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25 Jan 2021 at 01:34
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Bibliography on: Human Microbiome


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 25 Jan 2021 at 01:34 Created: 

Human Microbiome

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-01-23

Simon-Soro A, Kim D, Li Y, et al (2021)

Impact of the repurposed drug thonzonium bromide on host oral-gut microbiomes.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 7(1):7.

Drug repurposing is a feasible strategy for the development of novel therapeutic applications. However, its potential use for oral treatments and impact on host microbiota remain underexplored. Here, we assessed the influences of topical oral applications of a repurposed FDA-approved drug, thonzonium bromide, on gastrointestinal microbiomes and host tissues in a rat model of dental caries designed to reduce cross-contamination associated with coprophagy. Using this model, we recapitulated the body site microbiota that mirrored the human microbiome profile. Oral microbiota was perturbed by the treatments with specific disruption of Rothia and Veillonella without affecting the global composition of the fecal microbiome. However, disturbances in the oral-gut microbial interactions were identified using nestedness and machine learning, showing increased sharing of oral taxon Sutterella in the gut microbiota. Host-tissue analyses revealed caries reduction on teeth by thonzonium bromide without cytotoxic effects, indicating bioactivity and biocompatibility when used orally. Altogether, we demonstrate how an oral treatment using a repurposed drug causes localized microbial disturbances and therapeutic effects while promoting turnover of specific oral species in the lower gut in vivo.

RevDate: 2021-01-23

Loomis KH, Wu SK, Ernlund A, et al (2021)

A mixed community of skin microbiome representatives influences cutaneous processes more than individual members.

Microbiome, 9(1):22.

BACKGROUND: Skin, the largest organ of the human body by weight, hosts a diversity of microorganisms that can influence health. The microbial residents of the skin are now appreciated for their roles in host immune interactions, wound healing, colonization resistance, and various skin disorders. Still, much remains to be discovered in terms of the host pathways influenced by skin microorganisms, as well as the higher-level skin properties impacted through these microbe-host interactions. Towards this direction, recent efforts using mouse models point to pronounced changes in the transcriptional profiles of the skin in response to the presence of a microbial community. However, there is a need to quantify the roles of microorganisms at both the individual and community-level in healthy human skin. In this study, we utilize human skin equivalents to study the effects of individual taxa and a microbial community in a precisely controlled context. Through transcriptomics analysis, we identify key genes and pathways influenced by skin microbes, and we also characterize higher-level impacts on skin processes and properties through histological analyses.

RESULTS: The presence of a microbiome on a 3D skin tissue model led to significantly altered patterns of gene expression, influencing genes involved in the regulation of apoptosis, proliferation, and the extracellular matrix (among others). Moreover, microbiome treatment influenced the thickness of the epidermal layer, reduced the number of actively proliferating cells, and increased filaggrin expression. Many of these findings were evident upon treatment with the mixed community, but either not detected or less pronounced in treatments by single microorganisms, underscoring the impact that a diverse skin microbiome has on the host.

CONCLUSIONS: This work contributes to the understanding of how microbiome constituents individually and collectively influence human skin processes and properties. The results show that, while it is important to understand the effect of individual microbes on the host, a full community of microbes has unique and pronounced effects on the skin. Thus, in its impacts on the host, the skin microbiome is more than the sum of its parts. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Barquero-Orias D, Muñoz Moreno-Arrones O, S Vañó-Galván (2021)

Alopecia and the Microbiome: A Future Therapeutic Target?.

Actas dermo-sifiliograficas pii:S0001-7310(21)00005-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome includes viruses, bacteria, and fungi. There is evidence that in addition to microbiome variation in different areas of the body or according to ethnicity and sex, the microbiome specific to the scalp is conditioned by such factors as humidity, protection from UV light, and pH. Although little information has yet been published about the microbiome of hair follicles and its role in the pathogenesis of diseases, interest in this area of research is emerging. Studies have shown that components of the follicular microbiome influence such disorders as androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. A current hypothesis is that interventions that target the microbiome may lead to innovative therapies for many diseases.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Finlay BB, Amato KR, Azad M, et al (2021)

The hygiene hypothesis, the COVID pandemic, and consequences for the human microbiome.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(6):.

The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to affect the human microbiome in infected and uninfected individuals, having a substantial impact on human health over the long term. This pandemic intersects with a decades-long decline in microbial diversity and ancestral microbes due to hygiene, antibiotics, and urban living (the hygiene hypothesis). High-risk groups succumbing to COVID-19 include those with preexisting conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, which are also associated with microbiome abnormalities. Current pandemic control measures and practices will have broad, uneven, and potentially long-term effects for the human microbiome across the planet, given the implementation of physical separation, extensive hygiene, travel barriers, and other measures that influence overall microbial loss and inability for reinoculation. Although much remains uncertain or unknown about the virus and its consequences, implementing pandemic control practices could significantly affect the microbiome. In this Perspective, we explore many facets of COVID-19-induced societal changes and their possible effects on the microbiome, and discuss current and future challenges regarding the interplay between this pandemic and the microbiome. Recent recognition of the microbiome's influence on human health makes it critical to consider both how the microbiome, shaped by biosocial processes, affects susceptibility to the coronavirus and, conversely, how COVID-19 disease and prevention measures may affect the microbiome. This knowledge may prove key in prevention and treatment, and long-term biological and social outcomes of this pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Boddy SL, Giovannelli I, Sassani M, et al (2021)

The gut microbiome: a key player in the complexity of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

BMC medicine, 19(1):13.

BACKGROUND: Much progress has been made in mapping genetic abnormalities linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the majority of cases still present with no known underlying cause. Furthermore, even in families with a shared genetic abnormality there is significant phenotypic variability, suggesting that non-genetic elements may modify pathogenesis. Identification of such disease-modifiers is important as they might represent new therapeutic targets. A growing body of research has begun to shed light on the role played by the gut microbiome in health and disease with a number of studies linking abnormalities to ALS.

MAIN BODY: The microbiome refers to the genes belonging to the myriad different microorganisms that live within and upon us, collectively known as the microbiota. Most of these microbes are found in the intestines, where they play important roles in digestion and the generation of key metabolites including neurotransmitters. The gut microbiota is an important aspect of the environment in which our bodies operate and inter-individual differences may be key to explaining the different disease outcomes seen in ALS. Work has begun to investigate animal models of the disease, and the gut microbiomes of people living with ALS, revealing changes in the microbial communities of these groups. The current body of knowledge will be summarised in this review. Advances in microbiome sequencing methods will be highlighted, as their improved resolution now enables researchers to further explore differences at a functional level. Proposed mechanisms connecting the gut microbiome to neurodegeneration will also be considered, including direct effects via metabolites released into the host circulation and indirect effects on bioavailability of nutrients and even medications.

CONCLUSION: Profiling of the gut microbiome has the potential to add an environmental component to rapidly advancing studies of ALS genetics and move research a step further towards personalised medicine for this disease. Moreover, should compelling evidence of upstream neurotoxicity or neuroprotection initiated by gut microbiota emerge, modification of the microbiome will represent a potential new avenue for disease modifying therapies. For an intractable condition with few current therapeutic options, further research into the ALS microbiome is of crucial importance.

RevDate: 2021-01-17

Balty C, Guillot A, Fradale L, et al (2020)

Biosynthesis of the sactipeptide Ruminococcin C by the human microbiome: Mechanistic insights into thioether bond formation by radical SAM enzymes.

The Journal of biological chemistry, 295(49):16665-16677.

Despite its major importance in human health, the metabolic potential of the human gut microbiota is still poorly understood. We have recently shown that biosynthesis of Ruminococcin C (RumC), a novel ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptide (RiPP) produced by the commensal bacterium Ruminococcus gnavus, requires two radical SAM enzymes (RumMC1 and RumMC2) catalyzing the formation of four Cα-thioether bridges. These bridges, which are essential for RumC's antibiotic properties against human pathogens such as Clostridium perfringens, define two hairpin domains giving this sactipeptide (sulfur-to-α-carbon thioether-containing peptide) an unusual architecture among natural products. We report here the biochemical and spectroscopic characterizations of RumMC2. EPR spectroscopy and mutagenesis data support that RumMC2 is a member of the large family of SPASM domain radical SAM enzymes characterized by the presence of three [4Fe-4S] clusters. We also demonstrate that this enzyme initiates its reaction by Cα H-atom abstraction and is able to catalyze the formation of nonnatural thioether bonds in engineered peptide substrates. Unexpectedly, our data support the formation of a ketoimine rather than an α,β-dehydro-amino acid intermediate during Cα-thioether bridge LC-MS/MS fragmentation. Finally, we explored the roles of the leader peptide and of the RiPP precursor peptide recognition element, present in myriad RiPP-modifying enzymes. Collectively, our data support a more complex role for the peptide recognition element and the core peptide for the installation of posttranslational modifications in RiPPs than previously anticipated and suggest a possible reaction intermediate for thioether bond formation.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Cuñé Castellana J (2021)

[Microbioma and lithiasis.].

Archivos espanoles de urologia, 74(1):157-170.

Human microbiome understanding and its relationship with health has represented a revolution in biomedicine, facilitated by the emergence of new molecular microbiology techniques. Lithiasic pathology has not been alien to this new approach to etiological knowledge. As a result of this research activity, it has been possible to elucidate the importance of the intestine-kidney axis, understood as the impact of the intestinal microbiota on nephrourinary health. In this regard the ability to use oxalate as an energy source by certain intestinal microorganisms has been used as a target form odulators of the intestinal microbiota in order to correcthyperoxaluria, both primary and secondary. However,the importance of the microbiome configuration, and its role in oxalocalcic lithiasis, transcends the existence of certain trophic networks. In particular, intestinal microbiome has the ability to promote tubular lesions resulting from oxidative stress caused by chronic low-grade inflammation, closely linked to the composition of the microbiota and the dialogue established with the immune system at the intestinal level. The importance of the urobiome, a stable microbia lstructure residing in the urinary tract, allowed to calibrate the importance of urinary microorganisms in lithiasic pathology, breaking with the paradigm of urine sterility in healthy conditions. Thus, recent studies suggest that the composition and structure of the urobiome have a crucial impact on infectious but also non-infectious lithiasis, since certain microorganisms can act as nucleants and promoters of the lithogenic process. Associated with the advances in the study of binomial microbiota and lithiasic pathology, new ways are opened for patient management, in terms of prevention and treatment, based on intervention on the microbiome. Future therapeutic arsenal, in addition to probiotics and prebiotics, will integrate consortia of different microbial groups and microbiota transplantation, both urinary and intestinal.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Strickland AB, M Shi (2021)

Mechanisms of fungal dissemination.

Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS [Epub ahead of print].

