of bioscience and bioengineering pii:S1389-1723(18)30567-X [Epub ahead of print].

The role of sugarcane vinasse as a nutrient source and the impacts of different inoculum pretreatment methods (acid-thermal and thermal treatment) were assessed in acidogenic systems aiming to produce value-added short-chain organic acids (SCOA) and alcohols. In-depth microbiome characterization was also conducted by high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene using the Miseq Illumina platform. SCOA production was 47.3 % higher in vinasse-fed reactors, with isobutyric (up to 10.3 g L-1) and butyric (up to 10.6 g L-1) acids as the primary metabolites most likely resulting from lactate conversion. Ethanol comprised the main product from solventogenic pathways in all conditions, with values ranging between 2.7 and 5.2 g L-1, whereas no butanol was detected. Microbial analyses revealed high relative abundance values for the Clostridium, Lactobacillus, Bacillus and Ruminococcus genera, with the predominance of the Clostridium genus (17%) in acid-thermal treatment reactors and the Lactobacillus genus (37%) in thermal treatment reactors. Overall, vinasse proved to be a suitable substrate for value-added SCOA production, which characterizes a potential management approach to this wastewater stream. In this sense, the biochemical production of butyrate from vinasse could diversify the product portfolio of sugarcane biorefineries, also minimizing bioenergy losses by converting residual carbon fractions.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Lamprecht P, Fischer N, Huang J, et al (2018)

Changes in the composition of the upper respiratory tract microbial community in granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Journal of autoimmunity pii:S0896-8411(18)30460-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Dysbiosis¸ i.e. changes in microbial composition at a mucosal interface, is implicated in the pathogenesis of many chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. To assess the composition of the microbial upper respiratory tract (URT) community in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), we used culture-independent high-throughput methods. In this prospective clinical study, nasal swabs were collected from patients with GPA, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA, disease control), and healthy controls. Nasal bacterial taxa were assessed using V3-V4 region 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenza, and entero- and rhinoviruses were detected using qPCR. Unbiased metagenomic RNA sequencing (UMERS) was performed in a subset of samples to determine the relative abundance of bacterial, fungal, and viral species. A trend toward reduced microbiome diversity was detected in GPA samples compared with healthy controls. The abundance of bacterial taxa and microbial richness were significantly decreased in GPA samples compared with RA samples. The relative abundance of bacterial families shifted, with increased Planococcaceae and decreased Moraxellaceae, Tissierellaceae, Staphylococcaceae, and Propionibacteriaceae in GPA and RA. Further, decreased abundance of Corynebacteriaceae, and Aerococcaceae was observed in GPA samples. Significantly more colonization of S. aureus was seen in the nasal microbiome of GPA compared with RA and healthy control samples. H. influenzae colonization was also observed in GPA samples. UMERS detected the presence of rhinoviral sequences in some GPA samples. Thus, our study uncovered changes in the URT microbial composition in patients with GPA and RA, suggesting that both immunosuppression and disease background affect the URT microbiome. Complex alterations of host-microbiome interactions in the URT could influence chronic endonasal inflammation in GPA.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Frugé AD, Van der Pol W, Rogers LQ, et al (2018)

Fecal Akkermansia muciniphila Is Associated with Body Composition and Microbiota Diversity in Overweight and Obese Women with Breast Cancer Participating in a Presurgical Weight Loss Trial.

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics pii:S2212-2672(18)30279-X [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Akkermansia muciniphila (AM) is a gram-negative, mucin-degrading bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract associated with host phenotypes and disease states.

OBJECTIVE: Explore characteristics of overweight and obese female early-stage (0 to II) breast cancer patients with low AM relative abundance (LAM) vs high (HAM) enrolled in a presurgical weight-loss trial.

DESIGN: Secondary analysis of pooled participants in a randomized controlled trial (NCT02224807).

PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: During the period from 2014 to 2017, 32 female patients with breast cancer were randomized to weight-loss or attention-control arms from time of diagnosis-to-lumpectomy (mean=30±9 days).

INTERVENTION: All were instructed to correct nutrient deficiencies via food sources and on upper-body exercises. The weight-loss group received additional guidance to promote 0.5 to 1 kg/wk weight-loss via energy restriction and aerobic exercise.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: At baseline and follow-up, sera, fecal samples, two-24 hour dietary recalls and dual x-ray absorptiometry were obtained. Bacterial DNA was isolated from feces and polymerase chain reaction (16S) amplified. Inflammatory cytokines were measured in sera.

Differences between LAM and HAM participants were analyzed using t tests and nonparametric tests. Spearman correlations explored relationships between continuous variables.

RESULTS: Participants were aged 61±9 years with body mass index 34.8±6. Mean AM relative abundance was 0.02% (0.007% to 0.06%) and 1.59% (0.59% to 13.57%) for LAM and HAM participants, respectively. At baseline, women with HAM vs LAM had lower fat mass (38.9±11.2 kg vs 46.4±9.0 kg; P=0.044). Alpha diversity (ie, species richness) was higher in women with HAM (360.8±84.8 vs 282.4±69.6; P=0.008) at baseline, but attenuated after weight-loss (P=0.058). At baseline, interleukin-6 level was associated with species richness (ρ=-0.471, P=0.008) and fat mass (ρ=0.529, P=0.002), but not AM. Change in total dietary fiber was positively associated with AM in LAM (ρ=0.626, P=0.002), but not HAM (ρ=0.436, P=0.180) participants.

CONCLUSIONS: Among women with early-stage breast cancer, body composition is associated with AM, microbiota diversity, and interleukin-6 level. AM may mediate the effects of dietary fiber in improving microbiota composition.

RevDate: 2018-11-13

Silverman JD, Durand HK, Bloom RJ, et al (2018)

Dynamic linear models guide design and analysis of microbiota studies within artificial human guts.

Microbiome, 6(1):202 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0584-3.

BACKGROUND: Artificial gut models provide unique opportunities to study human-associated microbiota. Outstanding questions for these models' fundamental biology include the timescales on which microbiota vary and the factors that drive such change. Answering these questions though requires overcoming analytical obstacles like estimating the effects of technical variation on observed microbiota dynamics, as well as the lack of appropriate benchmark datasets.

RESULTS: To address these obstacles, we created a modeling framework based on multinomial logistic-normal dynamic linear models (MALLARDs) and performed dense longitudinal sampling of four replicate artificial human guts over the course of 1 month. The resulting analyses revealed how the ratio of biological variation to technical variation from sample processing depends on sampling frequency. In particular, we find that at hourly sampling frequencies, 76% of observed variation could be ascribed to technical sources, which could also skew the observed covariation between taxa. We also found that the artificial guts demonstrated replicable trajectories even after a recovery from a transient feed disruption. Additionally, we observed irregular sub-daily oscillatory dynamics associated with the bacterial family Enterobacteriaceae within all four replicate vessels.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses suggest that, beyond variation due to sequence counting, technical variation from sample processing can obscure temporal variation from biological sources in artificial gut studies. Our analyses also supported hypotheses that human gut microbiota fluctuates on sub-daily timescales in the absence of a host and that microbiota can follow replicable trajectories in the presence of environmental driving forces. Finally, multiple aspects of our approach are generalizable and could ultimately be used to facilitate the design and analysis of longitudinal microbiota studies in vivo.

RevDate: 2018-11-03

Fatkhullina AR, Peshkova IO, Dzutsev A, et al (2018)

An Interleukin-23-Interleukin-22 Axis Regulates Intestinal Microbial Homeostasis to Protect from Diet-Induced Atherosclerosis.

Immunity pii:S1074-7613(18)30426-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Although commensal flora is involved in the regulation of immunity, the interplay between cytokine signaling and microbiota in atherosclerosis remains unknown. We found that interleukin (IL)-23 and its downstream target IL-22 restricted atherosclerosis by repressing pro-atherogenic microbiota. Inactivation of IL-23-IL-22 signaling led to deterioration of the intestinal barrier, dysbiosis, and expansion of pathogenic bacteria with distinct biosynthetic and metabolic properties, causing systemic increase in pro-atherogenic metabolites such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Augmented disease in the absence of the IL-23-IL-22 pathway was mediated in part by pro-atherogenic osteopontin, controlled by microbial metabolites. Microbiota transfer from IL-23-deficient mice accelerated atherosclerosis, whereas microbial depletion or IL-22 supplementation reduced inflammation and ameliorated disease. Our work uncovers the IL-23-IL-22 signaling as a regulator of atherosclerosis that restrains expansion of pro-atherogenic microbiota and argues for informed use of cytokine blockers to avoid cardiovascular side effects driven by microbiota and inflammation.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Stallmach A, Reuken PA, N Teich (2018)

[Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Clostridioides [Clostridium] difficile infections in inflammatory bowel disease].

Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie, 56(11):1369-1377.

Patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a significantly increased risk of clinically relevant clostridial infection (CDI). In turn, CDI can increase IBD activity. Therefore, rapid diagnosis and therapy is required. Many diagnostic and treatment studies on patients with CDI without inflammatory bowel disease are not congruent with IBD patients. This overview summarizes the everyday data of recent years and condenses these into four guiding principles. 1) patients with IBD present a risk population for a CDI. A CDI not only worsens the disease activity in the short term, but also causes increased morbidity and mortality in the long term. 2) If a CDI is suspected, glutamate-dehydrogenase (GDH) detection should be carried out quickly. If this is positive, and the disease activity is high, a therapy against C. difficile already may be initiated and-if necessary-terminated in cases of negative confirmation tests. 3) IBD patients with a proven CDI should be treated primarily with vancomycin. 4) In a relapsing CDI, fecal microbiome transfer is an effective therapeutic measure. However, activation of the IBD must be expected in about 15 % of cases. Consistent adherence to these guidelines may help treat a CDI in IBD patients.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Salazar AM, Resnik-Docampo M, Ulgherait M, et al (2018)

Intestinal Snakeskin Limits Microbial Dysbiosis during Aging and Promotes Longevity.

iScience, 9:229-243 pii:S2589-0042(18)30181-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Intestinal barrier dysfunction is an evolutionarily conserved hallmark of aging, which has been linked to microbial dysbiosis, altered expression of occluding junction proteins, and impending mortality. However, the interplay between intestinal junction proteins, age-onset dysbiosis, and lifespan determination remains unclear. Here, we show that altered expression of Snakeskin (Ssk), a septate junction-specific protein, can modulate intestinal homeostasis, microbial dynamics, immune activity, and lifespan in Drosophila. Loss of Ssk leads to rapid and reversible intestinal barrier dysfunction, altered gut morphology, dysbiosis, and dramatically reduced lifespan. Remarkably, restoration of Ssk expression in flies showing intestinal barrier dysfunction rescues each of these phenotypes previously linked to aging. Intestinal up-regulation of Ssk protects against microbial translocation following oral infection with pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, intestinal up-regulation of Ssk improves intestinal barrier function during aging, limits dysbiosis, and extends lifespan. Our findings indicate that intestinal occluding junctions may represent prolongevity targets in mammals.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Ventura Spagnolo E, Stassi C, Mondello C, et al (2018)

Forensic microbiology applications: A systematic review.

Legal medicine (Tokyo, Japan), 36:73-80 pii:S1344-6223(18)30153-6 [Epub ahead of print].

According to the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), a healthy human body contains ten times more microbes than human cells. Microbial communities colonize different organs of the body, playing fundamental roles both in human health and disease. Despite the vast scientific knowledge of the role of microbial communities in a living body, little is known at present about microbial changes occurring after death, thus leading many authors to investigate the composition of the thanatomicrobiome and its potential applications in the forensic field. The aim of the following review is to provide a general overview of the advances of postmortem microbiology research, mainly focusing on the role of microbiological investigations carried out on internal organs and fluids. To this end, a total of 19 studies have been sistematically reviewed, each one chosen according to specific inclusion/exclusion criteria. The selected studies assess the contribution of contamination, postmortem transmigration and agonal spread to microbial isolation from dead body samples, and shed light on the role of postmortem microbiological investigations in several forensic fields, such as cause of death or PMI determination.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Zhuo C, Yao Y, Xu Y, et al (2018)

Schizophrenia and gut-flora related epigenetic factors.

Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry pii:S0278-5846(18)30519-0 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia (SZ) is a complex psychiatric disorder and the exact mechanisms that underpin SZ remain poorly understood despite decades of research. Genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors are all considered to play a role. The importance of gut flora and its influence on the central nervous system has been recognized in recent years. We hypothesize that gut flora may be a converging point where environmental factors interact with epigenetic factors and contribute to SZ pathogenesis.

AIM: To summarize the current understanding of genetic and epigenetic factors and the possible involvement of gut flora in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

RESULTS: We searched PubMed and Medline with a combination of the key words schizophrenia, microbiome, epigenetic factors to identify studies of genetic and epigenetic factors in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Numerous genes that encode key proteins in neuronal signaling pathways have been linked to SZ. Epigenetic modifications, particularly, methylation and acetylation profiles, have been found to differ in individuals that present with SZ from those that don't. Gut flora may affect epigenetic modifications by regulation of key metabolic pathway molecules, including methionine, florate, biotin, and metabolites that are acetyl group donors. Despite a lack of direct studies on the subject, it is possible that gut flora may influence genetic and epigenetic expression and thereby contribute to the pathogenesis of SZ.

CONCLUSION: Gut flora is sensitive to both internal and environmental stimuli and the synthesis of some key molecules that participate in the epigenetic modulation of gene expression. Therefore, it is possible that gut flora is a converging point where environmental factors interact with genetic and epigenetic factors in the pathogenesis of SZ.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Hellauer K, Uhl J, Lucio M, et al (2018)

Microbiome triggered transformations of trace organic chemicals in the presence of effluent organic matter in managed aquifer recharge (MAR) systems.

Environmental science & technology [Epub ahead of print].

It is widely assumed that biodegradation of trace organic chemicals (TOrCs) in managed aquifer recharge (MAR) systems occurs via a co-metabolic transformation with dissolved organic carbon serving as primary substrate. Hence, the composition facilitating bioavailability of the organic matter seems to have a great impact on TOrCs transformation in MAR systems. The aim of this study was to elucidate the character of effluent organic matter present in the feed water of a simulated sequential MAR system throughout the infiltration by use of FT-ICR-MS analyses as well as spectroscopic methods. Furthermore, compositional changes were correlated with TOrCs targeted throughout the system as well as the abundance of different microbial phyla. Based on their behavior throughout the infiltration system in which different redox and substrate conditions prevailed, TOrCs were classified in four groups: easily degradable, redox insensitive, redox sensitive, and persistent. Masses correlating with persistent TOrCs were mainly comprised of CHNO containing molecules, but also of CHO which are known as carboxyl-rich alicyclic molecules, while CHOS and CHNOS can be neglected. Easily degradable TOrCs could be associated with CHNO, CHO and CHOS containing compounds. However, a shift of molecular compounds to mostly CHOS was observed for redox insensitive TOrCs. 338 masses correlated with removal of redox sensitive TOrCs, but no distinct clustering was identified.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Compo NR, Gomez DE, Tapscott B, et al (2018)

Fecal bacterial microbiota of Canadian commercial mink (Neovison vison): Yearly, life stage, and seasonal comparisons.