Fungal infections are an increasing threat to global public health. There are more than six million fungal species worldwide, but less than 1% are known to infect humans. Most of these fungal infections are superficial, affecting the hair, skin and nails, but some species are capable of causing life-threatening diseases. The most common of these include Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans. These fungi are typically innocuous and even constitute a part of the human microbiome, but if these pathogens disseminate throughout the body, they can cause fatal infections which account for more than one million deaths worldwide each year. Thus, systemic dissemination of fungi is a critical step in the development of these deadly infections. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of how fungi disseminate from the initial infection sites to the bloodstream, how immune cells eliminate fungi from circulation and how fungi leave the blood and enter distant organs, highlighting some recent advances and offering some perspectives on future directions.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Tanes C, Bittinger K, Gao Y, et al (2021)

Role of dietary fiber in the recovery of the human gut microbiome and its metabolome.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(20)30674-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Gut microbiota metabolites may be important for host health, yet few studies investigate the correlation between human gut microbiome and production of fecal metabolites and their impact on the plasma metabolome. Since gut microbiota metabolites are influenced by diet, we performed a longitudinal analysis of the impact of three divergent diets, vegan, omnivore, and a synthetic enteral nutrition (EEN) diet lacking fiber, on the human gut microbiome and its metabolome, including after a microbiota depletion intervention. Omnivore and vegan, but not EEN, diets altered fecal amino acid levels by supporting the growth of Firmicutes capable of amino acid metabolism. This correlated with relative abundance of a sizable number of fecal amino acid metabolites, some not previously associated with the gut microbiota. The effect on the plasma metabolome, in contrast, were modest. The impact of diet, particularly fiber, on the human microbiome influences broad classes of metabolites that may modify health.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Lee YT, Mohd Ismail NI, LK Wei (2021)

Microbiome and ischemic stroke: A systematic review.

PloS one, 16(1):e0245038 pii:PONE-D-20-13573.

BACKGROUND: Ischemic stroke is one of the non-communicable diseases that contribute to the significant number of deaths worldwide. However, the relationship between microbiome and ischemic stroke remained unknown. Hence, the objective of this study was to perform systematic review on the relationship between human microbiome and ischemic stroke.

METHODS: A systematic review on ischemic stroke was carried out for all articles obtained from databases until 22nd October 2020. Main findings were extracted from all the eligible studies.

RESULTS: Eighteen eligible studies were included in the systematic review. These studies suggested that aging, inflammation, and different microbial compositions could contribute to ischemic stroke. Phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes also appeared to manipulate post-stroke outcome. The important role of microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids and trimethylamine N-oxide in ischemic stroke were also highlighted.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first systematic review that investigates the relationship between microbiome and ischemic stroke. Aging and inflammation contribute to differential microbial compositions and predispose individuals to ischemic stroke.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Elshahed MS, Miron A, Aprotosoaie AC, et al (2021)

Pectin in diet: Interactions with the human microbiome, role in gut homeostasis, and nutrient-drug interactions.

Carbohydrate polymers, 255:117388.

Pectins are a part of daily diet as well as food additives that are indigestible polysaccharides by human enzymes, however, they can be easily degraded by gut bacteria with the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Knowledge of pectin gut homeostasis and further how pectin affect gut bacterial communities is insufficient and limited. This review focuses on providing the whole story of how pectin functions as prebiotics in the gut. Understanding the interplay between functional and immunological responses inside animal or human gut as influenced by pectin in diets is provided. The interaction between pectin and gut microbiota is presented from both sides, in terms of how pectin affects gut microbiome and or the fermentation products produced in response by gut bacteria. This knowledge can be used to define preferred dietary pectins, targeting beneficial bacteria, and favoring balanced microbiota communities in the gut to maximize pectins' health benefits.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Hövels M, Kosciow K, U Deppenmeier (2021)

Characterization of a novel endo-levanase from Azotobacter chroococcum DSM 2286 and its application for the production of prebiotic fructooligosaccharides.

Carbohydrate polymers, 255:117384.

Prebiotics are known for their ability to modulate the composition of the human microbiome and mediate health-promoting benefits. Endo-levanases, which hydrolyze levan into short-chain FOS, could be used for the production of levan-based prebiotics. The novel endo-levanase (LevB2286) from Azotobacter chroococcum DSM 2286, combines an exceptionally high specific activity with advantageous hydrolytic properties. Starting from levan isolated from Timothy grass, LevB2286 produced FOS ranging from DP 2 - 8. In contrast to endo-levanases described in the literature, LevB2286 formed minor amounts of fructose and levanbiose, even with greatly extended incubation. The combined activity of LevB2286 and the levansucrase LevS1417 from Gluconobacter japonicus LMG 1417 led to a one-step synthesis of levan-type FOS from sucrose. 387.4 ± 17.3 g L-1 FOS were produced within 48 h by the production strategy based on crude cell extract of recombinant Escherichia coli expressing levS1417 and levB2286 simultaneously.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Silverstein RB, IU Mysorekar (2021)

Group therapy on in utero colonization: seeking common truths and a way forward.

Microbiome, 9(1):7.

The human microbiome refers to the genetic composition of microorganisms in a particular location in the human body. Emerging evidence over the past many years suggests that the microbiome constitute drivers of human fate almost at par with our genome and epigenome. It is now well accepted after decades of disbelief that a broad understanding of human development, health, physiology, and disease requires understanding of the microbiome along with the genome and epigenome. We are learning daily of the interdependent relationships between microbiome/microbiota and immune responses, mood, cancer progression, response to therapies, aging, obesity, antibiotic usage, and overusage and much more. The next frontier in microbiome field is understanding when does this influence begin? Does the human microbiome initiate at the time of birth or are developing human fetuses already primed with microbes and their products in utero. In this commentary, we reflect on evidence gathered thus far on this question and identify the unknown common truths. We present a way forward to continue understanding our microbial colleagues and our interwoven fates.

RevDate: 2021-01-13

Sanders D, Grunden A, RR Dunn (2021)

A review of clothing microbiology: the history of clothing and the role of microbes in textiles.

Biology letters, 17(1):20200700.

Humans have worn clothing for thousands of years, and since its invention, clothing has evolved from its simple utilitarian function for survival to become an integral part of society. While much consideration has been given to the broad environmental impacts of the textile and laundering industries, little is known about the impact wearing clothing has had on the human microbiome, particularly that of the skin, despite our long history with clothing. This review discusses the history of clothing and the evolution of textiles, what is and is not known about microbial persistence on and degradation of various fibres, and what opportunities for the industrial and environmental application of clothing microbiology exist for the future.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Laursen MF, Bahl MI, TR Licht (2021)

Settlers of our inner surface - Factors shaping the gut microbiota from birth to toddlerhood.

FEMS microbiology reviews pii:6081092 [Epub ahead of print].

During the first three years of life, the microbial ecosystem within the human gut undergoes a process that is unlike what happens in this ecosystem at any other time of our life. This period in time is considered a highly important developmental window, where the gut microbiota is much less resilient and much more responsive to external and environmental factors than seen in the adult gut. While advanced bioinformatics and clinical correlation studies have received extensive focus within studies of the human microbiome, basic microbial growth physiology has attracted much less attention, although it plays a pivotal role to understand the developing gut microbiota during early life. In this review, we will thus take a microbial ecology perspective on the analysis of factors that influence the temporal development of the infant gut microbiota. Such factors include sources of microbes that seed the intestinal environment, physico-chemical (abiotic) conditions influencing microbial growth, and the availability of nutrients needed by the intestinal microbes.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Koidl L, E Untersmayr (2021)

The clinical implications of the microbiome in the development of allergy diseases.

Expert review of clinical immunology [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: A substantial number of patients worldwide is affected by allergies. Emerging evidence suggests that the individual microbial composition might contribute to the development of allergies or might even protect from allergic diseases.

AREAS COVERED: This review provides a detailed summary regarding available knowledge on the composition of a healthy human microbiome at allergy relevant body sites. It highlights factors influencing the microbiota composition. Furthermore, recent findings on the mutual interaction of the microbiota with the innate and adaptive immune system are reported. In the final part, this knowledge is combined to discuss microbial implications for food allergy, allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and skin allergies. Literature for this review was gathered by searching PubMed and Google Scholar databases between October and December 2020.

EXPERT OPINION: Due to the highly individual composition, it is currently not possible to define the characteristics of a site-specific microbiome in health and disease. Mainly effects of bacterial communities have been investigated, while fungal or viral influences are not yet well understood. The communication between microbial communities found in different organs impact on allergy development. Thus, a personalized approach is essential to beneficially influence these complex interactions and to modulate the host specific microbiota in allergies.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Campbell PM, Humphreys GJ, Summers AM, et al (2020)

Does the Microbiome Affect the Outcome of Renal Transplantation?.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:558644.

The role of the human microbiome in health and disease is becoming increasingly apparent. Emerging evidence suggests that the microbiome is affected by solid organ transplantation. Kidney transplantation is the gold standard treatment for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), the advanced stage of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The question of how ESRD and transplantation affect the microbiome and vice versa includes how the microbiome is affected by increased concentrations of toxins such as urea and creatinine (which are elevated in ESRD), whether restoration of renal function following transplantation alters the composition of the microbiome, and the impact of lifelong administration of immunosuppressive drugs on the microbiome. Changes in microbiome composition and activity have been reported in ESRD and in therapeutic immunosuppression, but the effect on the outcome of transplantation is not well-understood. Here, we consider the current evidence that changes in kidney function and immunosuppression following transplantation influence the oral, gut, and urinary microbiomes in kidney transplant patients. The potential for changes in these microbiomes to lead to disease, systemic inflammation, or rejection of the organ itself is discussed, along with the possibility that restoration of kidney function might re-establish orthobiosis.

RevDate: 2021-01-11

Yu L (2021)

Restoring Good Health in Elderly with Diverse Gut Microbiome and Food Intake Restriction to Combat COVID-19.

Indian journal of microbiology pii:913 [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 continues to be an ongoing global threat. The elderly with underlying health conditions like cardiovascular and lung diseases, diabetes, obesity, are the most vulnerable to this disease. Curing the pre-existing health conditions will greatly increase a person's resilience to COVID-19 and lower the death rate of the old people. Digestion and immunity form an integrated nutrition acquisition process, especially in obtaining essential amino acids and essential fatty acids from living microbial cells. A mature strong immunity coupled with gut dysbiosis in adults is the main cause of nutritional disorders like morbid obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. Nutrition disorders in return worsen dysbiosis. Human microbiome has an intrinsic duality. While a diverse microbiome provides a full spectrum of essential nutrients to our body, nutrition disorders fuel overgrowth of microbiota (dysbiosis) at many sites on or inside our body, and are the main causes of chronic inflammation at these sites. In the case of COVID-19, nutritional disorder impairs the immunity, causes hyperinflammation, and leads to the protracted overload of cytokines by the immune system, i.e., the cytokine storm. Autophagy induced by restrictive eating is an ideal inhibitor of microbiota overgrowth, as autophagy deprives microbiota of excessive nutrition for replication. Autophagy also attenuates inflammation. Therefore, as a precaution, the author suggests restoring good health in the elderly with the support from a diverse gut microbiome and daily regular food intake restriction, so as to lower the risk of developing into severe case even if they are infected by COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-10

Pineider J, Reisch J, Harris-Tryon T, et al (2021)

Knowledge and attitude towards the human microbiome: a single-center cross-sectional survey.