PloS one, 13(11):e0207111 pii:PONE-D-17-29194.

The gastrointestinal microbiome is known to play a critical role in animal health but has been relatively poorly characterized in commercial mink, an obligate carnivore. Whether the microbiota can be manipulated in mink to improve pelt quality, health, and well-being is unknown. The objectives of this study were to characterize the fecal microbiota of commercial mink, and to evaluate potential changes due to year (2014 vs 2015), life stage (adult female vs weaned kit), season (summer vs winter), and between Canadian farms. Pooled fecal samples were collected from adult females and weaned kits in the summers of 2014 (n = 173) and 2015 (n = 168), and from females in the winter of 2016 (n = 39), a time when females undergo marked calorie restriction, from 49 mink farms in Ontario. Bacterial DNA was extracted and the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified. Approximately 22 million sequences were identified following quality control filtering. A total of 31 bacterial phyla were identified; however, only 3 comprised >1% of the total sequences identified, with Firmicutes and Proteobacteria together comprising 95% of the total sequences. Comparisons were made by life stage, season and year; no differences were found in the relative abundance of any taxa between samples collected from adult females and weaned kits from the same year and the greatest number of differences at each taxonomic level were noted between 2014 and 2015. Significantly more operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were found in 2014 than 2015 or 2016 (p<0.05) and samples from 2014 were more even, but less diverse than in 2015 (p = 0.002 and 0.001, respectively). There were significant differences in community population and structure by year and season (all p-values <0.001). The predominant phyla and genera at the farm level were similar from year to year. Together, these indicate that mink environment, season, and time are important factors in the stability of gastrointestinal microbiota, once mink reach maturity.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Meng X, Dunsmore G, Koleva P, et al (2018)

The profile of human milk metabolome, cytokines and antibodies in inflammatory bowel diseases versus healthy mothers and potential impact on the newborn.

Journal of Crohn's & colitis pii:5173481 [Epub ahead of print].

Background and Aims: For women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it is not very well known how IBD or IBD treatment impacts their breastmilk components. We aimed to investigate whether breastmilk composition differs in healthy control (HC) versus IBD mothers in terms of antibodies, cytokines and metabolites to identify potential impact of IBD breastmilk on neonatal immune system.

Methods: Breastmilk specimens from HC (n=17) and IBD (n=31 for Crohn's disease (CD); n=41 for ulcerative colitis (UC)) were collected at 3 and 6 months post-partum (PP3) and (PP6), respectively. Fecal samples were also collected. Cytokines and immunoglobulins (IgA/IgG/IgE) were analyzed by multiplex Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) and commercial kits. Moreover, breastmilk metabolites were analyzed by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

Results: We found breastmilk from IBD mothers showed significantly lower levels of IgA, sugar metabolite (lactose) and 2-aminobutyrate. In contrast, we observed breastmilk from mothers with IBD had increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and higher energy metabolites (lactate and succinate) than milk from healthy mothers. In addition, we noticed that the type of treatment (5-ASA versus Biologics) influenced the milk cytokines and metabolites profile.

Conclusions: The reduction in immunoprotective components of IBD breastmilk such as sIgA and lactose theoretically may modulate the potential protective effects of breastfeeding. On the other hand, presence of higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, lactate and succinate may predispose the offspring to an inflammatory condition or impact the gut microbiome. Better understanding the role of succinate in infants and its potential effects on microbiome or mucosal immunity merits further investigations.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Sams-Dodd J, F Sams-Dodd (2018)

Time to Abandon Antimicrobial Approaches in Wound Healing: A Paradigm Shift.

Wounds : a compendium of clinical research and practice, 30(11):345-352.

Antimicrobial approaches (eg, antibiotics and antiseptics) have been used for decades in the treatment of infected wounds, ulcers, and burns. However, an increasing number of meta-analyses have raised questions regarding the therapeutic value of these approaches. Newer findings show that the body actively hosts an ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mites on its outer surfaces, known as the microbiome, as part of its defense against pathogens. Antimicrobials would disrupt this system and thereby work against the strategy the body has chosen. Recently, a new technology, micropore particle technology (MPPT), has been identified; it is not an antimicrobial but instead acts as a passive immunotherapy that disrupts the weaponry bacteria and fungi use to inhibit the immune system, allowing the immune system to recover. Clinical findings show MPPT removes wound infections 60% quicker than antibiotics and antiseptics and promotes the healing of chronic wounds that have not responded to antimicrobials. These effects are achieved without antimicrobial action and, considering the limited therapeutic benefits of antibiotics and antiseptics for wound infections, it is valid to question the use of antimicrobial approaches in wound care and the dogma that a reduction in microbial burden will lead to a reduction in infection. Instead, it may be time to consider a paradigm shift in wound healing away from antimicrobials and towards therapies that support the immune system and the microbiome. This review covers the increasing evidence that infections on external surfaces have to be treated fundamentally differently to internal infections.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Muleviciene A, D'Amico F, Turroni S, et al (2018)

Iron deficiency anemia-related gut microbiota dysbiosis in infants and young children: A pilot study.

Acta microbiologica et immunologica Hungarica [Epub ahead of print].

Nutritional iron deficiency (ID) causes not only anemia but also malfunction of the entire human organism. Recently, a role of the gut microbiota has been hypothesized, but limited data are available especially in infants. Here, we performed a pilot study to explore the gut microbiota in 10 patients with iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and 10 healthy controls aged 6-34 months. Fresh stool samples were collected from diapers, and the fecal microbiota was profiled by next-generation sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. Except for diet diversity, the breastfeeding status at the enrollment, the exclusive breastfeeding duration, and the introduction of complementary foods did not differ between groups. Distinct microbial signatures were found in IDA patients, with increased relative abundance of Enterobacteriaceae (mean relative abundance, patients vs. controls, 4.4% vs. 3.0%) and Veillonellaceae (13.7% vs. 3.6%), and reduced abundance of Coriobacteriaceae (3.5% vs. 8.8%) compared to healthy controls. A decreased Bifidobacteriaceae/Enterobacteriaceae ratio was observed in IDA patients. Notwithstanding the low sample size, our data highlight microbiota dysbalance in IDA worth for further investigations, aimed at unraveling the ID impact on the microbiome trajectory in early life, and the possible long-term consequences.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Hyeon JY, Mann DA, Townsend AM, et al (2018)

Quasi-metagenomic Analysis of Salmonella from Food and Environmental Samples.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Quasi-metagenomics sequencing refers to the sequencing-based analysis of modified microbiomes of food and environmental samples. In this protocol, microbiome modification is designed to concentrate genomic DNA of a target foodborne pathogen contaminant to facilitate the detection and subtyping of the pathogen in a single workflow. Here, we explain and demonstrate the sample preparation steps for the quasi-metagenomics analysis of Salmonella enterica from representative food and environmental samples including alfalfa sprouts, ground black pepper, ground beef, chicken breast and environmental swabs. Samples are first subjected to the culture enrichment of Salmonella for a shortened and adjustable duration (4-24 h). Salmonella cells are then selectively captured from the enrichment culture by immunomagnetic separation (IMS). Finally, multiple displacement amplification (MDA) is performed to amplify DNA from IMS-captured cells. The DNA output of this protocol can be sequenced by high throughput sequencing platforms. An optional quantitative PCR analysis can be performed to replace sequencing for Salmonella detection or assess the concentration of Salmonella DNA before sequencing.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Fonkou MD, Dufour JC, Dubourg G, et al (2018)

Repertoire of bacterial species cultured from the human oral cavity and respiratory tract.

Future microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

While the gut microbiota is currently in the spotlight, the airway microbiome has been recently associated with several pulmonary diseases and carcinogenesis. As there are several biases associated with high-throughput sequencing methods, cultivation techniques are crucial for the investigation of the human microbiome. We thus aimed to build an exhaustive database, including a list of microbes isolated by culture from respiratory specimens, by performing a review of the literature. Herein, we have listed a total of 756 species cultured from the human respiratory tract. This represents 27.23% of the overall bacterial richness captured from human being by culture methods. This repertoire could be valuable for the elucidation of the interactions between the respiratory microbiome and human health.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Cordero OJ, R Varela-Calviño (2018)

Oral hygiene might prevent cancer.

Heliyon, 4(10):e00879 pii:e00879.

Many evidences support that species from the Human Oral Microbiome Database such as Fusobacterium nucleatum or Bacteroides, linked previously to periodontitis and appendicitis, play a role in colorectal cancer (CRC), including metastasis. These typically oral species are invasive anaerobes that form biofilms in their virulent state. Aspirin (a NSAID) has been recently included into routine CRC prevention rationale. NSAIDs can prevent the growth of neoplastic lesions by inhibiting COX enzymes and another set of recently identified COX-independent targets, which include the WNT, AMPK and MTOR signaling pathways, the crosstalk between nucleoli and NF-κB transcriptional activity in apoptosis, and the biochemistry of platelets. These are signaling pathways related to tumor-promoting inflammation. In this process, pathogens or simple deregulation of the microbiota play an important role in CRC. Aspirin and other NSAIDs are efficient inhibitors of biofilm formation and able to control periodontitis development preventing inflammation related to the microbiota of the gingival tissue, so its seems plausible to include this pathway in the mechanisms that aspirin uses to prevent CRC. We propose arguments suggesting that current oral hygiene methods and other future developments against periodontitis might prevent CRC and probably other cancers, alone or in combination with other options; and that the multidisciplinary studies needed to prove this hypothesis might be relevant for cancer prevention.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Cai J, Nichols RG, Koo I, et al (2018)

Multiplatform Physiologic and Metabolic Phenotyping Reveals Microbial Toxicity.

mSystems, 3(6): pii:mSystems00123-18.

The gut microbiota is susceptible to modulation by environmental stimuli and therefore can serve as a biological sensor. Recent evidence suggests that xenobiotics can disrupt the interaction between the microbiota and host. Here, we describe an approach that combines in vitro microbial incubation (isolated cecal contents from mice), flow cytometry, and mass spectrometry- and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics to evaluate xenobiotic-induced microbial toxicity. Tempol, a stabilized free radical scavenger known to remodel the microbial community structure and function in vivo, was studied to assess its direct effect on the gut microbiota. The microbiota was isolated from mouse cecum and was exposed to tempol for 4 h under strict anaerobic conditions. The flow cytometry data suggested that short-term tempol exposure to the microbiota is associated with disrupted membrane physiology as well as compromised metabolic activity. Mass spectrometry and NMR metabolomics revealed that tempol exposure significantly disrupted microbial metabolic activity, specifically indicated by changes in short-chain fatty acids, branched-chain amino acids, amino acids, nucleotides, glucose, and oligosaccharides. In addition, a mouse study with tempol (5 days gavage) showed similar microbial physiologic and metabolic changes, indicating that the in vitro approach reflected in vivo conditions. Our results, through evaluation of microbial viability, physiology, and metabolism and a comparison of in vitro and in vivo exposures with tempol, suggest that physiologic and metabolic phenotyping can provide unique insight into gut microbiota toxicity. IMPORTANCE The gut microbiota is modulated physiologically, compositionally, and metabolically by xenobiotics, potentially causing metabolic consequences to the host. We recently reported that tempol, a stabilized free radical nitroxide, can exert beneficial effects on the host through modulation of the microbiome community structure and function. Here, we investigated a multiplatform phenotyping approach that combines high-throughput global metabolomics with flow cytometry to evaluate the direct effect of tempol on the microbiota. This approach may be useful in deciphering how other xenobiotics directly influence the microbiota.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Cekanaviciute E, Pröbstel AK, Thomann A, et al (2018)

Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Changes in the Composition and Immune Functions of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

mSystems, 3(6): pii:mSystems00083-18.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by adaptive and innate immune system dysregulation. Recent work has revealed moderate alteration of gut microbial communities in subjects with MS and in experimental, induced models. However, a mechanistic understanding linking the observed changes in the microbiota and the presence of the disease is still missing. Chloroform-resistant, spore-forming bacteria, which primarily belong to the classes Bacilli and Clostridia in the phylum Firmicutes, have been shown to exhibit immunomodulatory properties in vitro and in vivo, but they have not yet been characterized in the context of human disease. This study addresses the community composition and immune function of this bacterial fraction in MS. We identify MS-associated spore-forming taxa (primarily in the class Clostridia) and show that their presence correlates with impaired differentiation of IL-10-secreting, regulatory T lymphocytes in vitro. Colonization of antibiotic-treated mice with spore-forming bacteria allowed us to identify some bacterial taxa favoring IL-10+ lymphocyte differentiation and others inducing differentiation of proinflammatory, IFN-γ+ T lymphocytes. However, when fed into antibiotic-treated mice, both MS and control-derived spore-forming bacteria were able to induce similar IL-10-expressing Treg immunoregulatory responses, thus ameliorating symptoms of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). Our analysis also identified Akkermansia muciniphila as a key organism that may interact either directly or indirectly with spore-forming bacteria to exacerbate the inflammatory effects of MS-associated gut microbiota. Thus, changes in the spore-forming fraction may influence T lymphocyte-mediated inflammation in MS. This experimental approach of isolating a subset of microbiota based on its functional characteristics may be useful to investigate other microbial fractions at greater depth. IMPORTANCE To address the impact of microbiome on disease development, it is essential to go beyond a descriptive study and evaluate the physiological importance of microbiome changes. Our study integrates computational analysis with in vitro and in vivo exploration of inflammatory properties of spore-forming microbial communities, revealing novel functional correlations. We specifically show that while small differences exist between the microbiomes of MS patients and healthy subjects, these differences are exacerbated in the chloroform-resistant fraction. We further demonstrate that, when purified from MS patients, this fraction is correlated with impaired immunomodulatory responses in vitro.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Boesmans L, Valles-Colomer M, Wang J, et al (2018)

Butyrate Producers as Potential Next-Generation Probiotics: Safety Assessment of the Administration of Butyricicoccus pullicaecorum to Healthy Volunteers.

mSystems, 3(6): pii:mSystems00094-18.

Advances in gut microbiota research have triggered interest in developing colon butyrate producers as niche-specific next-generation probiotics, targeted at increasing colon butyrate production and countering disease-associated microbiota alterations. Crucial steps in the development of next-generation probiotics are the design of formulations with a reasonable shelf life as well as the safety demonstration of an intervention in healthy volunteers. One such potential next-generation butyrate-producing probiotic is Butyricicoccus pullicaecorum 25-3T, with demonstrated safety in in vitro as well as animal models. Here, we examined the strain's safety, tolerability, and impact on microbiota composition and metabolic activity in healthy volunteers in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study in 30 healthy volunteers. The study design consisted of two 4-week intervention periods (108 CFU B. pullicaecorum [treatment] or maltodextrin [placebo] per day) with a 3-week washout in between. We assessed adverse events, blood parameters (primary endpoints), and fecal microbiota composition and metabolite profiles (secondary endpoints). The number of reported adverse events during the B. pullicaecorum treatment was similar to that of placebo intervention, as were observed changes in blood chemistry parameters, bowel habits, and fecal calprotectin concentrations. Administration of the strain did not induce any disruptive effect in microbiota composition or metabolic activity. In this first human intervention trial with a butyrate-producing Clostridium cluster IV isolate, we demonstrated B. pullicaecorum 25-3T administration to be both safe and well tolerated by healthy participants. This safety study paves the way for the further development of the strain as a next-generation probiotic. IMPORTANCE This study is the first to determine the safety and tolerance in humans of a butyrate-producing Clostridium cluster IV next-generation probiotic. Advances in gut microbiota research have triggered interest in developing colon butyrate producers as next-generation probiotics. Butyricicoccus pullicaecorum 25-3T is one such potential probiotic, with demonstrated safety in vitro as well as in animal models. Here, we produced an encapsulated B. pullicaecorum formulation that largely preserved its viability over an 8-month storage period at 4°C. Administration of this formulation to healthy volunteers allowed us to establish the intervention as safe and well tolerated. The probiotic intervention did not cause disruptive alterations in the composition or metabolic activity of health-associated microbiota. The results presented pave the way for the exploration of the impact of the strain on microbiota alterations in a clinical setting.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Minich JJ, Humphrey G, Benitez RAS, et al (2018)

High-Throughput Miniaturized 16S rRNA Amplicon Library Preparation Reduces Costs while Preserving Microbiome Integrity.

mSystems, 3(6): pii:mSystems00166-18.

Next-generation sequencing technologies have enabled many advances across biology, with microbial ecology benefiting primarily through expanded sample sizes. Although the cost of running sequencing instruments has decreased substantially over time, the price of library preparation methods has largely remained unchanged. In this study, we developed a low-cost miniaturized (5-µl volume) high-throughput (384-sample) amplicon library preparation method with the Echo 550 acoustic liquid handler. Our method reduces costs of library preparation to $1.42 per sample, a 58% reduction compared to existing automated methods and a 21-fold reduction from commercial kits, without compromising sequencing success or distorting the microbial community composition analysis. We further validated the optimized method by sampling five body sites from 46 Pacific chub mackerel fish caught across 16 sampling events over seven months from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier in La Jolla, CA. Fish microbiome samples were processed with the miniaturized 5-µl reaction volume with 0.2 µl of genomic DNA (gDNA) and the standard 25-µl reaction volume with 1 µl of gDNA. Between the two methods, alpha diversity was highly correlated (R2 > 0.95), while distances of technical replicates were much lower than within-body-site variation (P < 0.0001), further validating the method. The cost savings of implementing the miniaturized library preparation (going from triplicate 25-µl reactions to triplicate 5-µl reactions) are large enough to cover a MiSeq sequencing run for 768 samples while preserving accurate microbiome measurements. IMPORTANCE Reduced costs of sequencing have tremendously impacted the field of microbial ecology, allowing scientists to design more studies with larger sample sizes that often exceed 10,000 samples. Library preparation costs have not kept pace with sequencing prices, although automated liquid handling robots provide a unique opportunity to bridge this gap while also decreasing human error. Here, we take advantage of an acoustic liquid handling robot to develop a high-throughput miniaturized library preparation method of a highly cited and broadly used 16S rRNA gene amplicon reaction. We evaluate the potential negative effects of reducing the PCR volume along with varying the amount of gDNA going into the reaction. Our optimized method reduces sample-processing costs while continuing to generate a high-quality microbiome readout that is indistinguishable from the original method.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Mazel F, Davis KM, Loudon A, et al (2018)

Is Host Filtering the Main Driver of Phylosymbiosis across the Tree of Life?.

mSystems, 3(5): pii:mSystems00097-18.

Host-associated microbiota composition can be conserved over evolutionary time scales. Indeed, closely related species often host similar microbiota; i.e., the composition of their microbiota harbors a phylogenetic signal, a pattern sometimes referred to as "phylosymbiosis." Elucidating the origins of this pattern is important to better understand microbiota ecology and evolution. However, this is hampered by our lack of theoretical expectations and a comprehensive overview of phylosymbiosis prevalence in nature. Here, we use simulations to provide a simple expectation for when we should expect this pattern to occur and then review the literature to document the prevalence and strength of phylosymbiosis across the host tree of life. We demonstrate that phylosymbiosis can readily emerge from a simple ecological filtering process, whereby a given host trait (e.g., gut pH) that varies with host phylogeny (i.e., harbors a phylogenetic signal) filters preadapted microbes. We found marked differences between methods used to detect phylosymbiosis, so we proposed a series of practical recommendations based on using multiple best-performing approaches. Importantly, we found that, while the prevalence of phylosymbiosis is mixed in nature, it appears to be stronger for microbiotas living in internal host compartments (e.g., the gut) than those living in external compartments (e.g., the rhizosphere). We show that phylosymbiosis can theoretically emerge without any intimate, long-term coevolutionary mechanisms and that most phylosymbiosis patterns observed in nature are compatible with a simple ecological process. Deviations from baseline ecological expectations might be used to further explore more complex hypotheses, such as codiversification. IMPORTANCE Phylosymbiosis is a pattern defined as the tendency of closely related species to host microbiota whose compositions resemble each other more than host species drawn at random from the same tree. Understanding the mechanisms behind phylosymbiosis is important because it can shed light on rules governing the assembly of host-associated microbiotas and, potentially, their coevolutionary dynamics with hosts. For example, is phylosymbiosis a result of coevolution, or can it be generated by simple ecological filtering processes? Beyond qualitative theoretical models, quantitative theoretical expectations can provide new insights. For example, deviations from a simple baseline of ecological filtering may be used to test more-complex hypotheses (e.g., coevolution). Here, we use simulations to provide evidence that simple host-related ecological filtering can readily generate phylosymbiosis, and we contrast these predictions with real-world data. We find that while phylosymbiosis is widespread in nature, phylosymbiosis patterns are compatible with a simple ecological model in the majority of taxa. Internal compartments of hosts, such as the animal gut, often display stronger phylosymbiosis than expected from a purely ecological filtering process, suggesting that other mechanisms are also involved.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Ren L, Zhang R, Rao J, et al (2018)

Transcriptionally Active Lung Microbiome and Its Association with Bacterial Biomass and Host Inflammatory Status.

mSystems, 3(5): pii:mSystems00199-18.

Alteration of the lung microbiome has been observed in several respiratory tract diseases. However, most previous studies were based on 16S ribosomal RNA and shotgun metagenome sequencing; the viability and functional activity of the microbiome, as well as its interaction with host immune systems, have not been well studied. To characterize the active lung microbiome and its associations with host immune response and clinical features, we applied metatranscriptome sequencing to bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples from 25 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and from nine control cases without known pulmonary disease. Community structure analyses revealed three distinct microbial compositions, which were significantly correlated with bacterial biomass, human Th17 immune response, and COPD exacerbation frequency. Specifically, samples with transcriptionally active Streptococcus, Rothia, or Pseudomonas had bacterial loads 16 times higher than samples enriched for Escherichia and Ralstonia. These high-bacterial-load samples also tended to undergo a stronger Th17 immune response. Furthermore, an increased proportion of lymphocytes was found in samples with active Pseudomonas. In addition, COPD patients with active Streptococcus or Rothia infections tended to have lower rates of exacerbations than patients with active Pseudomonas and patients with lower bacterial biomass. Our results support the idea of a stratified structure of the active lung microbiome and a significant host-microbe interaction. We speculate that diverse lung microbiomes exist in the population and that their presence and activities could either influence or reflect different aspects of lung health. IMPORTANCE Recent studies of the microbiome proposed that resident microbes play a beneficial role in maintaining human health. Although lower respiratory tract disease is a leading cause of sickness and mortality, how the lung microbiome interacts with human health remains largely unknown. Here we assessed the association between the lung microbiome and host gene expression, cytokine concentration, and over 20 clinical features. Intriguingly, we found a stratified structure of the active lung microbiome which was significantly associated with bacterial biomass, lymphocyte proportion, human Th17 immune response, and COPD exacerbation frequency. These observations suggest that the microbiome plays a significant role in lung homeostasis. Not only microbial composition but also active functional elements and host immunity characteristics differed among different individuals. Such diversity may partially account for the variation in susceptibility to particular diseases.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

DiMucci D, Kon M, D Segrè (2018)

Machine Learning Reveals Missing Edges and Putative Interaction Mechanisms in Microbial Ecosystem Networks.

mSystems, 3(5): pii:mSystems00181-18.

Microbes affect each other's growth in multiple, often elusive, ways. The ensuing interdependencies form complex networks, believed to reflect taxonomic composition as well as community-level functional properties and dynamics. The elucidation of these networks is often pursued by measuring pairwise interactions in coculture experiments. However, the combinatorial complexity precludes an exhaustive experimental analysis of pairwise interactions, even for moderately sized microbial communities. Here, we used a machine learning random forest approach to address this challenge. In particular, we show how partial knowledge of a microbial interaction network, combined with trait-level representations of individual microbial species, can provide accurate inference of missing edges in the network and putative mechanisms underlying the interactions. We applied our algorithm to three case studies: an experimentally mapped network of interactions between auxotrophic Escherichia coli strains, a community of soil microbes, and a large in silico network of metabolic interdependencies between 100 human gut-associated bacteria. For this last case, 5% of the network was sufficient to predict the remaining 95% with 80% accuracy, and the mechanistic hypotheses produced by the algorithm accurately reflected known metabolic exchanges. Our approach, broadly applicable to any microbial or other ecological network, may drive the discovery of new interactions and new molecular mechanisms, both for therapeutic interventions involving natural communities and for the rational design of synthetic consortia. IMPORTANCE Different organisms in a microbial community may drastically affect each other's growth phenotypes, significantly affecting the community dynamics, with important implications for human and environmental health. Novel culturing methods and the decreasing costs of sequencing will gradually enable high-throughput measurements of pairwise interactions in systematic coculturing studies. However, a thorough characterization of all interactions that occur within a microbial community is greatly limited both by the combinatorial complexity of possible assortments and by the limited biological insight that interaction measurements typically provide without laborious specific follow-ups. Here, we show how a simple and flexible formal representation of microbial pairs can be used for the classification of interactions via machine learning. The approach we propose predicts with high accuracy the outcome of yet-to-be performed experiments and generates testable hypotheses about the mechanisms of specific interactions.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Patil NP, Le V, Sligar AD, et al (2018)

Algal Polysaccharides as Therapeutic Agents for Atherosclerosis.

Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 5:153.

Seaweed-derived polysaccharides including agar and alginate, have found widespread applications in biomedical research and medical therapeutic applications including wound healing, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. Given the recent increases in the incidence of diabetes, obesity and hyperlipidemia, there is a pressing need for low cost therapeutics that can economically and effectively slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Marine polysaccharides have been consumed by humans for millennia and are available in large quantities at low cost. Polysaccharides such as fucoidan, laminarin sulfate and ulvan have shown promise in reducing atherosclerosis and its accompanying risk factors in animal models. However, others have been tested in very limited context in scientific studies. In this review, we explore the current state of knowledge for these promising therapeutics and discuss the potential and challenges of using seaweed derived polysaccharides as therapies for atherosclerosis.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Chu H, Williams B, B Schnabl (2018)

Gut microbiota, fatty liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Liver research, 2(1):43-51.

Intestinal bacteria contribute to the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Recently developed microbial profiling techniques are beginning to shed light on the nature of the changes in the gut microbiota that accompany NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In this review, we summarize the role of gut microbiota in the development of NAFLD, NASH, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We highlight the mechanisms by which gut microbiota contribute to NAFLD/NASH, including through alterations in gut epithelial permeability, choline metabolism, endogenous alcohol production, release of inflammatory cytokines, regulation of hepatic Toll-like receptor (TLR), and bile acid metabolism. In addition, we analyze possible mechanisms for enhanced hepatic carcinogenesis, including alterations in bile acid metabolism, release of inflammatory cytokines, and expression of TLR-4. Finally, we describe therapeutic approaches for NAFLD/NASH and preventive strategies for HCC involving modulation of the intestinal microbiota or affected host pathways. Although recent studies have provided useful information, large-scale prospective studies are required to better characterize the intestinal microbiota and metabolome, in order to demonstrate a causative role for changes in the gut microbiota in the etiology of NAFLD/NASH, to identify new therapeutic strategies for NAFLD/NASH, and to develop more effective methods of preventing HCC.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Wang Z, Lou H, Wang Y, et al (2018)

Erratum: Author Correction: GePMI: a statistical model for personal intestinal microbiome identification.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 4:28 pii:71.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/s41522-018-0065-2.].

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Zhang WQ, Zhao SK, Luo JW, et al (2018)

Alterations of fecal bacterial communities in patients with lung cancer.

American journal of translational research, 10(10):3171-3185.

Emerging evidence suggests the microbiome may affect a number of diseases, including lung cancer. However, the direct relationship between gut bacteria and lung cancer remains uncharacterized. In this study, we directly sequenced the hypervariable V1-V2 regions of the 16S rRNA gene in fecal samples from patients with lung cancer and healthy volunteers. Unweighted principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed a clear difference in the bacterial community membership between the lung cancer group and the healthy control group. The lung cancer group had remarkably higher levels of Bacteroidetes, Fusobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Spirochaetes, and Lentisphaerae but dramatically lower levels of Firmicutes and Verrucomicrobia than the healthy control group (P < 0.05). Despite significant interindividual variation, eight predominant genera were significantly different between the two groups. The lung cancer group had higher levels of Bacteroides, Veillonella, and Fusobacterium but lower levels of Escherichia-Shigella, Kluyvera, Fecalibacterium, Enterobacter, and Dialister than the healthy control group (P < 0.05). Most notably, correlations between certain specific bacteria and serum inflammatory biomarkers were identified. Our findings demonstrated an altered bacterial community in patients with lung cancer, providing a significant step in understanding the relationship between gut bacteria and lung cancer. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the correlations between certain specific bacteria and inflammatory indicators. To better understand this relationship, further studies should investigate the underlying mechanisms of gut bacteria in lung cancer animal models.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Graf BL, Zhang L, Corradini MG, et al (2018)

Physicochemical differences between malanga (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers are associated with differential effects on the gut microbiome.