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology pii:S0190-9622(21)00102-X [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Li W, KE Nelson (2021)

Microbial Species that Initially Colonize the Human Gut at Birth or in Early Childhood Can Stay in Human Body for Lifetime.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

In recent years, many studies have described the composition and function of the human microbiome at different body sites and suggested a role for the microbiome in various diseases and health conditions. Some studies, using longitudinal samples, have also suggested how the microbiome changes over time due to disease, diet, development, travel, and other environmental factors. However, to date, no study has demonstrated whether the microorganisms established at birth or in early childhood, either transmitted from parents or obtained from the environment, can stay in the human body until adult or senior age. To directly answer this question is difficult, because microbiome samples at childhood and at later adulthood for the same individual will need to be compared and the field is not old enough to have allowed for that type of sample collection. Here, using a metagenomic approach, we analyzed 1004 gut microbiome samples from senior adults (65 ± 7.8 years) from the TwinsUK cohort. Our data indicate that many species in the human gut acquired in early childhood can stay for a lifetime until senior ages. We identified the rare genomic variants (single nucleotide variation and indels) for 27 prevalent species with enough sequencing coverage for confident genomic variant identification. We found that for some species, twin pairs, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, share significantly more rare variants than unrelated subject pairs. But no significant difference is found between MZ and DZ twin pairs. These observations strongly suggest that these species acquired in early childhood remained in these persons until senior adulthood.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Jing G, Zhang Y, Cui W, et al (2021)

Meta-Apo improves accuracy of 16S-amplicon-based prediction of microbiome function.

BMC genomics, 22(1):9.

BACKGROUND: Due to their much lower costs in experiment and computation than metagenomic whole-genome sequencing (WGS), 16S rRNA gene amplicons have been widely used for predicting the functional profiles of microbiome, via software tools such as PICRUSt 2. However, due to the potential PCR bias and gene profile variation among phylogenetically related genomes, functional profiles predicted from 16S amplicons may deviate from WGS-derived ones, resulting in misleading results.

RESULTS: Here we present Meta-Apo, which greatly reduces or even eliminates such deviation, thus deduces much more consistent diversity patterns between the two approaches. Tests of Meta-Apo on > 5000 16S-rRNA amplicon human microbiome samples from 4 body sites showed the deviation between the two strategies is significantly reduced by using only 15 WGS-amplicon training sample pairs. Moreover, Meta-Apo enables cross-platform functional comparison between WGS and amplicon samples, thus greatly improve 16S-based microbiome diagnosis, e.g. accuracy of gingivitis diagnosis via 16S-derived functional profiles was elevated from 65 to 95% by WGS-based classification. Therefore, with the low cost of 16S-amplicon sequencing, Meta-Apo can produce a reliable, high-resolution view of microbiome function equivalent to that offered by shotgun WGS.

CONCLUSIONS: This suggests that large-scale, function-oriented microbiome sequencing projects can probably benefit from the lower cost of 16S-amplicon strategy, without sacrificing the precision in functional reconstruction that otherwise requires WGS. An optimized C++ implementation of Meta-Apo is available on GitHub (https://github.com/qibebt-bioinfo/meta-apo) under a GNU GPL license. It takes the functional profiles of a few paired WGS:16S-amplicon samples as training, and outputs the calibrated functional profiles for the much larger number of 16S-amplicon samples.

RevDate: 2021-01-07

Clements TW, Tolonen M, Ball CG, et al (2021)

Secondary Peritonitis and Intra-Abdominal Sepsis: An Increasingly Global Disease in Search of Better Systemic Therapies.

Scandinavian journal of surgery : SJS : official organ for the Finnish Surgical Society and the Scandinavian Surgical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Secondary peritonitis and intra-abdominal sepsis are a global health problem. The life-threatening systemic insult that results from intra-abdominal sepsis has been extensively studied and remains somewhat poorly understood. While local surgical therapy for perforation of the abdominal viscera is an age-old therapy, systemic therapies to control the subsequent systemic inflammatory response are scarce. Advancements in critical care have led to improved outcomes in secondary peritonitis. The understanding of the effect of secondary peritonitis on the human microbiome is an evolving field and has yielded potential therapeutic targets. This review of secondary peritonitis discusses the history, classification, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, and future directions of the management of secondary peritonitis. Ongoing clinical studies in the treatment of secondary peritonitis and the open abdomen are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-01-04

Kakabadze E, Grdzelishvili N, Sanikidze L, et al (2020)


Georgian medical news.

The idea to use living microorganisms for disease prevention and treatment was introduced a century ago, but yet the full potential and benefits of microbial therapeutics has not been entirely understood. In the light of developments of human microbiome studies, probiotics are gaining new momentum, where health benefit conferring by Lactobacillus are emerging as one of the novel approaches in the treatment and prophylactics of dysbiosis. The present review focuses on the origin and development of the probiotic's concept, mechanisms of action and anticipated use of probiotic Lactobacillus as well as of microbial therapeutics. The required regulatory frameworks associated with probiotic use and marketing are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-01-01

D'Onofrio V, Del Chierico F, Belci P, et al (2020)

Effects of a Synbiotic Formula on Functional Bowel Disorders and Gut Microbiota Profile during Long-Term Home Enteral Nutrition (LTHEN): A Pilot Study.

Nutrients, 13(1): pii:nu13010087.

Long-term enteral nutrition (LTEN) can induce gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis and gastrointestinal related symptoms, such as constipation or diarrhoea. To date, the treatment of constipation is based on the use of laxatives and prebiotics. Only recently have probiotics and synbiotics been considered, the latter modulating the GM and regulating intestinal functions. This randomized open-label intervention study evaluated the effects of synbiotic treatment on the GM profile, its functional activity and on intestinal functions in long-term home EN (LTHEN) patients. Twenty LTHEN patients were recruited to take enteral formula plus one sachet/day of synbiotic (intervention group, IG) or enteral formula (control group, CG) for four months and evaluated for constipation, stool consistency, and GM and metabolite profiles. In IG patients, statistically significant reduction of constipation and increase of stool consistency were observed after four months (T1), compared to CG subjects. GM ecology analyses revealed a decrease in the microbial diversity of both IC and CG groups. Biodiversity increased at T1 for 5/11 IG patients and Methanobrevibacter was identified as the biomarker correlated to the richness increase. Moreover, the increase of short chain fatty acids and the reduction of harmful molecules have been correlated to synbiotic administration. Synbiotics improve constipation symptoms and influences Methanobrevibacter growth in LTHEN patients.

RevDate: 2020-12-31

Dohlman AB, Arguijo Mendoza D, Ding S, et al (2020)

The cancer microbiome atlas: a pan-cancer comparative analysis to distinguish tissue-resident microbiota from contaminants.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(20)30663-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Studying the microbial composition of internal organs and their associations with disease remains challenging due to the difficulty of acquiring clinical biopsies. We designed a statistical model to analyze the prevalence of species across sample types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), revealing that species equiprevalent across sample types are predominantly contaminants, bearing unique signatures from each TCGA-designated sequencing center. Removing such species mitigated batch effects and isolated the tissue-resident microbiome, which was validated by original matched TCGA samples. Gene copies and nucleotide variants can further distinguish mixed-evidence species. We, thus, present The Cancer Microbiome Atlas (TCMA), a collection of curated, decontaminated microbial compositions of oropharyngeal, esophageal, gastrointestinal, and colorectal tissues. This led to the discovery of prognostic species and blood signatures of mucosal barrier injuries and enabled systematic matched microbe-host multi-omic analyses, which will help guide future studies of the microbiome's role in human health and disease.

RevDate: 2020-12-30

Fang C, Wu L, Zhu C, et al (2020)

A potential therapeutic strategy for prostatic disease by targeting the oral microbiome.

Medicinal research reviews [Epub ahead of print].

Nowadays, human microbiome research is rapidly growing and emerging evidence has witnessed the critical role that oral microbiome plays in the process of human health and disease. Oral microbial dysbiosis has been confirmed as a contributory cause for diseases in multiple body systems, ranging from the oral cavity to the gastrointestinal, endocrine, immune, cardiovascular, and even nervous system. As research progressing, oral microbiome-based diagnosis and therapy are proposed and applied, which may represent potential drug targets in systemic diseases. Recent studies have uncovered the possible association between periodontal disease and prostatic disease, suggesting new prevention and therapeutic treatment for the disease by targeting periodontal pathogens. Thus, we performed this review to first explore the association between the oral microbiome and prostatic disease, according to current knowledge based on published articles, and then mainly focus on the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms and the potential prevention and treatment derived from these mechanistic studies.

RevDate: 2020-12-29

Turunen Katri A, A Kantele (2020)

Revisiting travellers' diarrhoea justifying antibiotic treatment: prospective study.

Journal of travel medicine pii:6054204 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: As antimicrobials increase the risk of acquiring multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, unnecessary antibiotics should be avoided for travellers' diarrhoea (TD). Antibiotics are recommended in TD accompanied by fever or incapacitation (TD justifying use of antibiotics, TDjuAB). Seeking tools for reducing antibiotic use, we explored factors predisposing to TDjuAB and scrutinized antibiotic treatment among those with TDjuAB and those with diarrhoea not justifying antibiotics.

METHODS: We conducted a study among 370 prospectively recruited visitors to the tropics. Stool samples and questionnaires were collected before and after travel. Enteric pathogens were analysed by qPCR for enteropathogenic (EPEC), enteroaggregative (EAEC), enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC), and enteroinvasive (EIEC) E. coli/Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Yersinia and Vibrio cholerae, and for ETEC's toxins LT (heat-labile), STh (human heat-stable) and STp (porcine heat-stable). TD was defined by the WHO criteria and TDjuAB as diarrhoea accompanied by fever, and/or disrupting or preventing daily activities. Multivariable analysis was applied-separately for travel-related factors and pathogens-to identify risk factors for TDjuAB(+).

RESULTS: Among the 370 travellers, TD was contracted by 253 (68%), categorized as TDjuAB(+) in 93/253 (37%) and TDjuAB(-) in 160/253 (63%) of the cases. Antibiotics were used for TD by 41% in TDjuAB(+) and by 7% in the TDjuAB(-) group. Relative risk ratios (RRR) s are presented for both the TDjuAB(+) and the TDjuAB(-) groups. TDjuAB(+) was associated with long travel duration and young age. Among the 298 subjects not having taken antibiotics, increased RRRs were found e.g. for findings of Campylobacter coli/jejuni and ETEC's STh toxin.

CONCLUSIONS: The first to analyse risk factors for TDjuAB, our study presents RRRs for demographic and behavioural factors and for various pathogens. Only less than half of those in the TDjuAB(+) group took antibiotics, which demonstrates that most cases meeting the current criteria recover without antimicrobial treatment.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Handa S, Reyna A, Wiryaman T, et al (2020)

Determinants of adenine-mutagenesis in diversity-generating retroelements.