Journal of functional foods, 45:268-276.

Malanga (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) is used as a medicinal food for infant development and gastritis. We compared the physicochemical properties and gut microbial effects of malanga versus potato (Solanum tuberosum) using nutritional analysis, rheometry, in vitro TNO Intestinal Model, and C57Bl/6J mouse models. Malanga was characterized by higher starch (70.7% v. 66.3%), lower amylose:amylopectin (0.33 v. 0.59), higher free sugar (5.44% v. 3.23%), lower viscosity (271.0 v. 863.0 mPa.s), and higher bioaccessible and bioavailable sugar (0.89 v. 0.11 g bioaccessible sucrose per 20 g load in vitro; blood glucose levels of 129.1 v. 95.2 and 133.8 v. 104.3 mg/dL after 20 and 60 min in vivo). Gut microbiota of mice fed a high fat diet containing 20% malanga for 14 d exhibited significantly higher α diversity than those fed 20% potato, indicating that minor physicochemical differences between similar tuber crops are associated with significantly different effects on the gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Stamps BW, Leddy MB, Plumlee MH, et al (2018)

Characterization of the Microbiome at the World's Largest Potable Water Reuse Facility.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2435.

Conventional water resources are not sufficient in many regions to meet the needs of growing populations. Due to cyclical weather cycles, drought, and climate change, water stress has increased worldwide including in Southern California, which serves as a model for regions that integrate reuse of wastewater for both potable and non-potable use. The Orange County Water District (OCWD) Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) is a highly engineered system designed to treat and produce up to 100 million gallons per day (MGD) of purified water from a municipal wastewater source for potable reuse. Routine facility microbial water quality analysis is limited to standard indicators at this and similar facilities. Given recent advances in high throughput DNA sequencing techniques, complete microbial profiling of communities in water samples is now possible. By using 16S/18S rRNA gene sequencing, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing coupled to a highly accurate identification method along with 16S rRNA gene qPCR, we describe a detailed view of the total microbial community throughout the facility. The total bacterial load of the water at stages of the treatment train ranged from 3.02 × 106 copies in source, unchlorinated wastewater feed to 5.49 × 101 copies of 16S rRNA gene/mL after treatment (consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet/advanced oxidation). Microbial diversity and load decreased by several orders of magnitude after microfiltration and reverse osmosis treatment, falling to almost non-detectable levels that more closely resembled controls of molecular grade laboratory water than the biomass detected in the source water. The presence of antibiotic resistance genes and viruses was also greatly reduced. Overall, system design performance was achieved, and comprehensive microbial community analysis was found to enable a more complete characterization of the water/wastewater microbial signature.

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Gosalbes MJ, Compte J, Moriano-Gutierrez S, et al (2018)

Metabolic adaptation in the human gut microbiota during pregnancy and the first year of life.

EBioMedicine pii:S2352-3964(18)30492-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The relationship between the gut microbiome and the human host is dynamic and we may expect adjustments in microbiome function if host physiology changes. Metatranscriptomic approaches should be key in unraveling how such adjustments occur.

METHODS: We employ metatranscriptomic sequencing analyses to study gene expression in the gut microbiota of infants through their first year of life, and of their mothers days before delivery and one year afterwards.

FINDINGS: In infants, hallmarks of aerobic metabolism disappear from the microbial metatranscriptome as development proceeds, while the expression of functions related to carbohydrate transport and metabolism increases and diversifies, approaching that observed in non-pregnant women. Butyrate synthesis enzymes are overexpressed at three months of age, even though most butyrate-producing organisms are still rare. In late pregnancy, the microbiota readjusts the expression of carbohydrate-related functions in a manner consistent with a high availability of glucose.

INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest that butyrate production may be ensured in the gut of young infants before the typical butyrate synthesizers of the adult gut become abundant. The late pregnancy gut microbiota may be able to access the high levels of blood glucose characteristic of this period. Moreover, late pregnancy gut bacteria may reach stationary phase, which may affect their likelihood of translocating across the intestinal epithelium.

FUNDS: This work was supported by grants CSD2009-00006 (CONSOLIDER Program) and SAF2009-13032-C02-02 from MICINN (Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain), and by grant SAF2012-31187 from MINECO (Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness, Spain).

RevDate: 2018-11-12

Aslam H, Green J, Jacka FN, et al (2018)

Fermented foods, the gut and mental health: a mechanistic overview with implications for depression and anxiety.

Nutritional neuroscience [Epub ahead of print].

Mental disorders including depression and anxiety are often comorbid with gut problems, suggesting a bidirectional relationship between mental health and gut function. Several mechanisms might explain this comorbidity, such as inflammation and immune activation; intestinal permeability; perturbations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; neurotransmitter/neuropeptide dysregulation; dietary deficiencies; and disturbed gut microbiome composition. The potential of modulating the microbiome-gut-brain axis, and subsequently mental health, through the use of functional foods, is an emerging and novel topic of interest. Fermented foods are considered functional foods due to their putative health benefits. The process of microbial fermentation converts food substrates into more nutritionally and functionally rich products, resulting in functional microorganisms (probiotics), substrates that enhance proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut (prebiotics), and bioactive components (biogenics). These functional ingredients act biologically in the gastrointestinal tract and have the ability to modify the gut microbiota, influence translocation of endotoxins and subsequent immune activation, and promote host nutrition. This narrative review explores the theoretical potential of the functional components present in fermented foods to alter gut physiology and to impact the biological mechanisms thought to underpin depression and anxiety. Pre-clinical studies indicate the benefits of fermented foods in relieving perturbed gut function and for animal models of depression and anxiety. However, in humans, the literature relating to the relevance of fermented food for treating or preventing depression and anxiety is sparse, heterogeneous and has significant limitations. This review identifies a critical research gap for further evaluation of fermented foods in the management of depression anxiety in humans.

RevDate: 2018-11-11

Wang F, Men X, Zhang G, et al (2018)

Assessment of 16S rRNA gene primers for studying bacterial community structure and function of aging flue-cured tobaccos.

AMB Express, 8(1):182 pii:10.1186/s13568-018-0713-1.

Selection of optimal primer pairs in 16S rRNA gene sequencing is a pivotal issue in microorganism diversity analysis. However, limited effort has been put into investigation of specific primer sets for analysis of the bacterial diversity of aging flue-cured tobaccos (AFTs), as well as prediction of the function of the bacterial community. In this study, the performance of four primer pairs in determining bacterial community structure based on 16S rRNA gene sequences in AFTs was assessed, and the functions of genes were predicted using Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt). Results revealed that the primer set 799F-1193R covering the amplification region V5V6V7 gave a more accurate picture of the bacterial community structure of AFTs, with lower co-amplification levels of chloroplast and mitochondrial genes, and more genera covered than when using the other primers. In addition, functional gene prediction suggested that the microbiome of AFTs was involved in kinds of interested pathways. A high abundance of functional genes involved in nitrogen metabolism was detected in AFTs, reflecting a high level of bacteria involved in degrading harmful nitrogen compounds and generating nitrogenous nutrients for others. Additionally, the functional genes involved in biosynthesis of valuable metabolites and degradation of toxic compounds provided information that the AFTs possess a huge library of microorganisms and genes that could be applied to further studies. All of these findings provide a significance reference for researchers working on the bacterial diversity assessment of tobacco-related samples.

RevDate: 2018-11-11

Malfertheiner P, Venerito M, C Schulz (2018)

Helicobacter pylori Infection: New Facts in Clinical Management.

Current treatment options in gastroenterology pii:10.1007/s11938-018-0209-8 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: The global prevalence of Helicobacter pylori remains high in spite of its significant downwards trajectory in many regions. The clinical management of H. pylori infection merits guidance to meet ongoing challenges on whom and how to test, prevent, and cure related diseases.

RECENT FINDINGS: Several international guidelines and consensus reports have updated the management strategies for cure of the H. pylori infection. The definition of H. pylori gastritis as an infectious disease independent of whether or not presenting with clinical manifestations and symptoms has broadened the use of the test and treat strategy. Patients on selected long-term medications, such as aspirin, other anti-platelet agents, NSAIDs, and PPIs should be considered for H. pylori test and treat. Important progress is made with initiatives in primary and secondary gastric cancer prevention. Uncertainties persist in the interpretation of the role of H. pylori in association with extragastric diseases. Selection of therapies needs to address individual antibiotic resistance and regional surveillance of resistance for the adoption of an effective treatment algorithm.

CONCLUSION: Clinical aspects of H. pylori infection have evolved over time and the therapeutic management requires continuous adaptation. A vaccine is still a non-fulfilled promise. The future will tell us more about the role of H. pylori in interactions with the gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-11-11

Singh JP, Ojinnaka EU, Krumins JA, et al (2018)

Abiotic factors determine functional outcomes of microbial inoculation of soils from a metal contaminated brownfield.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 168:450-456 pii:S0147-6513(18)31133-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Whole community microbial inoculation can improve soil function in contaminated environments. Here we conducted a case study to investigate whether biotic factors (inoculum) or abiotic factors (soil base) have more impact on the extracellular enzymatic activities in a whole community microbial inoculation. To this end, we cross-inoculated microbial communities between two heavy metal-contaminated soils, with high and low extracellular enzyme activities, respectively. We measured extracellular phosphatase activity, a proxy for soil function, after self- and cross-inoculation of microbial communities into sterilized soils, and all activities were normalized to non-inoculated controls. We found that inoculation increased phosphatase activity in the soils. For soils treated with different inocula, we found significant differences in the microbial community compositions but no significant differences in the extracellular phosphatase activities normalized to their respective sterilized, non-inoculated controls (4.7 ± 1.8 and 3.3 ± 0.5 for soils inoculated with microbial communities from 146 to 43, respectively). On the other hand, normalized phosphatase activities between the two soil bases were significantly different (4.1 ± 0.12 and 1.9 ± 0.12 for soil bases 146 and 43, respectively) regardless of the source of the inoculum that did not vary between soil bases. The results indicate that the abiotic properties of the soils were a significant predictor for phosphatase activity but not for the end-point composition of the microbial community. The findings suggest that targeted microbial inocula from metal contaminated soils can increase phosphatase activity, and likely soil functioning in general, but the degree to which this happens depends on the abiotic environment, in this case, metal contamination.

RevDate: 2018-11-11

Davison JM, PE Wischmeyer (2018)

Probiotic and synbiotic therapy in the critically ill: State of the art.

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 59:29-36 pii:S0899-9007(18)30336-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent medical history has largely viewed our bacterial symbionts as pathogens to be eradicated rather than as essential partners in optimal health. However, one of the most exciting scientific advances in recent years has been the realization that commensal microorganisms (our microbiome) play vital roles in human physiology in nutrition, vitamin synthesis, drug metabolism, protection against infection, and recovery from illness. Recent data show that loss of "health-promoting" microbes and overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria (dysbiosis) in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) appears to contribute to nosocomial infections, sepsis, and poor outcomes. Dysbiosis results from many factors, including ubiquitous antibiotic use and altered nutrition delivery in illness. Despite modern antibiotic therapy, infections and mortality from often multidrug-resistant organisms are increasing. This raises the question of whether restoration of a healthy microbiome via probiotics or synbiotics (probiotic and prebiotic combinations) to intervene on ubiquitous ICU dysbiosis would be an optimal intervention in critical illness to prevent infection and to improve recovery. This review will discuss recent innovative experimental data illuminating mechanistic pathways by which probiotics and synbiotics may provide clinical benefit. Furthermore, a review of recent clinical data demonstrating that probiotics and synbiotics can reduce complications in ICU and other populations will be undertaken. Overall, growing data for probiotic and symbiotic therapy reveal a need for definitive clinical trials of these therapies, as recently performed in healthy neonates. Future studies should target administration of probiotics and synbiotics with known mechanistic benefits to improve patient outcomes. Optimally, future probiotic and symbiotic studies will be conducted using microbiome signatures to characterize actual ICU dysbiosis and determine, and perhaps even personalize, ideal probiotic and symbiotic therapies.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Valdes AM, C Menni (2018)

Inflammatory markers and mediators in heart disease.

Aging pii:101640 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Cześnikiewicz-Guzik M, Nosalski R, Mikolajczyk TP, et al (2018)

Th1 type immune responses to Porphyromonas gingivalis antigens exacerbate Angiotensin II dependent hypertension and vascular dysfunction.

British journal of pharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Emerging evidence indicates that hypertension is mediated by immune mechanisms. We hypothesized that exposure to Porphyromonas gingivalis antigens, commonly encountered in periodontal disease, can enhance immune activation in hypertension and exacerbate blood pressure elevation, vascular inflammation and vascular dysfunction.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Th1 immune response were elicited through immunizations using Porphyromonas gingivalis lysate antigens (10ug) conjugated with aluminium oxide (50ug) and IL-12 (1ug). The hypertension and vascular endothelial dysfunction evoked by sub-pressor doses of Angiotensin II (0.25mg/kg/day) were studied and vascular inflammation was quantified by flow cytometry and real time polymerase chain reaction.

KEY RESULTS: Systemic T cell activation, characteristic for hypertension, was exacerbated by P. gingivalis antigen stimulations. This translated into increased aortic vascular inflammation with enhanced leukocytes, in particular, T cell and macrophage infiltration. Expression of the Th1 cytokines, Interferon-γ and Tumour Necrosis Factor-α and the transcription factor TBX21 was increased in aortas of P. gingivalis/Interleukin-12/aluminium oxide immunized mice, while IL-4 and TGF-β were unchanged. These immune changes in mice with induced T helper type 1 immune responses were associated with enhanced blood pressure elevation and endothelial dysfunction compared to control mice in response to two weeks infusion of a sub-pressor dose of Angiotensin II.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: These studies support the concept that Th1 immune responses induced by bacterial antigens such as P. gingivalis can increase sensitivity to sub-pressor pro-hypertensive insults such as low dose Angiotensin II, therefore providing a mechanistic link between chronic infection such as periodontitis and hypertension.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Mullaney TG, Lam D, Kluger R, et al (2018)

Randomized controlled trial of probiotic use for post-colonoscopy symptoms.