Nucleic acids research pii:6047284 [Epub ahead of print].

Diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs) vary protein sequences to the greatest extent known in the natural world. These elements are encoded by constituents of the human microbiome and the microbial 'dark matter'. Variation occurs through adenine-mutagenesis, in which genetic information in RNA is reverse transcribed faithfully to cDNA for all template bases but adenine. We investigated the determinants of adenine-mutagenesis in the prototypical Bordetella bacteriophage DGR through an in vitro system composed of the reverse transcriptase bRT, Avd protein, and a specific RNA. We found that the catalytic efficiency for correct incorporation during reverse transcription by the bRT-Avd complex was strikingly low for all template bases, with the lowest occurring for adenine. Misincorporation across a template adenine was only somewhat lower in efficiency than correct incorporation. We found that the C6, but not the N1 or C2, purine substituent was a key determinant of adenine-mutagenesis. bRT-Avd was insensitive to the C6 amine of adenine but recognized the C6 carbonyl of guanine. We also identified two bRT amino acids predicted to nonspecifically contact incoming dNTPs, R74 and I181, as promoters of adenine-mutagenesis. Our results suggest that the overall low catalytic efficiency of bRT-Avd is intimately tied to its ability to carry out adenine-mutagenesis.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Lääveri T, Antikainen J, Mero S, et al (2020)

Bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens analysed by qPCR: findings from a prospective study of travellers' diarrhoea.

Travel medicine and infectious disease pii:S1477-8939(20)30454-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The diagnostics of travellers' diarrhoea (TD) has been revolutionised by multiplex qPCR assays. While mostly of bacterial aetiology, viruses and parasites account for the disease among 10-20% of travellers. Despite this, prospective studies applying qPCR assays remain scarce that cover not only bacteria, such as the various diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC), but also viral and parasitic pathogens.

METHOD: We analysed by qPCR pre- and post-travel stool samples of 146 Finnish travellers for bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens: enteropathogenic (EPEC), enteroaggregative (EAEC), enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC), and enteroinvasive (EIEC) E. coli; Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Yersinia and Vibrio cholerae; norovirus G1 and G2, rotavirus, enteroviruses, and sapovirus; and Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cryptosporidium. Symptoms and medication data during travel were collected by questionnaires.

RESULTS: We detected bacterial pathogens in 102/146 samples (69.9%; EAEC, EPEC, ETEC most common), viral ones in 13 (8.9%; norovirus most common), and parasitic ones in one (0.7%; Giardia). Noroviruses were associated with severe symptoms (23.5% versus non-severe 4.9%). In the TD group, 41.7% (5/12) of those with viral pathogens (vs. 13.3%; 11/83 without) took antibiotics.

CONCLUSION: Viral pathogens, particularly noroviruses, prevail in severe TD. The symptoms of viral disease are often severe and lead to unwarranted use of antibiotics.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Van Ende M, Timmermans B, Vanreppelen G, et al (2020)

The involvement of the Candida glabrata trehalase enzymes in stress resistance and gut colonization.

Virulence [Epub ahead of print].

Candida glabrata is an opportunistic human fungal pathogen and is frequently present in the human microbiome. It has a high relative resistance to environmental stresses and several antifungal drugs. An important component involved in microbial stress tolerance is trehalose. In this work, we characterized the three C. glabrata trehalase enzymes Ath1, Nth1 and Nth2. Single, double and triple deletion strains were constructed and characterized both in vitro and in vivo to determine the role of these enzymes in virulence. Ath1 was found to be located in the periplasm and was essential for growth on trehalose as sole carbon source, while Nth1 on the other hand was important for oxidative stress resistance, an observation which was consistent by the lower survival rate of the NTH1 deletion strain in human macrophages. No significant phenotype was observed for Nth2. The triple deletion strain was unable to establish a stable colonization of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in mice indicating the importance of having trehalase activity for colonization in the gut.

RevDate: 2020-12-23

Stewart AG, Satlin MJ, Schlebusch S, et al (2020)

Completing the Picture - Capturing the Resistome in Antibiotic Clinical Trials.

Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America pii:6044700 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite the accepted dogma that antibiotic use is the largest contributor to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and human microbiome disruption, our knowledge of specific antibiotic-microbiome effects remains basic. Detection of associations between new or old antimicrobials and specific AMR burden is patchy and heterogeneous. Various microbiome analysis tools have become available that enable accurate descriptions of antibiotic effects on microbial communities in vivo over a period of time. Microbiome analysis of treatment groups in antibiotic clinical trials, powered to measure clinically meaningful endpoints would greatly assist the antibiotic development pipeline and clinician antibiotic decision making.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Martins D, Mendes F, F Schmitt (2020)

Microbiome: A Supportive or a Leading Actor in Lung Cancer?.

Pathobiology : journal of immunopathology, molecular and cellular biology pii:000511556 [Epub ahead of print].

Lung cancer is still the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Despite the major diagnostic and therapeutic innovations, the effect on mortality has been modest and the overall survival is still poor. Better understanding of the pathology of these tumors is necessary in order to develop personalized therapeutic strategies in lung cancer patients. Human microbiome has been associated with normal physiology and function, and increasing evidence points towards a key role of the microbiome in promoting the progression of lung disease. Studies have shown that although poorly understood, lung has a distinctive microbiome that may an important role in lung cancer development and progression, and interactions between microbial populations have the potential to influence disease, suggesting that microbiome can be an emerging target in cancer therapeutics. We will review mechanisms how the lung microbiota influences carcinogenesis, focusing on the bacterial dysbiosis and inflammation. Moreover, we will discuss the link between the microbiome and cancer and the consequences induced by the immune system, as the host microbiota plays an essential role in activating and modulating the immune response. We summarize current research advances in the lung microbiome and demonstrate the potential to exploit microbiome as a mechanism to prevent carcinogenesis and modulate therapeutic strategy, suggesting microbiome as a valuable approach in lung cancer patients.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Tranberg A, Klarin B, Johansson J, et al (2020)

Efficacy of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299 and 299v against nosocomial oropharyngeal pathogens in vitro and as an oral prophylactic treatment in a randomized, controlled clinical trial.

MicrobiologyOpen [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Disturbance in the oropharyngeal microbiota is common in hospitalized patients and contributes to the development of nosocomial pneumonia. Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 299 and 299v (Lp299 and Lp299v) are probiotic bacteria with beneficial effects on the human microbiome.

AIM: To investigate how Lp299 and Lp299v affect the growth of nosocomial oropharyngeal pathogens in vitro and to evaluate the efficacy in vivo when these probiotics are administered prophylactically in hospitalized patients.

METHODS: The in vitro effect of Lp299 and Lp299v on nosocomial respiratory tract pathogens was evaluated using two methods, the co-culture and agar overlay. In the clinical study, patients were randomized to orally receive either probiotics or placebo twice daily during their hospital stay. Oropharyngeal swabs were analyzed at inclusion and every fourth day throughout hospitalization.

FINDINGS: All tested pathogens were completely inhibited by both Lp299 and Lp299v using the agar-overlay method. In the co-culture experiment, Lp299 and Lp299v significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the growth of all pathogens except for Enterococcus faecalis co-incubated with Lp299. In the clinical study, daily oral treatment with Lp299 and Lp299v did not influence the development of disturbed oropharyngeal microbiota or nosocomial infection. Proton pump inhibitors, antibiotics, and steroid treatment were identified as risk factors for developing disturbed oropharyngeal microbiota.

CONCLUSIONS: Lp299 and Lp299v inhibited pathogen growth in vitro but did not affect the oropharyngeal microbiota in vivo. The ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier for this study is NCT02303301.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Holster S, Repsilber D, Geng D, et al (2020)

Correlations between microbiota and metabolites after faecal microbiota transfer in irritable bowel syndrome.

Beneficial microbes [Epub ahead of print].

Faecal microbiota transfer (FMT) consists of the infusion of donor faecal material into the intestine of a patient with the aim to restore a disturbed gut microbiota. In this study, it was investigated whether FMT has an effect on faecal microbial composition, its functional capacity, faecal metabolite profiles and their interactions in 16 irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. Faecal samples from eight different time points before and until six months after allogenic FMT (faecal material from a healthy donor) as well as autologous FMT (own faecal material) were analysed by 16S RNA gene amplicon sequencing and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GS-MS). The results showed that the allogenic FMT resulted in alterations in the microbial composition that were detectable up to six months, whereas after autologous FMT this was not the case. Similar results were found for the functional profiles, which were predicted from the phylogenetic sequencing data. While both allogenic FMT as well as autologous FMT did not have an effect on the faecal metabolites measured in this study, correlations between the microbial composition and the metabolites showed that the microbe-metabolite interactions seemed to be disrupted after allogenic FMT compared to autologous FMT. This shows that FMT can lead to altered interactions between the gut microbiota and its metabolites in IBS patients. Further research should investigate if and how this affects efficacy of FMT treatments.

RevDate: 2020-12-23

Yin X, Altman T, Rutherford E, et al (2020)

A Comparative Evaluation of Tools to Predict Metabolite Profiles From Microbiome Sequencing Data.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:595910.

Metabolomic analyses of human gut microbiome samples can unveil the metabolic potential of host tissues and the numerous microorganisms they support, concurrently. As such, metabolomic information bears immense potential to improve disease diagnosis and therapeutic drug discovery. Unfortunately, as cohort sizes increase, comprehensive metabolomic profiling becomes costly and logistically difficult to perform at a large scale. To address these difficulties, we tested the feasibility of predicting the metabolites of a microbial community based solely on microbiome sequencing data. Paired microbiome sequencing (16S rRNA gene amplicons, shotgun metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics) and metabolome (mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) datasets were collected from six independent studies spanning multiple diseases. We used these datasets to evaluate two reference-based gene-to-metabolite prediction pipelines and a machine-learning (ML) based metabolic profile prediction approach. With the pre-trained model on over 900 microbiome-metabolome paired samples, the ML approach yielded the most accurate predictions (i.e., highest F1 scores) of metabolite occurrences in the human gut and outperformed reference-based pipelines in predicting differential metabolites between case and control subjects. Our findings demonstrate the possibility of predicting metabolites from microbiome sequencing data, while highlighting certain limitations in detecting differential metabolites, and provide a framework to evaluate metabolite prediction pipelines, which will ultimately facilitate future investigations on microbial metabolites and human health.

RevDate: 2020-12-23

Aho EL, Ogle JM, AM Finck (2020)

The Human Microbiome as a Focus of Antibiotic Discovery: Neisseria mucosa Displays Activity Against Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:577762.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections are a serious global health problem. This organism has developed disturbing levels of antibiotic resistance, resulting in the need for new approaches to prevent and treat gonorrhea. The genus Neisseria also includes several members of the human microbiome that live in close association with an array of microbial partners in a variety of niches. We designed an undergraduate antibiotic discovery project to examine a panel of nonpathogenic Neisseria species for their ability to produce antimicrobial secondary metabolites. Five strains belonging to the N. mucosa species group displayed activity against other Neisseria in delayed antagonism assays; three of these were active against N. gonorrhoeae. The antimicrobial compound secreted by N. mucosa NRL 9300 remained active in the presence of catalase, trypsin, and HEPES buffer, and effectively inhibited a DNA uptake mutant of N. gonorrhoeae. Antimicrobial activity was also retained in an ethyl acetate extract of plate grown N. mucosa NRL 9300. These data suggest N. mucosa produces an antimicrobial secondary metabolite that is distinct from previously described antigonococcal agents. This work also serves as a demonstration project that could easily be adapted to studying other members of the human microbiome in undergraduate settings. We offer the perspective that both introductory and more advanced course-based and apprentice-style antibiotic discovery projects focused on the microbiome have the potential to enrich undergraduate curricula and we describe transferrable techniques and strategies to facilitate project design.

RevDate: 2020-12-29

Łusiak-Szelachowska M, Weber-Dąbrowska B, Żaczek M, et al (2020)

The Presence of Bacteriophages in the Human Body: Good, Bad or Neutral?.

Microorganisms, 8(12):.

The presence of bacteriophages (phages) in the human body may impact bacterial microbiota and modulate immunity. The role of phages in human microbiome studies and diseases is poorly understood. However, the correlation between a greater abundance of phages in the gut in ulcerative colitis and diabetes has been suggested. Furthermore, most phages found at different sites in the human body are temperate, so their therapeutic effects and their potential beneficial effects remain unclear. Hence, far, no correlation has been observed between the presence of widespread crAssphage in the human population and human health and diseases. Here, we emphasize the beneficial effects of phage transfer in fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in Clostridioides difficile infection. The safety of phage use in gastrointestinal disorders has been demonstrated in clinical studies. The significance of phages in the FMT as well as in gastrointestinal disorders remains to be established. An explanation of the multifaceted role of endogenous phages for the development of phage therapy is required.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Xu CJ, Gruzieva O, Qi C, et al (2020)

Shared DNA methylation signatures in childhood allergy: the MeDALL study.

The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology pii:S0091-6749(20)31766-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Differential DNA methylation associated with allergy might provide novel insights into shared or unique etiology of asthma, rhinitis and eczema.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify DNA methylation profiles associated with childhood allergy.

METHODS: Within the European Mechanisms of the Development of ALLergy (MeDALL) consortium, we performed an epigenome-wide association study of whole blood DNA methylation using a cross-sectional design. Allergy is defined as having symptoms from at least one allergic disease (asthma/rhinitis/eczema) and positive serum specific IgE to common aeroallergens. The discovery study included 219 cases and 417 controls at age 4 and 228 cases and 593 controls at age 8 from three birth cohorts, with replication analyses in 325 cases and 1,111 controls. We performed additional analyses on 21 replicated sites in 785 cases and 2,124 controls by allergic symptoms only from eight cohorts, three not previously included in analyses.

RESULTS: We identified 80 differentially methylated CpG sites (CpGs) which showed 1-3% methylation difference in the discovery phase, of which 21, including five novel CpGs, passed genome-wide significance after meta-analysis. All 21 CpGs were also significantly differentially methylated with allergic symptoms, and shared between asthma, rhinitis and eczema. The 21 CpGs mapped to relevant genes, including ACOT7, LMAN3 and CLDN23. All 21 CpGs were differently methylated in asthma in isolated eosinophils, and ten were replicated in respiratory epithelium.

CONCLUSION: Reduced whole blood DNA methylation at 21 CpGs was significantly associated with childhood allergy. The findings provide novel insights into the shared molecular mechanisms underlying asthma, rhinitis and eczema.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Piñar G, Sclocchi MC, Pinzari F, et al (2020)

The Microbiome of Leonardo da Vinci's Drawings: A Bio-Archive of Their History.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:593401.

Seven emblematic Leonardo da Vinci's drawings were investigated through third generation sequencing technology (Nanopore). In addition, SEM analyses were carried out to acquire photographic documentation and to infer the nature of the micro-objects removed from the surface of the drawings. The Nanopore generated microbiomes can be used as a "bio-archive" of the drawings, offering a kind of fingerprint for current and future biological comparisons. This information might help to create a biological catalog of the drawings (cataloging), a microbiome-fingerprint for each single analyzed drawing, as a reference dataset for future studies (monitoring) and last but not least a bio-archive of the history of each single object (added value). Results showed a relatively high contamination with human DNA and a surprising dominance of bacteria over fungi. However, it was possible to identify typical bacteria of the human microbiome, which are mere contaminants introduced by handling of the drawings as well as other microorganisms that seem to have been introduced through vectors, such as insects and their droppings, visible through the SEM analyses. All drawings showed very specific bio-archives, but a core microbiome of bacteria and fungi that are repeatedly found in this type of material as true degraders were identified, such as members of the phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes among bacteria, and fungi belonging to the classes Sordariomycetes and Eurotiomycetes. In addition, some similarities were observed that could be influenced by their geographical location (Rome or Turin), indicating the influence of this factor and denoting the importance of environmental and storage conditions on the specific microbiomes.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

Kolmeder CA, WM de Vos (2020)

Roadmap to functional characterization of the human intestinal microbiota in its interaction with the host.

Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis pii:S0731-7085(20)31637-X [Epub ahead of print].

It is known for more than 100 years that the intestinal microbes are important for the host's health and the last decade this is being intensely studied with a focus on the mechanistic aspects. Among the fundamental functions of the intestinal microbiome are the priming of the immune system, the production of essential vitamins and the energy harvest from foods. By now, several dozens of diseases, both intestinal and non-intestinal related, have been associated with the intestinal microbiome. Initially, this was based on the description of the composition between groups of different health status or treatment arms based on phylogenetic approaches based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences. This way of analysis has mostly moved to the analysis of all the genes or transcripts of the microbiome i.e. metagenomics and meta-transcriptomics. Differences are regularly found but these have to be taken with caution as we still do not know what the majority of genes of the intestinal microbiome are capable of doing. To circumvent this caveat researchers are studying the proteins and the metabolites of the microbiome and the host via metaproteomics and metabolomics approaches. However, also here the complexity is high and only a fraction of signals obtained with high throughput instruments can be identified and assigned to a known protein or molecule. Therefore, modern microbiome research needs advancement of existing and development of new analytical techniques. The usage of model systems like intestinal organoids where samples can be taken and processed rapidly as well as microfluidics systems may help. This review aims to elucidate what we know about the functionality of the human intestinal microbiome, what technologies are advancing this knowledge, and what innovations are still required to further evolve this actively developing field.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Sidorina A, Catesini G, Levi Mortera S, et al (2020)

Combined proteomic and lipidomic studies in Pompe disease allow a better disease mechanism understanding.

Journal of inherited metabolic disease [Epub ahead of print].

Pompe disease (PD) is caused by deficiency of the enzyme acid α-glucosidase resulting in glycogen accumulation in lysosomes. Clinical symptoms include skeletal myopathy, respiratory failure, and cardiac hypertrophy. We studied plasma proteomic and lipidomic profiles in 12 PD patients compared to age-matched controls. The proteomic profiles were analyzed by nLC-MS/MS SWATH method. Wide-targeted lipidomic analysis was performed by LC-IMS/MS, allowing to quantify >1100 lipid species, spanning 13 classes. Significant differences were found for 16 proteins, with four showing the most relevant changes (GPLD1, PON1, LDHB, PKM). Lipidomic analysis showed elevated levels of three phosphatidylcholines and of the free fatty acid 22:4, and reduced levels of six lysophosphatidylcholines. Up-regulated glycolytic enzymes (LDHB and PKM) are involved in autophagy and glycogen metabolism, while down-regulated PON1 and GPLD1 combined with lipidomic data indicate an abnormal phospholipid metabolism. Reduced GPLD1 and dysregulation of lipids with acyl-chains characteristic of GPI-anchor structure suggest the potential involvement of GPI-anchor system in PD. Results of proteomic analysis displayed the involvement of multiple cellular functions affecting inflammatory, immune and antioxidant responses, autophagy, Ca2+ -homeostasis, and cell adhesion. The combined multi-omic approach revealed new biosignatures in PD, providing novel insights in disease pathophysiology with potential future clinical application.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

van Tilburg Bernardes E, Gutierrez MW, MC Arrieta (2020)

The Fungal Microbiome and Asthma.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:583418.

Asthma is a group of inflammatory conditions that compromises the airways of a continuously increasing number of people around the globe. Its complex etiology comprises both genetic and environmental aspects, with the intestinal and lung microbiomes emerging as newly implicated factors that can drive and aggravate asthma. Longitudinal infant cohort studies combined with mechanistic studies in animal models have identified microbial signatures causally associated with subsequent asthma risk. The recent inclusion of fungi in human microbiome surveys has revealed that microbiome signatures associated with asthma risk are not limited to bacteria, and that fungi are also implicated in asthma development in susceptible individuals. In this review, we examine the unique properties of human-associated and environmental fungi, which confer them the ability to influence immune development and allergic responses. The important contribution of fungi to asthma development and exacerbations prompts for their inclusion in current and future asthma studies in humans and animal models.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

Gomes JÁP, Frizon L, VF Demeda (2020)

Ocular Surface Microbiome in Health and Disease.

Asia-Pacific journal of ophthalmology (Philadelphia, Pa.), 9(6):505-511.

The ocular surface is exposed continuously to the environment and, as a consequence, to a variety of different microbes. After the results of the Human Microbiome Project became publicly available, international research groups started to focus interest on exploring the ocular surface microbiome and its physiopathological relationship to the eye. For example, numerous research studies the existence of the ocular surface's bacterial flora, typically gathering cultures from healthy patients and finding few variations in the bacterial species. More recently, culture-independent methods, including 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene sequencing, are being used to define the ocular microbiome. These newer methods suggest that the microbial communities have a greater diversity than previously reported. These communities seem to serve an immune-modulating function and maintain relationships with other microbes and organs, even distant ones. This review summarizes the literature exploring the ocular microbiome, both in health and in different diseases.

RevDate: 2020-12-19

Utter DR, Borisy GG, Eren AM, et al (2020)

Metapangenomics of the oral microbiome provides insights into habitat adaptation and cultivar diversity.

Genome biology, 21(1):293.

BACKGROUND: The increasing availability of microbial genomes and environmental shotgun metagenomes provides unprecedented access to the genomic differences within related bacteria. The human oral microbiome with its diverse habitats and abundant, relatively well-characterized microbial inhabitants presents an opportunity to investigate bacterial population structures at an ecosystem scale.