ANZ journal of surgery [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Symptoms of bloating, discomfort and altered bowel function persist post-colonoscopy in up to 20% of patients. A previous randomized controlled trial of probiotics for post-colonoscopy symptoms has demonstrated a reduction in duration of pain with the use of probiotics. This was performed with air insufflation and the question was asked whether the effect would persist with the use of carbon dioxide to insufflate the colon.

METHODS: Eligible patients were recruited and randomized to receive either probiotic or placebo capsules post colonoscopy. A questionnaire was completed documenting the presence of pre-procedural and post-procedural symptoms for the following 2 weeks. The results were entered into a database and processed by an independent statistician. The primary outcome was mean pain score and incidence of bloating over the first 7 days and at 14 days post procedure. The secondary outcome was the time to return of normal bowel function.

RESULTS: Two hundred and forty participants were recruited and randomized (120 probiotic and 120 placebo). Data were available for 75 patients in the probiotic and 75 in the placebo group. There was no significant difference between groups in post-procedural discomfort, bloating nor time to return of normal bowel function. Subgroup analysis of the patients with preexisting symptoms showed a reduction in incidence of bloating with the use of probiotics.

CONCLUSION: There may be a role for the use of probiotics in the subgroup of patients with preexisting symptoms; however, routine use of probiotics to ameliorate post-procedural symptoms of carbon dioxide insufflation colonoscopy cannot be advocated.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Bosch TCG (2019)

Hydra as Model to Determine the Role of FOXO in Longevity.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1890:231-238.

In non-senescent Hydra, continuously high activity of transcription factor FOXO contributes to continuous stem cell proliferation. Here, we describe how genetic manipulation of Hydra polyps using embryo-microinjection allows uncovering the role of FOXO in coordinating both stem cell proliferation and antimicrobial peptide0073 , effector molecules of the innate immune system, and regulators of the microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Tuncil YE, Thakkar RD, Marcia ADR, et al (2018)

Divergent short-chain fatty acid production and succession of colonic microbiota arise in fermentation of variously-sized wheat bran fractions.

Scientific reports, 8(1):16655 pii:10.1038/s41598-018-34912-8.

Though the physical structuring of insoluble dietary fiber sources may strongly impact their processing by microbiota in the colon, relatively little mechanistic information exists to explain how these aspects affect microbial fiber fermentation. Here, we hypothesized that wheat bran fractions varying in size would be fermented differently by gut microbiota, which would lead to size-dependent differences in metabolic fate (as short-chain fatty acids; SCFAs) and community structure. To test this hypothesis, we performed an in vitro fermentation assay in which wheat bran particles from a single source were separated by sieving into five size fractions and inoculated with fecal microbiota from three healthy donors. SCFA production, measured by gas chromatography, uncovered size fraction-dependent relationships between total SCFAs produced as well as the molar ratios of acetate, propionate, and butyrate. 16S rRNA sequencing revealed that these size-dependent metabolic outcomes were accompanied by the development of divergent microbial community structures. We further linked these distinct results to subtle, size-dependent differences in chemical composition. These results suggest that physical context can drive differences in microbiota composition and function, that fiber-microbiota interaction studies should consider size as a variable, and that manipulating the size of insoluble fiber-containing particles might be used to control gut microbiome composition and metabolic output.

RevDate: 2018-11-10

Poudel R, Jumpponen A, Kennelly MM, et al (2018)

Rootstocks shape the rhizobiome: Rhizosphere and endosphere bacterial communities in the grafted tomato system.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.01765-18 [Epub ahead of print].

Root-associated microbes are critical to plant health and performance, although understanding of the factors that structure these microbial communities and theory to predict microbial assemblages are still limited. Here we use a grafted tomato system to study the effects of rootstock genotypes and grafting in endosphere and rhizosphere microbiomes that were evaluated by sequencing 16S rRNA. We compared the microbiomes of nongrafted tomato cultivar BHN589, selfgrafted BHN589, and BHN589 grafted to Maxifort or RST-04-106 hybrid rootstocks. OTU-based bacterial diversity was greater in Maxifort compared to nongraft controls, whereas bacterial diversity in the controls (selfgraft and nongraft) and the other rootstock (RST-04-106) was similar. Grafting itself did not affect bacterial diversity; diversity in the selfgraft was similar to the nongraft. Bacterial diversity was higher in the rhizosphere than in the endosphere for all treatments. However, despite the lower overall diversity, there was a greater number of differentially abundant OTUs (DAOTUs) in the endosphere, with the greatest number of DAOTUs associated with Maxifort. In a PERMANOVA analysis, there was evidence for an effect of rootstock genotype on bacterial communities. The endosphere-rhizosphere compartment and study site explained a high percentage of the differences among bacterial communities. Further analyses identified OTUs responsive to rootstock genotypes in both the endosphere and the rhizosphere. Our findings highlight the effects of rootstocks on bacterial diversity and composition. The influence of rootstock and plant compartment on microbial communities indicates opportunities for the development of designer communities and microbiome-based breeding to improve future crop production.IMPORTANCE Understanding factors that control microbial communities is essential for designing and supporting microbiome-based agriculture. In this study, we used a grafted tomato system to study the effect of rootstock genotypes and grafting on bacterial communities colonizing the endosphere and the rhizosphere. Comparing the bacterial communities in control treatments (nongraft and selfgraft plants) with the hybrid rootstocks used by farmers, we evaluated the effect of rootstocks on overall bacterial diversity and composition. These findings indicate the potential for using plant genotype to indirectly select bacterial taxa. In addition, we identify taxa responsive to each rootstock treatments, which may represent candidate taxa useful for biocontrol and in biofertilizers.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Nathani NM, Mootapally C, BP Dave (2018)

Antibiotic resistance genes allied to the pelagic sediment microbiome in the Gulf of Khambhat and Arabian Sea.

The Science of the total environment, 653:446-454 pii:S0048-9697(18)34309-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotics have been widely spread in the environments, imposing profound stress on the resistome of the residing microbes. Marine microbiomes are well established large reservoirs of novel antibiotics and corresponding resistance genes. The Gulf of Khambhat is known for its extreme tides and complex sedimentation process. We performed high throughput sequencing and applied bioinformatics techniques on pelagic sediment microbiome across four coordinates of the Gulf of Khambhat to assess the marine resistome, its corresponding bacterial community and compared with the open Arabian Sea sample. We identified a total of 2354 unique types of resistance genes, with most abundant and diverse gene profile in the area that had anthropogenic activities being carried out on-shore. The genes with >1% abundance in all samples included carA, macB, sav1866, tlrC, srmB, taeA, tetA, oleC and bcrA which belonged to the macrolides, glycopeptides and peptide drug classes. ARG enriched phyla distribution was quite varying between all the sites, with Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes among the dominant phyla. Based on the outcomes, we also propose potential biomarker candidates Desulfovibrio, Thermotaga and Pelobacter for antibiotic monitoring in the two of the Gulf samples probable contamination prone environments, and genera Nitrosocccus, Marinobacter and Streptomyces in the rest of the three studied samples. Outcomes support the concept that ARGs naturally originate in environments and human activities contribute to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Lin C, Culver J, Weston B, et al (2018)

GutLogo: Agent-based modeling framework to investigate spatial and temporal dynamics in the gut microbiome.

PloS one, 13(11):e0207072 pii:PONE-D-18-16507.

Knowledge of the spatial and temporal dynamics of the gut microbiome is essential to understanding the state of human health, as over a hundred diseases have been correlated with changes in microbial populations. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the microbiome and the limitations of in vivo and in vitro experiments, studying spatial and temporal dynamics of gut bacteria in a biological setting is extremely challenging. Thus, in silico experiments present an excellent alternative for studying such systems. In consideration of these issues, we have developed a user-friendly agent-based model, GutLogo, that captures the spatial and temporal development of four representative bacterial genera populations in the ileum. We demonstrate the utility of this model by simulating population responses to perturbations in flow rate, nutrition, and probiotics. While our model predicts distinct changes in population levels due to these perturbations, most of the simulations suggest that the gut populations will return to their original steady states once the disturbance is removed. We hope that, in the future, the GutLogo model is utilized and customized by interested parties, as GutLogo can serve as a basic modeling framework for simulating a variety of physiological scenarios and can be extended to capture additional complexities of interest.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Shah MS, DeSantis T, Yamal JM, et al (2018)

Re-purposing 16S rRNA gene sequence data from within case paired tumor biopsy and tumor-adjacent biopsy or fecal samples to identify microbial markers for colorectal cancer.

PloS one, 13(11):e0207002 pii:PONE-D-18-19231.

Microbes colonizing colorectal cancer (CRC) tumors have the potential to affect disease, and vice-versa. The manner in which they differ from microbes in physically adjacent tissue or stool within the case in terms of both, taxonomy and biological activity remains unclear. In this study, we systematically analyzed previously published 16S rRNA sequence data from CRC patients with matched tumor:tumor-adjacent biopsies (n = 294 pairs, n = 588 biospecimens) and matched tumor biopsy:fecal pairs (n = 42 pairs, n = 84 biospecimens). Procrustes analyses, random effects regression, random forest (RF) modeling, and inferred functional pathway analyses were conducted to assess community similarity and microbial diversity across heterogeneous patient groups and studies. Our results corroborate previously reported association of increased Fusobacterium with tumor biopsies. Parvimonas and Streptococcus abundances were also elevated while Faecalibacterium and Ruminococcaceae abundances decreased in tumors relative to tumor-adjacent biopsies and stool samples from the same case. With the exception of these limited taxa, the majority of findings from individual studies were not confirmed by other 16S rRNA gene-based datasets. RF models comparing tumor and tumor-adjacent specimens yielded an area under curve (AUC) of 64.3%, and models of tumor biopsies versus fecal specimens exhibited an AUC of 82.5%. Although some taxa were shared between fecal and tumor samples, their relative abundances varied substantially. Inferred functional analysis identified potential differences in branched amino acid and lipid metabolism. Microbial markers that reliably occur in tumor tissue can have implications for microbiome based and microbiome targeting therapeutics for CRC.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Taroncher-Oldenburg G, Jones S, Blaser M, et al (2018)

Translating microbiome futures.

Nature biotechnology, 36(11):1037-1042.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Kwak MJ, Kong HG, Choi K, et al (2018)

Author Correction: Rhizosphere microbiome structure alters to enable wilt resistance in tomato.

Nature biotechnology, 36(11):1117.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Sapountzis P, Nash DR, Schiøtt M, et al (2018)

The evolution of abdominal microbiomes in fungus-growing ants.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The attine ants are a monophyletic lineage that switched to fungus-farming ca. 55-60 MYA. They have become a model for the study of complex symbioses after additional fungal and bacterial symbionts were discovered, but their abdominal endosymbiotic bacteria remain largely unknown. Here we present a comparative microbiome analysis of endosymbiotic bacteria spanning the entire phylogenetic tree. We show that, across 17 representative sympatric species from eight genera sampled in Panama, abdominal microbiomes are dominated by Mollicutes, α- and γ-Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Bacterial abundances increase from basal to crown branches in the phylogeny reflecting a shift towards putative specialized and abundant abdominal microbiota after the ants domesticated gongylidia-bearing cultivars, but before the origin of industrial-scale farming based on leaf-cutting herbivory. This transition coincided with the ancestral single colonization event of Central/North America ca. 20 MYA, documented in a recent phylogenomic study showing that the entire crown-group of the higher attine ants, including the leaf-cutting ants, evolved there and not in South America. Several bacterial species are located in gut tissues or abdominal organs of the evolutionarily derived, but not the basal attine ants. The composition of abdominal microbiomes appears to be affected by the presence/absence of defensive antibiotic-producing actinobacterial biofilms on the worker ants' cuticle, but the significance of this association remains unclear. The patterns of diversity, abundance, and sensitivity of the abdominal microbiomes that we obtained explore novel territory in the comparative analysis of attine fungus-farming symbioses and raise new questions for further in-depth research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Dror H, Novak L, Evans JS, et al (2018)

Core and Dynamic Microbial Communities of Two Invasive Ascidians: Can Host-Symbiont Dynamics Plasticity Affect Invasion Capacity?.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-018-1276-z [Epub ahead of print].

Ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea) are considered to be prominent marine invaders, able to tolerate highly polluted environments and fluctuations in salinity and temperature. Here, we examined the seasonal and spatial dynamics of the microbial communities in the inner-tunic of two invasive ascidians, Styela plicata (Lesueur 1823) and Herdmania momus (Savigny 1816), in order to investigate the changes that occur in the microbiome of non-indigenous ascidians in different environments. Microbial communities were characterized using next-generation sequencing of partial (V4) 16S rRNA gene sequences. A clear differentiation between the ascidian-associated microbiome and bacterioplankton was observed, and two distinct sets of operational taxonomic units (OTUs), one core and the other dynamic, were recovered from both species. The relative abundance of the dynamic OTUs in H. momus was higher than in S. plicata, for which core OTU structure was maintained independently of location. Ten and seventeen core OTUs were identified in S. plicata and H. momus, respectively, including taxa with reported capabilities of carbon fixing, ammonia oxidization, denitrification, and heavy-metal processing. The ascidian-sourced dynamic OTUs clustered in response to site and season but significantly differed from the bacterioplankton community structure. These findings suggest that the associations between invasive ascidians and their symbionts may enhance host functionality while maintaining host adaptability to changing environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Van den Abbeele P, Kamil A, Fleige L, et al (2018)

Different Oat Ingredients Stimulate Specific Microbial Metabolites in the Gut Microbiome of Three Human Individuals in Vitro.

ACS omega, 3(10):12446-12456.

We used a standardized in vitro simulation of the intestinal environment of three human donors to investigate the effect of six oat ingredients, which were produced by the application of different processing techniques, on the gut microbial community. Fructooligosaccharide was used as the positive control. Consistent changes in pH and gas production, on average -0.4 pH units and +32 kPa, indicated the high fermentability of the oat ingredients, and the resulting increased production of metabolites that are considered as beneficial for human health. These metabolites included acetate and lactate, but mostly propionate (+13.6 mM on average). All oat ingredients resulted in increased bifidobacteria levels with an average increase of 0.73 log. Moreover, a decreased production of proteolytic markers was observed, including branched short-chain fatty acids and ammonium. The results were donor-specific and product-specific. The results suggested an association between the total amounts of dietary fiber and the prebiotic potentials of different ingredients. Furthermore, as mechanical processing of oat products has previously been linked to increased extractability of dietary fibers, the obtained results suggest that different processing techniques might have impacted the potential functional properties of the final ingredients.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Morris JJ (2018)

What is the hologenome concept of evolution?.