RESULTS: Here, we employ a metapangenomic approach that combines public genomes with Human Microbiome Project (HMP) metagenomes to study the diversity of microbial residents of three oral habitats: tongue dorsum, buccal mucosa, and supragingival plaque. For two exemplar taxa, Haemophilus parainfluenzae and the genus Rothia, metapangenomes reveal distinct genomic groups based on shared genome content. H. parainfluenzae genomes separate into three distinct subgroups with differential abundance between oral habitats. Functional enrichment analyses identify an operon encoding oxaloacetate decarboxylase as diagnostic for the tongue-abundant subgroup. For the genus Rothia, grouping by shared genome content recapitulates species-level taxonomy and habitat preferences. However, while most R. mucilaginosa are restricted to the tongue as expected, two genomes represent a cryptic population of R. mucilaginosa in many buccal mucosa samples. For both H. parainfluenzae and the genus Rothia, we identify not only limitations in the ability of cultivated organisms to represent populations in their native environment, but also specifically which cultivar gene sequences are absent or ubiquitous.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide insights into population structure and biogeography in the mouth and form specific hypotheses about habitat adaptation. These results illustrate the power of combining metagenomes and pangenomes to investigate the ecology and evolution of bacteria across analytical scales.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Kantele A, Lääveri T, Kareinen L, et al (2020)

SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare workers at Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, spring 2020: Serosurvey, symptoms and risk factors.

Travel medicine and infectious disease, 39:101949 pii:S1477-8939(20)30446-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Exposure, risks and immunity of healthcare workers (HCWs), a vital resource during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, warrant special attention.

METHODS: HCWs at Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, filled in questionnaires and provided serum samples for SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody screening by Euroimmun IgG assay in March-April 2020. Positive/equivocal findings were confirmed by Abbott and microneutralization tests. Positivity by two of the three assays or RT-PCR indicated a Covid-19 case (CoV+).

RESULTS: The rate of CoV(+) was 3.3% (36/1095) and seropositivity 3.0% (33/1095). CoV(+) was associated with contact with a known Covid-19 case, and working on a Covid-19-dedicated ward or one with cases among staff. The rate in the Covid-19-dedicated ICU was negligible. Smoking and age <55 years were associated with decreased risk. CoV(+) was strongly associated with ageusia, anosmia, myalgia, fatigue, fever, and chest pressure. Seropositivity was recorded for 89.3% of those with prior documented RT-PCR-positivity and 2.4% of those RT-PCR-negative. The rate of previously unidentified cases was 0.7% (8/1067) and asymptomatic ones 0% (0/36).

CONCLUSION: Undiagnosed and asymptomatic cases among HCWs proved rare. An increased risk was associated with Covid-19-dedicated wards. Particularly high rates were seen for wards with liberal HCW-HCW contacts, highlighting the importance of social distancing also among HCWs.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Aluthge ND, Tom WA, Bartenslager AC, et al (2020)

Differential longitudinal establishment of human fecal bacterial communities in germ-free porcine and murine models.

Communications biology, 3(1):760.

The majority of microbiome studies focused on understanding mechanistic relationships between the host and the microbiota have used mice and other rodents as the model of choice. However, the domestic pig is a relevant model that is currently underutilized for human microbiome investigations. In this study, we performed a direct comparison of the engraftment of fecal bacterial communities from human donors between human microbiota-associated (HMA) piglet and mouse models under identical dietary conditions. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes using amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) revealed that with the exception of early microbiota from infants, the more mature microbiotas tested established better in the HMA piglets compared to HMA mice. Of interest was the greater transplantation success of members belonging to phylum Firmicutes in the HMA piglets compared to the HMA mice. Together, these results provide evidence for the HMA piglet model potentially being more broadly applicable for donors with more mature microbiotas while the HMA mouse model might be more relevant for developing microbiotas such as those of infants. This study also emphasizes the necessity to exercise caution in extrapolating findings from HMA animals to humans, since up to 28% of taxa from some donors failed to colonize either model.

RevDate: 2020-12-30

Ghemrawi M, Torres AR, Duncan G, et al (2020)

The genital microbiome and its potential for detecting sexual assault.

Forensic science international. Genetics, 51:102432 pii:S1872-4973(20)30204-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Since its inception, the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) has provided key discoveries that can be applied to forensics, in addition to those of obvious medical value. Whether for postmortem interval estimation, geolocation, or human identification, there are many applications of the microbiome as an investigative lead for forensic casework. The human skin microbiome has shown great potential for use in studies of transfer and human identification, however there has been little focus on the genital microbiome, in particular penile skin which differs from other body sites. Our preliminary data on both the penile and vaginal microbiome demonstrates potential value in cases of sexual assault. In this study we describe genital microbial signatures based on the analysis of five male and five female genital samples and compare these results to those from longitudinal studies. Selected taxa, e.g., Gardnerella, Lactobacilli, Finegoldia, Peptoniphilus, and Anaerococci, are shown to be candidate constituents of the genital microbiome that merit investigation for use in sexual assault casework.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Tsonis O, Gkrozou F, M Paschopoulos (2020)

Microbiome affecting reproductive outcome in ARTs.

Journal of gynecology obstetrics and human reproduction, 50(3):102036 pii:S2468-7847(20)30412-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Current scientific evidence reveals the importance of the human microbiome in health and disease. The presence of microbiota within the male and female reproductive tract has been well-documented and present theories imply that a possible disruption of their concentrations may have adverse effects on reproductive health and reproductive outcomes. Altered endometrial and vaginal microbiome could potential affect the reproductive outcome in infertile couples undergoing assisted reproductive techniques. Analysis of seminal fluids could also facilitate a prompt and appropriate approach in cases of abnormal male reproductive microflora. Essential knowledge on this subject could provide fertility experts better understanding with regards to unexplained fertility, increasing the success rates of ARTs. In this review, we summarise the current knowledge on the microbiota of the male and female reproductive tract and its impact on the success rates of ARTs in infertile couples.

RevDate: 2020-12-11

Rocks T, West M, Hockey M, et al (2020)

Possible use of fermented foods in rehabilitation of anorexia nervosa: the gut microbiota as a modulator.

Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry pii:S0278-5846(20)30517-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Anorexia nervosa is a serious psychiatric disorder with high morbidity and mortality rate. Evidence for the optimal psychopharmacological approach to managing the disorder remains limited, with nutritional treatment, focused on weight restoration through the consumption of high energy diet, regarded as one of the fundamental steps in treatment. The human gut microbiome is increasingly recognised for its proposed role in gastrointestinal, metabolic, immune and mental health, all of which may be compromised in individuals with anorexia nervosa. Dietary intake plays an important role in shaping gut microbiota composition, whilst the use of fermented foods, foods with potential psychobiotic properties that deliver live bacteria, bacterial metabolites, prebiotics and energy, have been discussed to a lesser extent. However, fermented foods are of increasing interest due to their potential capacity to affect gut microbiota composition, provide beneficial bacterial metabolites, and confer beneficial outcomes to host health. This review provides an overview of the role of the gut microbiota in relation to the disease pathology in anorexia nervosa and especially focuses on the therapeutic potential of fermented foods, proposed here as a recommended addition to the current nutritional treatment protocols warranting further investigation.

RevDate: 2020-12-11

Creasy HH, Felix V, Aluvathingal J, et al (2020)

HMPDACC: a Human Microbiome Project Multi-omic data resource.

Nucleic acids research pii:6030231 [Epub ahead of print].

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) explored microbial communities of the human body in both healthy and disease states. Two phases of the HMP (HMP and iHMP) together generated >48TB of data (public and controlled access) from multiple, varied omics studies of both the microbiome and associated hosts. The Human Microbiome Project Data Coordination Center (HMPDACC) was established to provide a portal to access data and resources produced by the HMP. The HMPDACC provides a unified data repository, multi-faceted search functionality, analysis pipelines and standardized protocols to facilitate community use of HMP data. Recent efforts have been put toward making HMP data more findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. HMPDACC resources are freely available at www.hmpdacc.org.

RevDate: 2020-12-12

Vural M, Gilbert B, Üstün I, et al (2020)

Mini-Review: Human Microbiome and Rheumatic Diseases.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 10:491160.

Rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy are the most common inflammatory rheumatic diseases. As the human microbiome is involved in the immune homeostasis, it has the potential to be a key factor in the development of autoimmune diseases and rheumatic diseases. In this article, we review the role of various human microbiota on the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases, focusing on spondylarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

RevDate: 2020-12-12

Koffert J, Lahti L, Nylund L, et al (2020)

Partial restoration of normal intestinal microbiota in morbidly obese women six months after bariatric surgery.

PeerJ, 8:e10442.

We studied the impact of bariatric surgery on the intestinal microbiota of morbidly obese study subjects. A total of 13 morbidly obese women (five of which had type 2 diabetes) and 14 healthy age- and gender-matched controls were recruited and the microbiota composition of fecal samples were determined by using a phylogenetic microarray. Sampling of the patients took place just one month before and 6 months after the operation. Within six months after bariatric surgery, the obese subjects had lost on average a quarter of their weight whereas four of the five of the diabetic subjects were in remission. Bariatric surgery was associated with an increased microbial community richness and Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio. In addition, we observed an increased relative abundance of facultative anaerobes, such as Streptococcus spp., and a reduction in specific butyrate-producing Firmicutes. The observed postoperative alterations in intestinal microbiota reflect adaptation to the changing conditions in the gastrointestinal tract, such as energy restriction and the inability to process fiber-rich foods after bariatric surgery.

RevDate: 2020-12-11

Anonymous (2020)

Correction to "Do we have the guts to go? The abdominal compartment, intra-abdominal hypertension, the human microbiome and exploration class space missions".

Canadian journal of surgery. Journal canadien de chirurgie, 63(6):E609.

RevDate: 2020-12-10

Ventin-Holmberg R, Eberl A, Saqib S, et al (2020)

Bacterial and fungal profiles as markers of infliximab drug response in inflammatory bowel disease.

Journal of Crohn's & colitis pii:6029424 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are globally increasing chronic gastro-intestinal inflammatory disorders associating with altered gut microbiota. Infliximab (IFX), a TNF-alpha blocker, is used to treat IBD patients successfully though one third of the patients do not respond to therapy. No reliable biomarkers are available for prediction of IFX response.

AIMS: Our aim was to investigate the faecal bacterial and fungal communities during IFX therapy and find predictors for IFX treatment response in IBD patients.

METHODS: 72 IBD patients (25 CD and 47 UC) started IFX therapy and were followed for one year or until IFX treatment was discontinued. Amplicon sequencing approach targeting the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS 1 region separately was used to determine the microbiota profiles in faecal samples collected before IFX therapy, two, six, twelve weeks and one year after initiation of therapy. The response to IFX was evaluated by colonoscopy and clinically at twelve weeks after initiation.

RESULTS: Both the faecal bacterial and fungal profiles differed significantly between response groups before start of IFX treatment. Non-responders had lower abundances of short chain fatty acid producers, particularly of the class Clostridia and higher abundances of pro-inflammatory bacteria and fungi, such as the genus Candida, compared to responders. This was further indicated by bacterial taxa predicting the response in both CD and UC patients (area under curve > 0.8).

CONCLUSIONS: Faecal bacterial and fungal microbiota composition could provide a predictive tool to estimate IFX response in IBD patients.

RevDate: 2020-12-13

Malard F, Dore J, Gaugler B, et al (2020)

Introduction to host microbiome symbiosis in health and disease.

Mucosal immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Humans share a core intestinal microbiome and yet human microbiome differs by genes, species, enterotypes (ecology), and gene count (microbial diversity). Achievement of microbiota metagenomic analysis has revealed that the microbiome gene count is a key stratifier of health in several immune disorders and clinical conditions. We review here the progress of the metagenomic pipeline analysis, and how this has allowed us to define the host-microbe symbiosis associated with a healthy status. The link between host-microbe symbiosis disruption, the so-called dysbiosis and chronic diseases or iatrogenic conditions is highlighted. Finally, opportunities to use microbiota modulation, with specific nutrients and/or live microbes, as a target for personalized nutrition and therapy for the maintenance, preservation, or restoration of host-microbe symbiosis are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Daisley BA, Chanyi RM, Abdur-Rashid K, et al (2020)

Author Correction: Abiraterone acetate preferentially enriches for the gut commensal Akkermansia muciniphila in castrate-resistant prostate cancer patients.

Nature communications, 11(1):6394 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-20410-x.

RevDate: 2020-12-21
CmpDate: 2020-12-21

Harpaz D, Veltman B, Sadeh Y, et al (2021)

The effect of cannabis toxicity on a model microbiome bacterium epitomized by a panel of bioluminescent E. coli.

Chemosphere, 263:128241.

The world acceptance of medical cannabis slowly widens. Cannabinoids are known as the main therapeutic active compounds in the cannabis plant, yet their bioactive physiological effects are still unknown. In this study, the mode of action of nine selected cannabinoids was examined using a bioluminescent bacterial panel, as well as the extracts of six different cannabis varieties and cannabinoids standards artificial mixtures. The bacterial panel was composed of genetically modified E. coli bacteria that is commonly found in the gut microbiome, to which a lux operon was added to various stress promoters. The panel was exposed to the cannabinoids in order to identify bacterial defense mechanism, via the aforementioned specific stress types response. This enables the understanding of the toxicity mode of action of cannabinoids. From all the tested cannabinoids, only delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid A (THCA) produced a genotoxic effect, while the other tested cannabinoids, demonstrated cytotoxic or oxidative damages. Unlike pure cannabinoids, cannabis plant extracts exhibited mostly genotoxicity, with minor cytotoxicity or oxidative stress responses. Moreover, cannabinoids standards artificial mixtures produced a different response patterns compared to their individual effects, which may be due to additional synergistic or antagonistic reactions between the mixed chemicals on the bacterial panel. The results showed that despite the lack of cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabichromene (CBC) in the artificial solution mimicking the CN6 cannabis variety, a similar response pattern to the cannabinoids standards mixture was obtained. This work contributes to the understanding of such correlations and may provide a realistic view of cannabinoid effects on the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-12-09

Chen CX, Carpenter JS, Murphy T, et al (2020)

Associations Between Dysmenorrhea Symptom-Based Phenotypes and Vaginal Microbiome: A Pilot Study.

Biological research for nursing [Epub ahead of print].

Human microbiome research provides rich opportunities to elucidate factors influencing health, uncover novel biomarkers, and expand disease treatment options. A well-conducted microbiome study depends not only on a rigorous design but also on successfully engaging participants in collecting quality samples. In this paper, we aim to describe (1) strategies our team used to engage adolescents and young adults in vaginal and gut microbiome sample self-collection and (2) their effectiveness. In our prospective, longitudinal, feasibility study of 20 female adolescents and young adults, research participants self-collected vaginal and gut microbiome samples at home. Using a participatory and iterative process, we developed strategies to engage participants in sample self-collection, including (1) providing clear instructions to ensure comprehension and buy-in, (2) providing a user-friendly take-home package, (3) minimizing disgust/embarrassment associated with sample collection, and (4) follow-up communications to facilitate sample collections and return. With these strategies, we achieved 100% participant retention and 100% sample return rates. All samples (n = 80, 100%) were usable for downstream 16s rRNA gene sequencing and analysis. All participants rated the study procedures as acceptable, and qualitative data showed that strategies were well received by participants. This study suggests that carefully planning and implementing strategies to engage participants in sample self-collection can result in high degrees of participant compliance, sample quality, and participant satisfaction in microbiome research.

RevDate: 2020-12-08

Durrant MG, AS Bhatt (2020)

Automated Prediction and Annotation of Small Open Reading Frames in Microbial Genomes.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(20)30619-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Small open reading frames (smORFs) and their encoded microproteins play central roles in microbes. However, there is a vast unexplored space of smORFs within human-associated microbes. A recent bioinformatic analysis used evolutionary conservation signals to enhance prediction of small protein families. To facilitate the annotation of specific smORFs, we introduce SmORFinder. This tool combines profile hidden Markov models of each smORF family and deep learning models that better generalize to smORF families not seen in the training set, resulting in predictions enriched for Ribo-seq translation signals. Feature importance analysis reveals that the deep learning models learn to identify Shine-Dalgarno sequences, deprioritize the wobble position in each codon, and group codon synonyms found in the codon table. A core-genome analysis of 26 bacterial species identifies several core smORFs of unknown function. We pre-compute smORF annotations for thousands of RefSeq isolate genomes and Human Microbiome Project metagenomes and provide these data through a public web portal.

RevDate: 2020-12-09

Banerjee S, Suter MA, KM Aagaard (2020)

Interactions between Environmental Exposures and the Microbiome: Implications for Fetal Programming.

Current opinion in endocrine and metabolic research, 13:39-48.

Decades of population-based health outcomes data highlight the importance of understanding how environmental exposures in pregnancy affect maternal and neonatal outcomes. Animal model research and epidemiological studies have revealed that such exposures are able to alter fetal programming through stable changes in the epigenome, including altered DNA methylation patterns and histone modifications in the developing fetus and infant. It is similarly known that while microbes can biotransform environmental chemicals via conjugation and de-conjugation, specific exposures can also alter the community profile and function of the human microbiome. In this review, we consider how alterations to the maternal and or fetal/infant microbiome through environmental exposures could directly and indirectly alter fetal programming. We highlight two specific environmental exposures, cadmium (Cd) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and outline their effects on the developing fetus and the perinatal (maternal and fetal/infant) microbiome. We further consider how chemical exposures in the setting of natural disasters may be of particular importance to environmental health.

RevDate: 2020-12-08

Hiippala K, Barreto G, Burrello C, et al (2020)

Novel Odoribacter splanchnicus Strain and Its Outer Membrane Vesicles Exert Immunoregulatory Effects in vitro.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:575455.

Odoribacter splanchnicus, belonging to the order Bacteroidales, is a common, short-chain fatty acid producing member of the human intestinal microbiota. A decreased abundance of Odoribacter has been linked to different microbiota-associated diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The type strain of O. splanchnicus has been genome-sequenced, but otherwise very little is known about this anaerobic bacterium. The species surfaces in many microbiota studies and, consequently, comprehension on its interactions with the host is needed. In this study, we isolated a novel strain of O. splanchnicus from a healthy fecal donor, identified it by genome sequencing and addressed its adhesive, epithelium reinforcing and immunoregulatory properties. Our results show that O. splanchnicus strain 57 is non-adherent to enterocytes or mucus, does not reinforce nor compromise Caco-2 monolayer integrity and most likely harbors penta-acylated, less endotoxic lipid A as part of its lipopolysaccharide (LPS) structure based on the lack of gene lpxM and in vitro results on low-level NF-κB activity. The studies by transmission electron microscopy revealed that O. splanchnicus produces outer membrane vesicles (OMV). O. splanchnicus cells, culture supernatant i.e., spent medium or OMVs did not induce interleukin-8 (IL-8) response in HT-29 enterocyte cells suggesting a very low proinflammatory capacity. On the contrary, the treatment of HT-29 cells with O. splanchnicus cells, spent medium or OMVs prior to exposure to Escherichia coli LPS elicited a significant decrease in IL-8 production as compared to E. coli LPS treatment alone. Moreover, O. splanchnicus spent supernatant induced IL-10 production by immune cells, suggesting anti-inflammatory activity. Our in vitro findings indicate that O. splanchnicus and its effector molecules transported in OMVs could potentially exert anti-inflammatory action in the gut epithelium. Taken together, O. splanchnicus seems to be a commensal with a primarily beneficial interaction with the host.

RevDate: 2020-12-21

Kirkpatrick AW, Hamilton DR, McKee JL, et al (2020)

Do we have the guts to go? The abdominal compartment, intra-abdominal hypertension, the human microbiome and exploration class space missions.

Canadian journal of surgery. Journal canadien de chirurgie, 63(6):E581-E593.

Humans are destined to explore space, yet critical illness and injury may be catastrophically limiting for extraterrestrial travel. Humans are superorganisms living in symbiosis with their microbiomes, whose genetic diversity dwarfs that of humans. Symbiosis is critical and imbalances are associated with disease, occurring within hours of serious illness and injury. There are many characteristics of space flight that negatively influence the microbiome, especially deep space itself, with its increased radiation and absence of gravity. Prolonged weightlessness causes many physiologic changes that are detrimental; some resemble aging and will adversely affect the ability to tolerate critical illness or injury and subsequent treatment. Critical illness-induced intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) may induce malperfusion of both the viscera and microbiome, with potentially catastrophic effects. Evidence from animal models confirms profound IAH effects on the gut, namely ischemia and disruption of barrier function, mechanistically linking IAH to resultant organ dysfunction. Therefore, a pathologic dysbiome, space-induced immune dysfunction and a diminished cardiorespiratory reserve with exacerbated susceptibility to IAH, imply that a space-deconditioned astronaut will be vulnerable to IAH-induced gut malperfusion. This sets the stage for severe gut ischemia and massive biomediator generation in an astronaut with reduced cardiorespiratory/immunological capacity. Fortunately, experiments in weightless analogue environments suggest that IAH may be ameliorated by conformational abdominal wall changes and a resetting of thoracoabdominal mechanics. Thus, review of the interactions of physiologic changes with prolonged weightlessness and IAH is required to identify appropriate questions for planning exploration class space surgical care.

RevDate: 2020-12-12

Tian L, Wang XW, Wu AK, et al (2020)

Deciphering functional redundancy in the human microbiome.

Nature communications, 11(1):6217.

Although the taxonomic composition of the human microbiome varies tremendously across individuals, its gene composition or functional capacity is highly conserved - implying an ecological property known as functional redundancy. Such functional redundancy has been hypothesized to underlie the stability and resilience of the human microbiome, but this hypothesis has never been quantitatively tested. The origin of functional redundancy is still elusive. Here, we investigate the basis for functional redundancy in the human microbiome by analyzing its genomic content network - a bipartite graph that links microbes to the genes in their genomes. We find that this network exhibits several topological features that favor high functional redundancy. Furthermore, we develop a simple genome evolution model to generate genomic content network, finding that moderate selection pressure and high horizontal gene transfer rate are necessary to generate genomic content networks with key topological features that favor high functional redundancy. Finally, we analyze data from two published studies of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), finding that high functional redundancy of the recipient's pre-FMT microbiota raises barriers to donor microbiota engraftment. This work elucidates the potential ecological and evolutionary processes that create and maintain functional redundancy in the human microbiome and contribute to its resilience.