F1000Research, 7:.

All multicellular organisms are colonized by microbes, but a gestalt study of the composition of microbiome communities and their influence on the ecology and evolution of their macroscopic hosts has only recently become possible. One approach to thinking about the topic is to view the host-microbiome ecosystem as a "holobiont". Because natural selection acts on an organism's realized phenotype, and the phenotype of a holobiont is the result of the integrated activities of both the host and all of its microbiome inhabitants, it is reasonable to think that evolution can act at the level of the holobiont and cause changes in the "hologenome", or the collective genomic content of all the individual bionts within the holobiont. This relatively simple assertion has nevertheless been controversial within the microbiome community. Here, I provide a review of recent work on the hologenome concept of evolution. I attempt to provide a clear definition of the concept and its implications and to clarify common points of disagreement.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Wu J, Xu S, Xiang C, et al (2018)

Tongue Coating Microbiota Community and Risk Effect on Gastric Cancer.

Journal of Cancer, 9(21):4039-4048 pii:jcav09p4039.

Background: Although oral hygiene and health have long been reported to be associated with increased risk of gastric cancer (GC), the direct relationship of oral microbes with the risk of GC have not been evaluated fully. We aimed to test whether tongue coating microbiome was associated with GC risk. Methods: Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene of tongue coating microbiome was used in 57 newly diagnosed gastric adenocarcinomas and 80 healthy controls. Benjamini-Hochberg (BH) was applied for multiple comparison correction. Co-abundance group (CAGs) analysis was adopted. Results: We found that higher relative abundance of Firmicutes, and lower of Bacteroidetes were associated with increased risk of GC. In genus level, Streptococcus trended with a higher risk of GC, the four other genera (Neisseria, Prevotella, Prevotella7, and Porphyromonas) were found to have a decreased risk of GC. Different from overall GC and non-cardia cancer, Alloprevotella and Veillonella trended with the higher risk of cardia cancer. Finally, we analyzed the microbiota by determining CAGs and six clusters were identified. Except the Cluster 2 (mainly Streptococcus and Abiotrophia), the other clusters had an inverse association with GC. Of them, the Cluster 6 (mainly Prevotella and Prevotella7 etc) had a relatively good classification power with 0.76 of AUC. Conclusion: Microbiome in tongue coating may have potential guiding value for early detection and prevention of GC.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Alexander W (2018)

2018 European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 43(11):689-693.

We review sessions on the association of diuretic use and amputations, albiglutide and cardiovascular outcomes with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, how lorcaserin affects diabetes in overweight patients, how testosterone therapy improves diabetes in hypogonadal men, the pros and cons of gastric bypass surgery, how low-calorie sweeteners affect the gut microbiome, and more.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Tang WHW, Li DY, SL Hazen (2018)

Dietary metabolism, the gut microbiome, and heart failure.

Nature reviews. Cardiology pii:10.1038/s41569-018-0108-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Advances in our understanding of how the gut microbiota contributes to human health and diseases have expanded our insight into how microbial composition and function affect the human host. Heart failure is associated with splanchnic circulation congestion, leading to bowel wall oedema and impaired intestinal barrier function. This situation is thought to heighten the overall inflammatory state via increased bacterial translocation and the presence of bacterial products in the systemic blood circulation. Several metabolites produced by gut microorganisms from dietary metabolism have been linked to pathologies such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. These findings suggest that the gut microbiome functions like an endocrine organ by generating bioactive metabolites that can directly or indirectly affect host physiology. In this Review, we discuss several newly discovered gut microbial metabolic pathways, including the production of trimethylamine and trimethylamine N-oxide, short-chain fatty acids, and secondary bile acids, that seem to participate in the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases, including heart failure. We also discuss the gut microbiome as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, and potential strategies for targeting intestinal microbial processes.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Tian Y, Cai J, Gui W, et al (2018)

Berberine Directly Impacts the Gut Microbiota to Promote Intestinal Farnesoid X Receptor Activation.

Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals pii:dmd.118.083691 [Epub ahead of print].

Intestinal bacteria play an important role in bile acid metabolism and in the regulation of multiple host metabolic pathways (e.g., lipid and glucose homeostasis) through modulation of intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) activity. Here, we examined the effect of berberine (BBR), a natural plant alkaloid, on intestinal bacteria using in vitro and in vivo models. In vivo, the metabolomic response and changes in mouse intestinal bacterial communities treated with BBR (100 mg/kg) for 5 days were assessed using NMR- and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics coupled with multivariate data analysis. Short-term BBR exposure altered intestinal bacteria by reducing the Clostridium cluster XIVa and IV and their bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity, which resulted in the accumulation of taurocholic acid (TCA). The accumulation of TCA was associated with activation of intestinal FXR, which can mediate bile acid, lipid, and glucose metabolism. In vitro, isolated mouse cecal bacteria were incubated with three doses of BBR (0.1, 1, and 10 mg/ml) for 4 h in an anaerobic chamber. NMR-based metabolomics combined with flow cytometry was used to evaluate the direct physiologic and metabolic impact of BBR on the bacteria. In vitro, BBR exposure not only altered bacterial physiology, but also changed the bacterial community composition and function, especially reducing BSH expressing bacteria like Clostridium spp. These data suggest that BBR directly impacts bacteria to alter bile acid metabolism and activate FXR signaling. These data provide new insights into the link between intestinal bacteria, nuclear receptor signaling, and xenobiotics.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Wang H, Shou Y, Zhu X, et al (2019)

Stability of vitamin B12 with the protection of whey proteins and their effects on the gut microbiome.

Food chemistry, 276:298-306.

Cobalamin degrades in the presence of light and heat, which causes spectral changes and loss of coenzyme activity. In the presence of beta-lactoglobulin or alpha-lactalbumin, the thermal- and photostabilities of adenosylcobalamin (ADCBL) and cyanocobalamin (CNCBL) are increased by 10-30%. Similarly, the stabilities of ADCBL and CNCBL are increased in the presence of whey proteins by 19.7% and 2.2%, respectively, when tested in gastric juice for 2 h. Due to the limited absorption of cobalamin during digestion, excess cobalamin can enter the colon and modulate the gut microbiome. In a colonic model in vitro, supplementation with cobalamin and whey enhanced the proportions of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes spp. and reduced those of Proteobacteria spp., which includes pathogens such as Escherichia and Shigella spp., and Pseudomonas spp. Thus, while complex formation could improve the stability and bioavailability of cobalamin, these complexes might also mediate gut microecology to influence human nutrition and health.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Shinde R, TL McGaha (2018)

The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: Connecting Immunity to the Microenvironment.

Trends in immunology pii:S1471-4906(18)30194-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a cytoplasmic receptor and transcription factor activated through cognate ligand binding. It is an important factor in immunity and tissue homeostasis, and structurally diverse compounds from the environment, diet, microbiome, and host metabolism can induce AhR activity. Emerging evidence suggests that AhR is a key sensor allowing immune cells to adapt to environmental conditions and changes in AhR activity have been associated with autoimmune disorders and cancer. Furthermore, AhR agonists or antagonists can impact immune disease outcomes identifying AhR as a potentially actionable target for immunotherapy. In this review, we describe known ligands stimulating AhR activity, downstream proinflammatory and suppressive mechanisms potentiated by AhR, and how this understanding is being applied to immunopathology to help control disease outcomes.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Ma C, Sun Z, Zeng B, et al (2018)

Cow-to-mouse fecal transplantations suggest intestinal microbiome as one cause of mastitis.

Microbiome, 6(1):200 pii:10.1186/s40168-018-0578-1.

BACKGROUND: Mastitis, which affects nearly all lactating mammals including human, is generally thought to be caused by local infection of the mammary glands. For treatment, antibiotics are commonly prescribed, which however are of concern in both treatment efficacy and neonate safety. Here, using bovine mastitis which is the most costly disease in the dairy industry as a model, we showed that intestinal microbiota alone can lead to mastitis.

RESULTS: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from mastitis, but not healthy cows, to germ-free (GF) mice resulted in mastitis symptoms in mammary gland and inflammations in serum, spleen, and colon. Probiotic intake in parallel with FMT from diseased cows led to relieved mastitis symptoms in mice, by shifting the murine intestinal microbiota to a state that is functionally distinct from either healthy or diseased microbiota yet structurally similar to the latter. Despite conservation in mastitis symptoms, diseased cows and mice shared few mastitis-associated bacterial organismal or functional markers, suggesting striking divergence in mastitis-associated intestinal microbiota among lactating mammals. Moreover, an "amplification effect" of disease-health distinction in both microbiota structure and function was apparent during the cow-to-mouse FMT.

CONCLUSIONS: Hence, dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota may be one cause of mastitis, and probiotics that restore intestinal microbiota function are an effective and safe strategy to treat mastitis.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Rounge TB, Meisal R, Nordby JI, et al (2018)

Evaluating gut microbiota profiles from archived fecal samples.

BMC gastroenterology, 18(1):171 pii:10.1186/s12876-018-0896-6.

BACKGROUND: Associations between colorectal cancer and microbiota have been identified. Archived fecal samples might be valuable sample sources for investigating causality in carcinogenesis and biomarkers discovery due to the potential of performing longitudinal studies. However, the quality, quantity and stability of the gut microbiota in these fecal samples must be assessed prior to such studies. We evaluated i) cross-contamination during analysis for fecal blood and ii) evaporation in stored perforated fecal immunochemical tests (iFOBT) samples, iii) temperature stability as well as iv) comparison of the gut microbiota diversity and composition in archived, iFOBT and fresh fecal samples in order to assess feasibility of large scale microbiota studies.

METHODS: The microbiota profiles were obtained by sequencing the V3-V4 region of 16S rDNA gene.

RESULTS: The iFOBT does not introduce any cross-sample contamination detectable by qPCR. Neither could we detect evaporation during freeze-thaw cycle of perforated iFOBT samples. Our results confirm room temperature stability of the gut microbiome. Diverse microbial profiles were achieved in 100% of fresh, 81% of long-term archived and 96% of iFOBT samples. Microbial diversity and composition were comparable between fresh and iFOBT samples, however, diversity differed significantly between long-term archived, fresh and iFOBT samples.

CONCLUSION: Our data showed that it is feasible to exploit archived fecal sample sets originally collected for testing of fecal blood. The advantages of using these sample sets for microbial biomarker discovery and longitudinal observational studies are the availability of high-quality diagnostic and follow-up data. However, care must be taken when microbiota are profiled in long-term archived fecal samples.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Heeney DD, Zhai Z, Bendiks Z, et al (2018)

Lactobacillus plantarum bacteriocin is associated with intestinal and systemic improvements in diet-induced obese mice and maintains epithelial barrier integrity in vitro.

Gut microbes [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the Lactobacillus plantarum bacteriocin plantaricin EF (PlnEF) system for its contributions to L. plantarum mediated benefits in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. C57BL/6J mice on a high-fat diet (HFD) were administered a rifampicin resistant mutant of L. plantarum NCMIB8826 (NICMB8826-R) or an isogenic ΔplnEFI mutant strain, LM0419, every 48 h for nine weeks. Mice fed wild-type L. plantarum, but not LM0419, reduced their consumption of the HFD starting three weeks into the study and exhibited an overall 10% reduction in weight gain. The responses were independent of glucose homeostasis, as both NCMIB8826-R and LM0419 fed mice had improved oral glucose tolerance compared to sham controls. Although bacteriocins have antibacterial properties, the ileal, cecal, and fecal microbiota and cecocolic metabolomes were unchanged between mice fed either wild-type L. plantarum or the ΔplnEFI mutant. Instead, only mice fed NCMIB8826-R showed an increased production of ZO-1 in ileal tissues. To verify a potential role for the plantaricin EF system in supporting intestinal epithelial function, synthesized PlnEF peptides were applied to Caco-2 cell monolayers challenged with TNF-α and IFN-γ. The combination of PlnE and PlnF were required to prevent sustained cytokine-induced losses to Caco-2 cell para- and transcellular permeability and elevated IL-8 levels. In conclusion, this study shows that probiotic L. plantarum ameliorates the effects of obesogenic diets through a mechanism that involves the plantaricin EF system and likely includes L. plantarum - induced fortification of the intestinal epithelium.

RevDate: 2018-11-09

Maki KA, Diallo AF, Lockwood MB, et al (2018)

Considerations When Designing a Microbiome Study: Implications for Nursing Science.

Biological research for nursing [Epub ahead of print].

Nurse scientists play an important role in studying complex relationships among human genetics, environmental factors, and the microbiome, all of which can contribute to human health and disease. Therefore, it is essential that they have the tools necessary to execute a successful microbiome research study. The purpose of this article is to highlight important methodological factors for nurse scientists to consider when designing a microbiome study. In addition to considering factors that influence host-associated microbiomes (i.e., microorganisms associated with organisms such as humans, mice, and rats), this manuscript highlights study designs and methods for microbiome analysis. Exemplars are presented from nurse scientists who have incorporated microbiome methods into their program of research. This review is intended to be a resource to guide nursing-focused microbiome research and highlights how study of the microbiome can be incorporated to answer research questions.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Kang TH, HJ Kim (2016)

Farewell to Animal Testing: Innovations on Human Intestinal Microphysiological Systems.

Micromachines, 7(7): pii:mi7070107.

The human intestine is a dynamic organ where the complex host-microbe interactions that orchestrate intestinal homeostasis occur. Major contributing factors associated with intestinal health and diseases include metabolically-active gut microbiota, intestinal epithelium, immune components, and rhythmical bowel movement known as peristalsis. Human intestinal disease models have been developed; however, a considerable number of existing models often fail to reproducibly predict human intestinal pathophysiology in response to biological and chemical perturbations or clinical interventions. Intestinal organoid models have provided promising cytodifferentiation and regeneration, but the lack of luminal flow and physical bowel movements seriously hamper mimicking complex host-microbe crosstalk. Here, we discuss recent advances of human intestinal microphysiological systems, such as the biomimetic human "Gut-on-a-Chip" that can employ key intestinal components, such as villus epithelium, gut microbiota, and immune components under peristalsis-like motions and flow, to reconstitute the transmural 3D lumen-capillary tissue interface. By encompassing cutting-edge tools in microfluidics, tissue engineering, and clinical microbiology, gut-on-a-chip has been leveraged not only to recapitulate organ-level intestinal functions, but also emulate the pathophysiology of intestinal disorders, such as chronic inflammation. Finally, we provide potential perspectives of the next generation microphysiological systems as a personalized platform to validate the efficacy, safety, metabolism, and therapeutic responses of new drug compounds in the preclinical stage.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

DeFilipp Z, Hohmann E, Jenq RR, et al (2018)

Fecal microbiota transplantation: restoring the injured microbiome after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation pii:S1083-8791(18)30693-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Disruption of the intestinal microbiome early after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) has been linked to adverse outcomes in transplant recipients. To date, it remains unknown as to whether microbiome-directed interventions will be able to impact important clinical endpoints. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a compelling intervention to restore healthy diversity to the intestinal microenvironment after allo-HCT, but currently has no established role in transplant recipients. In this review, we examine the utilization of FMT as treatment for Clostridium difficile infections and acute graft-versus-host disease, as well as a restorative intervention early after allo-HCT. Ongoing and planned studies will help determine the ultimate role of FMT in recipients of allo-HCT.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Wah DTO, Ossenkopp KP, Bishnoi I, et al (2018)

Predator odor exposure in early adolescence influences the effects of the bacterial product, propionic acid, on anxiety, sensorimotor gating, and acoustic startle response in male rats in later adolescence and adulthood.

Physiology & behavior pii:S0031-9384(18)30664-4 [Epub ahead of print].

It is becoming evident than the adolescent period is a sensitive period in stress response programming. Stressors during this time may alter signaling from the gut microbiome, which has been shown to increase the risk for psychiatric disorders. It was hypothesized that adolescent stressors may potentiate the symptoms of anxiety and sensory abnormalities induced by a gut bacterial product, the short-chain fatty acid, propionic acid (PPA). The present study investigated the effects of repeated predator odor exposure during early adolescence on male rats administered PPA in late adolescence and adulthood on a behavioral test battery. Male adolescent Long-Evans rats were repeatedly exposed to a worn or unworn cat collar stimulus in early adolescence on postnatal days (P) 28, P30, P32, and P34. They were administered either PPA (500 mg/kg i.p.), or its vehicle in late adolescence on P40 and P43, and were subsequently tested on the light-dark anxiety task and acoustic startle task, respectively. In adulthood, the rats were again injected with PPA or its vehicle on P74 and P77, and subsequently tested on the light-dark apparatus and acoustic startle task, respectively. The repeated predator odor exposure was aversive and produced long-term anxiogenic effects as measured by the light-dark apparatus. PPA decreased activity and percent prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, with its effects on vertical activity, a putative measure of escape behavior, being potentiated by prior predator stress. PPA's effects in adulthood were diminished in comparison to adolescence. These results suggest the importance of evaluating the effects of early adolescent stress on subsequent environmental insults on the development of behavioral abnormalities.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Kodama WA, Xu Z, Metcalf JL, et al (2018)

Trace Evidence Potential in Postmortem Skin Microbiomes: From Death Scene to Morgue.

Journal of forensic sciences [Epub ahead of print].

Microbes can be used effectively as trace evidence, at least in research settings. However, it is unknown whether skin microbiomes change prior to autopsy and, if so, whether these changes interfere with linking objects to decedents. The current study included microbiomes from 16 scenes of death in the City and County of Honolulu and tested whether objects at the scenes can be linked to individual decedents. Postmortem skin microbiomes were stable during repeated sampling up to 60 h postmortem and were similar to microbiomes of an antemortem population. Objects could be traced to decedents approximately 75% of the time, with smoking pipes and medical devices being especially accurate (100% match), house and car keys being poor (0%), and other objects like phones intermediate (~80%). These results show that microbes from objects at death scenes can be matched to individual decedents, opening up a new method of establishing associations and identifications.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Wu HX, Chen X, Chen H, et al (2018)

Variation and diversification of the microbiome of Schlechtendalia chinensis on two alternate host plants.

PloS one, 13(11):e0200049 pii:PONE-D-18-17693.

Schlechtendalia chinensis, a gall-inducing aphid, has two host plants in its life cycle. Its wintering host is a moss (typically Plagiomnium maximoviczii) and its main host is Rhus chinensis (Sumac), on which it forms galls during the summer. This study investigated bacteria associated with S. chinensis living on the two different host plants by sequencing 16S rRNAs. A total of 183 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) from 50 genera were identified from aphids living on moss, whereas 182 OTUs from 49 genera were found from aphids living in Sumac galls. The most abundant bacterial genus among identified OTUs from aphids feeding on both hosts was Buchnera. Despite similar numbers of OTUs, the composition of bacterial taxa showed significant differences between aphids living on moss and those living on R. chinensis. Specifically, there were 12 OTUs from 5 genera (family) unique to aphids living on moss, and 11 OTUs from 4 genera (family) unique to aphids feeding in galls on R. chinensis. Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) also revealed that bacteria from moss-residing aphids clustered differently from aphids collected from galls. Our results provide a foundation for future analyses on the roles of symbiotic bacteria in plant-aphid interactions in general, and how gall-specific symbionts differ in this respect.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Dempsey JL, Wang D, Siginir G, et al (2018)

Pharmacological Activation of PXR and CAR Down-regulates Distinct Bile Acid-metabolizing Intestinal Bacteria and Alters Bile Acid Homeostasis.

Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology pii:5165407 [Epub ahead of print].

The gut microbiome regulates important host metabolic pathways including xenobiotic metabolism and intermediary metabolism, such as the conversion of primary bile acids (BAs) into secondary BAs. The nuclear receptors pregnane X receptor (PXR) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) are well-known regulators for xenobiotic biotransformation in liver. However, little is known regarding the potential effects of PXR and CAR on the composition and function of the gut microbiome. To test our hypothesis that activation of PXR and CAR regulates gut microbiota and secondary BA synthesis, nine-week-old male conventional (CV) and germ-free (GF) mice were orally gavaged with corn oil, PXR agonist PCN (75 mg/kg), or CAR agonist TCPOBOP (3 mg/kg) once daily for four days. PCN and TCPOBOP decreased two taxa in the Bifidobacterium genus, which corresponded with decreased gene abundance of the BA-deconjugating enzyme bile salt hydrolase. In liver and small intestinal content (SIC) of GF mice, there was a TCPOBOP-mediated increase in total, primary, and conjugated BAs corresponding with increased Cyp7a1 mRNA. Bifidobacterium, Dorea, Peptociccaceae, Anaeroplasma, and Ruminococcus positively correlated with T-UDCA in LIC, but negatively correlated with T-CDCA in serum. In conclusion, PXR and CAR activation down-regulates BA-metabolizing bacteria in the intestine and modulates BA homeostasis in a gut microbiota-dependent manner.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Zhang X, Guo R, Kambara H, et al (2018)

The role of CXCR2 in acute inflammatory responses and its antagonists as anti-inflammatory therapeutics.

Current opinion in hematology [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: CXCR2 is key stimulant of immune cell migration and recruitment, especially of neutrophils. Alleviating excessive neutrophil accumulation and infiltration could prevent prolonged tissue damage in inflammatory disorders. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of the role of CXCR2 in regulating neutrophil migration and the use of CXCR2 antagonists for therapeutic benefit in inflammatory disorders.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have provided new insights into how CXCR2 signaling regulates hematopoietic cell mobilization and function in both health and disease. We also summarize several CXCR2 regulatory mechanisms during infection and inflammation such as via Wip1, T-bet, P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1, granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor, and microbiome. Moreover, we provide an update of studies investigating CXCR2 blockade in the laboratory and in clinical trials.

SUMMARY: Neutrophil homeostasis, migration, and recruitment must be precisely regulated. The CXCR2 signaling pathway is a potential target for modifying neutrophil dynamics in inflammatory disorders. We discuss the recent clinical use of CXCR2 antagonists for controlling inflammation.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Whidbey C, AT Wright (2018)

Activity-Based Protein Profiling-Enabling Multimodal Functional Studies of Microbial Communities.

Current topics in microbiology and immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Microorganisms living in community are critical to life on Earth, playing numerous and profound roles in the environment and human and animal health. Though their essentiality to life is clear, the mechanistic underpinnings of community structure, interactions, and functions are largely unexplored and in need of function-dependent technologies to unravel the mysteries. Activity-based protein profiling offers unprecedented molecular-level characterization of functions within microbial communities and provides an avenue to determine how external exposures result in functional alterations to microbiomes. Herein, we illuminate the current state and prospective contributions of ABPP as it relates to microbial communities. We provide details on the design, development, and validation of probes, challenges associated with probing in complex microbial communities, provide some specific examples of the biological applications of ABPP in microbes and microbial communities, and highlight potential areas for development. The future of ABPP holds real promise for understanding and considerable impact in microbiome studies associated with personalized medicine, precision agriculture, veterinary health, environmental studies, and beyond.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Gao B, Chi L, Tu P, et al (2018)

The carbamate aldicarb altered the gut microbiome, metabolome and lipidome of C57BL/6J mice.

Chemical research in toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

The gut microbiome is highly involved in numerous aspects of host physiology, from energy harvest to stress response, and can confer many benefits to the host. The gut microbiome development could be affected by genetic and environmental factors, including the pesticides. The carbamate insecticide aldicarb has been extensively used in agriculture, which raises serious public health concern. However, the impact of aldicarb on the gut microbiome, host metabolome and lipidome has not been well studied yet. Herein, we use multi-omics approaches, including16S rRNA sequencing, shotgun metagenomics sequencing, metabolomics and lipidomics, to elucidate aldicarb-induced toxicity in the gut microbiome and the host metabolic homeostasis. We demonstrated that aldicarb perturbed the gut microbiome development trajectory, enhanced gut bacterial pathogenicity, altered complex lipid profile, induced oxidative stress, protein degradation and DNA damage. The brain metabolism was also disturbed by the aldicarb exposure. These findings may provide a novel understanding of the toxicity of carbamate insecticides.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Li Y, Dugyala SR, Ptacek TS, et al (2018)

Maternal Immune Activation Alters Adult Behavior, Gut Microbiome and Juvenile Brain Oscillations in Ferrets.

eNeuro, 5(5): pii:eN-NWR-0313-18.

Maternal immune activation (MIA) has been identified as a causal factor in psychiatric disorders by epidemiological studies in humans and mechanistic studies in rodent models. Addressing this gap in species between mice and human will accelerate the understanding of the role of MIA in the etiology of psychiatric disorders. Here, we provide the first study of MIA in the ferret (Mustela putorius furo), an animal model with a rich history of developmental investigations due to the similarities in developmental programs and cortical organization with primates. We found that after MIA by injection of PolyIC in the pregnant mother animal, the adult offspring exhibited reduced social behavior, less eye contact with humans, decreased recognition memory, a sex-specific increase in amphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion, and altered gut microbiome. We also studied the neurophysiological properties of the MIA ferrets in development by in-vivo recordings of the local field potential (LFP) from visual cortex in five- to six-week-old animals, and found that the spontaneous and sensory-evoked LFP had decreased power, especially in the gamma frequency band. Overall, our results provide the first evidence for the detrimental effect of MIA in ferrets and support the use of the ferret as an intermediate model species for the study of disorders with neurodevelopmental origin.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Shang Y, Kumar S, Oakley B, et al (2018)

Chicken Gut Microbiota: Importance and Detection Technology.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 5:254.

Sustainable poultry meat and egg production is important to provide safe and quality protein sources in human nutrition worldwide. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of chickens harbor a diverse and complex microbiota that plays a vital role in digestion and absorption of nutrients, immune system development and pathogen exclusion. However, the integrity, functionality, and health of the chicken gut depends on many factors including the environment, feed, and the GI microbiota. The symbiotic interactions between host and microbe is fundamental to poultry health and production. The diversity of the chicken GI microbiota is largely influenced by the age of the birds, location in the digestive tract and diet. Until recently, research on the poultry GI microbiota relied on conventional microbiological techniques that can only culture a small proportion of the complex community comprising the GI microbiota. 16S rRNA based next generation sequencing is a powerful tool to investigate the biological and ecological roles of the GI microbiota in chicken. Although several challenges remain in understanding the chicken GI microbiome, optimizing the taxonomic composition and biochemical functions of the GI microbiome is an attainable goal in the post-genomic era. This article reviews the current knowledge on the chicken GI function and factors that influence the diversity of gut microbiota. Further, this review compares past and current approaches that are used in chicken GI microbiota research. A better understanding of the chicken gut function and microbiology will provide us new opportunities for the improvement of poultry health and production.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Tsaousis AD, Hamblin KA, Elliott CR, et al (2018)

The Human Gut Colonizer Blastocystis Respires Using Complex II and Alternative Oxidase to Buffer Transient Oxygen Fluctuations in the Gut.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 8:371.

Blastocystis is the most common eukaryotic microbe in the human gut. It is linked to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but its role in disease has been contested considering its widespread nature. This organism is well-adapted to its anoxic niche and lacks typical eukaryotic features, such as a cytochrome-driven mitochondrial electron transport. Although generally considered a strict or obligate anaerobe, its genome encodes an alternative oxidase. Alternative oxidases are energetically wasteful enzymes as they are non-protonmotive and energy is liberated in heat, but they are considered to be involved in oxidative stress protective mechanisms. Our results demonstrate that the Blastocystis cells themselves respire oxygen via this alternative oxidase thereby casting doubt on its strict anaerobic nature. Inhibition experiments using alternative oxidase and Complex II specific inhibitors clearly demonstrate their role in cellular respiration. We postulate that the alternative oxidase in Blastocystis is used to buffer transient oxygen fluctuations in the gut and that it likely is a common colonizer of the human gut and not causally involved in IBS. Additionally the alternative oxidase could act as a protective mechanism in a dysbiotic gut and thereby explain the absence of Blastocystis in established IBS environments.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Cicala F, Cisterna-Céliz JA, Moore JD, et al (2018)

Structure, dynamics and predicted functional role of the gut microbiota of the blue (Haliotis fulgens) and yellow (H. corrugata) abalone from Baja California Sur, Mexico.

PeerJ, 6:e5830 pii:5830.

The GI microbiota of abalone contains a highly complex bacterial assemblage playing an essential role in the overall health of these gastropods. The gut bacterial communities of abalone species characterized so far reveal considerable interspecific variability, likely resulting from bacterial interactions and constrained by the ecology of their abalone host species; however, they remain poorly investigated. Additionally, the extent to which structural changes in the microbiota entail functional shifts in metabolic pathways of bacterial communities remains unexplored. In order to address these questions, we characterized the gut microbiota of the northeast Pacific blue (Haliotis fulgens or HF) and yellow (Haliotis corrugata or HC) abalone by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing to shed light on: (i) their gut microbiota structure; (ii) how bacteria may interact among them; and (iii) predicted shifts in bacterial metabolic functions associated with the observed structural changes. Our findings revealed that Mycoplasma dominated the GI microbiome in both species. However, the structure of the bacterial communities differed significantly in spite of considerable intraspecific variation. This resulted from changes in predominant species composition in each GI microbiota, suggesting host-specific adaptation of bacterial lineages to these sympatric abalone. We hypothesize that the presence of exclusive OTUs in each microbiota may relate to host-specific differences in competitive pressure. Significant differences in bacterial diversity were found between species for the explored metabolic pathways despite their functional overlap. A more diverse array of bacteria contributed to each function in HC, whereas a single or much fewer OTUs were generally observed in HF. The structural and functional analyses allowed us to describe a significant taxonomic split and functional overlap between the microbiota of HF and HC abalone.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Singer G, Kashofer K, Castellani C, et al (2018)

Hirschsprung's Associated Enterocolitis (HAEC) Personalized Treatment with Probiotics Based on Gene Sequencing Analysis of the Fecal Microbiome.

Case reports in pediatrics, 2018:3292309.

Approximately 40% of children with Hirschsprung's disease (HD) suffer from Hirschsprung's associated enterocolitis (HAEC) despite correct surgery. Disturbances of the intestinal microbiome may play a role. Treatment with probiotics based on individual analyses of the fecal microbiome has not been published for HD patients with recurrent HAEC yet. A boy with trisomy 21 received transanal pull-through at the age of 6 months for rectosigmoid HD. With four years, he suffered from recurrent episodes of HAEC. The fecal microbiome was measured during three healthy and three HAEC episodes by next-generation sequencing. The patient was started on daily probiotics for 3 months; the fecal microbiome was measured weekly. The fecal microbiome differed significantly between healthy and HAEC episodes. HAEC episodes were associated with significant decreases of Actinobacteria and significant increases of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Probiotic treatment led to a significant increase of alpha diversity and a significant increase of Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus as well as decreases of Rikenellaceae, Pseudobutyrivibrio, Blautia, and Lachnospiraceae. A longitudinal observation of the microbiome has never been performed following correction of Hirschsprung's disease. Probiotic treatment significantly changed the fecal microbiome; the alterations were not limited to strains contained in the administered probiotics.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Syranidou E, Thijs S, Avramidou M, et al (2018)

Responses of the Endophytic Bacterial Communities of Juncus acutus to Pollution With Metals, Emerging Organic Pollutants and to Bioaugmentation With Indigenous Strains.

Frontiers in plant science, 9:1526.

Plants and their associated bacteria play a crucial role in constructed wetlands. In this study, the impact of different levels of pollution and bioaugmentation with indigenous strains individually or in consortia was investigated on the composition of the endophytic microbial communities of Juncus acutus. Five treatments were examined and compared in where the wetland plant was exposed to increasing levels of metal pollution (Zn, Ni, Cd) and emerging pollutants (BPA, SMX, CIP), enriched with different combinations of single or mixed endophytic strains. High levels of mixed pollution had a negative effect on alpha diversity indices of the root communities; moreover, the diversity indices were negatively correlated with the increasing metal concentrations. It was demonstrated that the root communities were separated depending on the level of mixed pollution, while the family Sphingomonadaceae exhibited the higher relative abundance within the root endophytic communities from high and low polluted treatments. This study highlights the effects of pollution and inoculation on phytoremediation efficiency based on a better understanding of the plant microbiome community composition.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Dita M, Barquero M, Heck D, et al (2018)

Fusarium Wilt of Banana: Current Knowledge on Epidemiology and Research Needs Toward Sustainable Disease Management.

Frontiers in plant science, 9:1468.

Banana production is seriously threatened by Fusarium wilt (FW), a disease caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc). In the mid-twentieth century FW, also known as "Panama disease", wiped out the Gros Michel banana industry in Central America. The devastation caused by Foc race 1 was mitigated by a shift to resistant Cavendish cultivars, which are currently the source of 99% of banana exports. However, a new strain of Foc, the tropical race 4 (TR4), attacks Cavendish clones and a diverse range of other banana varieties. Foc TR4 has been restricted to East and parts of Southeast Asia for more than 20 years, but since 2010 the disease has spread westward into five additional countries in Southeast and South Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, and Pakistan) and at the transcontinental level into the Middle East (Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel) and Africa (Mozambique). The spread of Foc TR4 is of great concern due to the limited knowledge about key aspects of disease epidemiology and the lack of effective management models, including resistant varieties and soil management approaches. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on the epidemiology of FW of banana, highlighting knowledge gaps in pathogen survival and dispersal, factors driving disease intensity, soil and plant microbiome and the dynamics of the disease. Comparisons with FW in other crops were also made to indicate possible differences and commonalities. Our current understanding of the role of main biotic and abiotic factors on disease intensity is reviewed, highlighting research needs and futures directions. Finally, a set of practices and their impact on disease intensity are discussed and proposed as an integrative management approach that could eventually be used by a range of users, including plant protection organizations, researchers, extension workers and growers.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Lai KP, Ng AH, Wan HT, et al (2018)

Dietary Exposure to the Environmental Chemical, PFOS on the Diversity of Gut Microbiota, Associated With the Development of Metabolic Syndrome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2552.

The gut microbiome is a dynamic ecosystem formed by thousands of diverse bacterial species. This bacterial diversity is acquired early in life and shaped over time by a combination of multiple factors, including dietary exposure to distinct nutrients and xenobiotics. Alterations of the gut microbiota composition and associated metabolic activities in the gut are linked to various immune and metabolic diseases. The microbiota could potentially interact with xenobiotics in the gut environment as a result of their board enzymatic capacities and thereby affect the bioavailability and toxicity of the xenobiotics in enterohepatic circulation. Consequently, microbiome-xenobiotic interactions might affect host health. Here, we aimed to investigate the effects of dietary perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) exposure on gut microbiota in adult mice and examine the induced changes in animal metabolic functions. In mice exposed to dietary PFOS for 7 weeks, body PFOS and lipid contents were measured, and to elucidate the effects of PFOS exposure, the metabolic functions of the animals were assessed using oral glucose-tolerance test and intraperitoneal insulin-tolerance and pyruvate-tolerance tests; moreover, on Day 50, cecal bacterial DNA was isolated and subject to 16S rDNA sequencing. Our results demonstrated that PFOS exposure caused metabolic disturbances in the animals, particularly in lipid and glucose metabolism, but did not substantially affect the diversity of gut bacterial species. However, marked modulations were detected in the abundance of metabolism-associated bacteria belonging to the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria, including, at different taxonomic levels, Turicibacteraceae, Turicibacterales, Turicibacter, Dehalobacteriaceae, Dehalobacterium, Allobaculum, Bacteroides acidifaciens, Alphaproteobacteria, and 4Cod-2/YS2. The results of PICRUSt analysis further indicated that PFOS exposure perturbed gut metabolism, inducing notable changes in the metabolism of amino acids (arginine, proline, lysine), methane, and a short-chain fatty acid (butanoate), all of which are metabolites widely recognized to be associated with inflammation and metabolic functions. Collectively, our study findings provide key information regarding the biological relevance of microbiome-xenobiotic interactions associated with the ecology of gut microbiota and animal energy metabolism.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Jarvis KG, Daquigan N, White JR, et al (2018)

Microbiomes Associated With Foods From Plant and Animal Sources.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2540.

Food microbiome composition impacts food safety and quality. The resident microbiota of many food products is influenced throughout the farm to fork continuum by farming practices, environmental factors, and food manufacturing and processing procedures. Currently, most food microbiology studies rely on culture-dependent methods to identify bacteria. However, advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies have enabled the use of targeted 16S rRNA gene sequencing to profile complex microbial communities including non-culturable members. In this study we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to assess the microbiome profiles of plant and animal derived foods collected at two points in the manufacturing process; post-harvest/pre-retail (cilantro) and retail (cilantro, masala spice mixes, cucumbers, mung bean sprouts, and smoked salmon). Our findings revealed microbiome profiles, unique to each food, that were influenced by the moisture content (dry spices, fresh produce), packaging methods, such as modified atmospheric packaging (mung bean sprouts and smoked salmon), and manufacturing stage (cilantro prior to retail and at retail). The masala spice mixes and cucumbers were comprised mainly of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. Cilantro microbiome profiles consisted mainly of Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes, and low levels of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. The two brands of mung bean sprouts and the three smoked salmon samples differed from one another in their microbiome composition, each predominated by either by Firmicutes or Proteobacteria. These data demonstrate diverse and highly variable resident microbial communities across food products, which is informative in the context of food safety, and spoilage where indigenous bacteria could hamper pathogen detection, and limit shelf life.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Bertelli C, Courtois S, Rosikiewicz M, et al (2018)

Reduced Chlorine in Drinking Water Distribution Systems Impacts Bacterial Biodiversity in Biofilms.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2520.

In drinking water distribution systems (DWDS), a disinfectant residual is usually applied to limit bacterial regrowth. However, delivering water with no or reduced chlorine residual could potentially decrease the selection for antimicrobial resistant microorganisms, favor bacterial regrowth and result in changes in bacterial populations. To evaluate the feasibility of water reduction in local DWDS while ensuring water safety, water quality was measured over 2 months in two different networks, each of them harboring sub-areas with normal and reduced chlorine. Water quality remained good in chlorine reduced samples, with limited development of total flora and absence of coliforms. Furthermore, 16S rRNA amplicon-based metagenomics was used to investigate the diversity and the composition of microbial communities in the sub-networks. Taxonomic classification of sequence reads showed a reduced bacterial diversity in sampling points with higher chlorine residuals. Chlorine disinfection created more homogeneous bacterial population, dominated by Pseudomonas, a genus that contains some major opportunistic pathogens such as P. aeruginosa. In the absence of chlorine, a larger and unknown biodiversity was unveiled, also highlighted by a decreased rate of taxonomic classification to the genus and species level. Overall, this experiment in a functional DWDS will facilitate the move toward potable water delivery systems without residual disinfectants and will improve water taste for consumers.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Biagi E, Aceti A, Quercia S, et al (2018)

Microbial Community Dynamics in Mother's Milk and Infant's Mouth and Gut in Moderately Preterm Infants.

Frontiers in microbiology, 9:2512.

Mother's own milk represents the optimal source for preterm infant nutrition, as it promotes immune defenses and gastrointestinal function, protects against necrotizing enterocolitis, improves long-term clinical outcome and is hypothesized to drive gut microbiota assembly. Preterm infants at birth usually do not receive their mother's milk directly from the breast, because active suckling and coordination between suckling, swallowing and breathing do not develop until 32-34 weeks gestational age, but actual breastfeeding is usually possible as they grow older. Here, we enrolled moderately preterm infants (gestational age 32-34 weeks) to longitudinally characterize mothers' milk and infants' gut and oral microbiomes, up to more than 200 days after birth, through 16S rRNA sequencing. This peculiar population offers the chance to disentangle the differential contribution of human milk feeding per se vs. actual breastfeeding in the development of infant microbiomes, that have both been acknowledged as crucial contributors to short and long-term infant health status. In this cohort, the milk microbiome composition seemed to change following the infant's latching to the mother's breast, shifting toward a more diverse microbial community dominated by typical oral microbes, i.e., Streptococcus and Rothia. Even if all infants in the present study were fed human milk, features typical of healthy, full term, exclusively breastfed infants, i.e., high percentages of Bifidobacterium and low abundances of Pseudomonas in fecal and oral samples, respectively, were detected in samples taken after actual breastfeeding started. These findings underline the importance of encouraging not only human milk feeding, but also an early start of actual breastfeeding in preterm infants, since the infant's latching to the mother's breast might constitute an independent factor helping the health-promoting assembly of the infant gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Horne R, JA Foster (2018)

Metabolic and Microbiota Measures as Peripheral Biomarkers in Major Depressive Disorder.

Frontiers in psychiatry, 9:513.

Advances in understanding the role of the microbiome in physical and mental health are at the forefront of medical research and hold potential to have a direct impact on precision medicine approaches. In the past 7 years, we have studied the role of microbiota-brain communication on behavior in mouse models using germ-free mice, mice exposed to antibiotics, and healthy specific pathogen free mice. Through our work and that of others, we have seen an amazing increase in our knowledge of how bacteria signal to the brain and the implications this has for psychiatry. Gut microbiota composition and function are influenced both by genetics, age, sex, diet, life experiences, and many other factors of psychiatric and bodily disorders and thus may act as potential biomarkers of the gut-brain axis that could be used in psychiatry and co-morbid conditions. There is a particular need in major depressive disorder and other mental illness to identify biomarkers that can stratify patients into more homogeneous groups to provide better treatment and for development of new therapeutic approaches. Peripheral outcome measures of host-microbe bidirectional communication have significant translational value as biomarkers. Enabling stratification of clinical populations, based on individual biological differences, to predict treatment response to pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Here we consider the links between co-morbid metabolic syndrome and depression, focusing on biomarkers including leptin and ghrelin in combination with assessing gut microbiota composition, as a potential tool to help identify individual differences in depressed population.

RevDate: 2018-11-08

Russo EB (2018)

Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology.

Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 12:51.

Neurological therapeutics have been hampered by its inability to advance beyond symptomatic treatment of neurodegenerative disorders into the realm of actual palliation, arrest or reversal of the attendant pathological processes. While cannabis-based medicines have demonstrated safety, efficacy and consistency sufficient for regulatory approval in spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS), and in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes (LGS), many therapeutic challenges remain. This review will examine the intriguing promise that recent discoveries regarding cannabis-based medicines offer to neurological therapeutics by incorporating the neutral phytocannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), their acidic precursors, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabis terpenoids in the putative treatment of five syndromes, currently labeled recalcitrant to therapeutic success, and wherein improved pharmacological intervention is required: intractable epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson disease (PD), Alzheimer disease (AD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)/chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Current basic science and clinical investigations support the safety and efficacy of such interventions in treatment of these currently intractable conditions, that in some cases share pathological processes, and the plausibility of interventions that harness endocannabinoid mechanisms, whether mediated via direct activity on CB1 and CB2 (tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, caryophyllene), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ; THCA), 5-HT1A (CBD, CBDA) or even nutritional approaches utilizing prebiotics and probiotics. The inherent polypharmaceutical properties of cannabis botanicals offer distinct advantages over the current single-target pharmaceutical model and portend to revolutionize neurological treatment into a new reality of effective interventional and even preventative treatment.


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
21454 NE 143rd Street
Woodinville, WA 98077

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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