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Kasperkiewicz K, Świerzko AS, Przybyła M, et al (2020)

The Role of Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 Lipopolysaccharide in Collagen-Induced Arthritis.

Journal of immunology research, 2020:7439506.

Yersinia enterocolitica O:3 is mentioned among the most common arthritogenic pathogens. Bacterial components (including lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) may persist in the joint after eradication of infection. Having an adjuvant activity, LPS may enhance production of anticollagen antibodies, involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, its ability to activate complement contributes to the inflammation. The aim of this work was to investigate whether Yersinia LPS (coinjected with collagen) is associated with arthritis progression or other pathological effects and to elucidate the mechanism of this association. It was demonstrated that murine mannose-binding lectin C (MBL-C) recognizes the inner core heptoses of the Rd1 chemotype LPS of Yersinia. In addition, the Rd1 LPS activates the MBL-associated serine protease 1 (MASP-1) stronger than the S and Ra chemotype LPS and comparable to Klebsiella pneumoniae O:3 LPS. However, in contrast to the latter, Yersinia Rd1 LPS was associated neither with the adjuvancity nor with the enhancement of pathological changes in animal paws/impairment of motility. On the other hand, it seemed to be more hepatotoxic when compared with the other tested endotoxins, while the enlargement of inguinal lymph nodes and drop in hepatic MBL-C expression (at the mRNA level) were independent of LPS chemotype. Our data did not suggest no greater impact Y. enterocolitica O:3 on the development or severity of arthropathy related to anticollagen antibody-induced arthritis in mice, although its interaction with MBL-C and subsequent complement activation may contribute to some adverse effects.

RevDate: 2020-12-23
CmpDate: 2020-12-23

Zhang Q, T Dao (2020)

A distance based multisample test for high-dimensional compositional data with applications to the human microbiome.

BMC bioinformatics, 21(Suppl 9):205.

BACKGROUND: Compositional data refer to the data that lie on a simplex, which are common in many scientific domains such as genomics, geology and economics. As the components in a composition must sum to one, traditional tests based on unconstrained data become inappropriate, and new statistical methods are needed to analyze this special type of data.

RESULTS: In this paper, we consider a general problem of testing for the compositional difference between K populations. Motivated by microbiome and metagenomics studies, where the data are often over-dispersed and high-dimensional, we formulate a well-posed hypothesis from a Bayesian point of view and suggest a nonparametric test based on inter-point distance to evaluate statistical significance. Unlike most existing tests for compositional data, our method does not rely on any data transformation, sparsity assumption or regularity conditions on the covariance matrix, but directly analyzes the compositions. Simulated data and two real data sets on the human microbiome are used to illustrate the promise of our method.

CONCLUSIONS: Our simulation studies and real data applications demonstrate that the proposed test is more sensitive to the compositional difference than the mean-based method, especially when the data are over-dispersed or zero-inflated. The proposed test is easy to implement and computationally efficient, facilitating its application to large-scale datasets.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

Marco ML, Hill C, Hutkins R, et al (2020)

Should There Be a Recommended Daily Intake of Microbes?.

The Journal of nutrition, 150(12):3061-3067.

The collective findings from human microbiome research, randomized controlled trials on specific microbes (i.e., probiotics), and associative studies of fermented dairy consumption provide evidence for the beneficial effects of the regular consumption of safe live microbes. To test the hypothesis that the inclusion of safe, live microbes in the diet supports and improves health, we propose assessment of the types and evidentiary quality of the data available on microbe intake, including the assembly and evaluation of evidence available from dietary databases. Such an analysis would help to identify gaps in the evidence needed to test this hypothesis, which can then be used to formulate and direct initiatives focused on prospective and randomized controlled trials on live microbe consumption. Outcomes will establish whether or not the evidence exists, or can be generated, to support the establishment of dietary recommendations for live microbes.

RevDate: 2020-12-11

Lin H, SD Peddada (2020)

Analysis of microbial compositions: a review of normalization and differential abundance analysis.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 6(1):60.

Increasingly, researchers are discovering associations between microbiome and a wide range of human diseases such as obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases, HIV, and so on. The first step towards microbiome wide association studies is the characterization of the composition of human microbiome under different conditions. Determination of differentially abundant microbes between two or more environments, known as differential abundance (DA) analysis, is a challenging and an important problem that has received considerable interest during the past decade. It is well documented in the literature that the observed microbiome data (OTU/SV table) are relative abundances with an excess of zeros. Since relative abundances sum to a constant, these data are necessarily compositional. In this article we review some recent methods for DA analysis and describe their strengths and weaknesses.

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Park IH, Lee JS, Park JH, et al (2020)

Comparison of the human microbiome in adults and children with chronic rhinosinusitis.

PloS one, 15(12):e0242770.

We hypothesized that differences in the microbiome could be a cause of the substantial differences in the symptoms of and treatment options for adult and pediatric patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). First, we characterized the differences in the nasal microbiomes of pediatric and adult CRS patients. Swabs were obtained from 19 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (9 children and 10 adults). The bacterial 16S rRNA gene was pyrosequenced to compare the microbiota of the middle meatus. No significant differences were found in species richness and alpha-diversity indices between the two groups. However, in the comparison of diversity between groups using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) clustering of microbiome taxonomic profiles, we observed a relatively clear separation between the adult and pediatric groups. Actinobacteria had a significantly higher relative abundance in the adult group than in the pediatric group at the phylum level. At the genus level, Corynebacterium showed significantly higher relative abundance in the adult group than in the pediatric group. This is a comparative study between the microbiomes of adult and pediatric CRS patients. We expect this study to be the first step in understanding the pathogenesis of CRS in adults and children using microbiome analysis.

RevDate: 2020-12-02

Lamousé-Smith E, Kelly D, I De Cremoux (2020)

Designing bugs as drugs: exploiting the gut microbiome.

American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology [Epub ahead of print].

The extensive investigation of the human microbiome and the accumulating evidence regarding its critical relationship to human health and disease has advanced recognition of its potential as the next frontier of drug development. The rapid development of technologies, directed at understanding the compositional and functional dynamics of the human microbiome, and the ability to mine for novel therapeutic targets and biomarkers is leading innovative efforts to develop microbe-derived drugs that can prevent and treat autoimmune, metabolic, and infectious diseases. Increasingly academics, biotechs, investors, and large pharmaceutical companies are partnering to collectively advance various therapeutic modalities ranging from live bacteria to small molecules. We review the leading platforms in current development focusing on live microbial consortia, engineered microbes, and microbial-derived metabolites. We will also touch on how the field is addressing and challenging the traditional definitions of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, dosing, toxicity, and safety in order to advance the development of these novel and cutting-edge therapeutics into the clinic.

RevDate: 2020-12-03

Federici S, Suez J, E Elinav (2020)

Our Microbiome: On the Challenges, Promises, and Hype.

Results and problems in cell differentiation, 69:539-557.

The microbiome field is increasingly raising interest among scientists, clinicians, biopharmaceutical entities, and the general public. Technological advances from the past two decades have enabled the rapid expansion of our ability to characterize the human microbiome in depth, highlighting its previously underappreciated role in contributing to multifactorial diseases including those with unknown etiology. Consequently, there is growing evidence that the microbiome could be utilized in medical diagnosis and patient stratification. Moreover, multiple gut microbes and their metabolic products may be bioactive, thereby serving as future potential microbiome-targeting or -associated therapeutics. Such therapies could include new generation probiotics, prebiotics, fecal microbiota transplantations, postbiotics, and dietary modulators. However, microbiome research has also been associated with significant limitations, technical and conceptual challenges, and, at times, "over-hyped" expectations that microbiome research will produce quick solutions to chronic and mechanistically complex human disorders. Herein, we summarize these challenges and also discuss some of the realistic promises associated with microbiome research and its applicability into clinical application.

RevDate: 2020-12-22


Coordinating and Assisting Research at the SARS-CoV-2/Microbiome Nexus.

mSystems, 5(6):.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a single virus, the rest of the human microbiome appears to be involved in the disease and could influence vaccine responses while offering opportunities for microbiome-directed therapeutics. The newly formed Microbiome Centers Consortium (MCC) surveyed its membership and identified four ways to leverage the strengths and experience of microbiome centers in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet these needs, the MCC will provide a platform to coordinate clinical and environmental research, assist with practical obstacles, and help communicate the connections between the microbiome and COVID-19. We ask that microbiome researchers join us in these efforts to address the ongoing pandemic.

RevDate: 2020-12-15

Gray HK, Arora-Williams KK, Young C, et al (2020)

Contribution of Time, Taxonomy, and Selective Antimicrobials to Antibiotic and Multidrug Resistance in Wastewater Bacteria.

Environmental science & technology, 54(24):15946-15957.

The use of nontherapeutic broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents triclosan (TCS) and benzalkonium chloride (BC) can contribute to bacterial resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria within wastewater may reflect the resistance burden within the human microbiome, as antibiotics and pathogens in wastewater can track with clinically relevant parameters during perturbations to the community. In this study, we monitored culturable and resistant wastewater bacteria and cross-resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics to gauge the impact of each antimicrobial and identify factors influencing cross-resistance profiles. Bacteria resistant to TCS and BC were isolated from wastewater influent over 21 months, and cross-resistance, taxonomy, and monthly changes were characterized under both antimicrobial selection regimes. Cross-resistance profiles from each antimicrobial differed within and between taxa. BC-isolated bacteria had a significantly higher prevalence of resistance to "last-resort antibiotic" colistin, while isolates resistant to TCS exhibited higher rates of multidrug resistance. Prevalence of culturable TCS-resistant bacteria decreased over time following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) TCS bans. Cross-resistance patterns varied according to sampling date, including among the most clinically important antibiotics. Correlations between strain-specific resistance profiles were largely influenced by taxonomy, with some variations associated with sampling date. The results reveal that time, taxonomy, and selection by TCS and BC impact features of cross-resistance patterns among diverse wastewater microorganisms, which could reflect the variety of factors influencing resistance patterns relevant to a community microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-12-12

Ricci V, Carcione D, Messina S, et al (2020)

Circulating 16S RNA in Biofluids: Extracellular Vesicles as Mirrors of Human Microbiome?.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(23):.

The human body is inhabited by around 1013 microbes composing a multicomplex system, termed microbiota, which is strongly involved in the regulation and maintenance of homeostasis. Perturbations in microbiota composition can lead to dysbiosis, which has been associated with several human pathologies. The gold-standard method to explore microbial composition is next-generation sequencing, which involves the analysis of 16S rRNA, an indicator of the presence of specific microorganisms and the principal tool used in bacterial taxonomic classification. Indeed, the development of 16S RNA sequencing allows us to explore microbial composition in several environments and human body districts and fluids, since it has been detected in "germ-free" environments such as blood, plasma, and urine of diseased and healthy subjects. Recently, prokaryotes showed to generate extracellular vesicles, which are known to be responsible for shuttling different intracellular components such as proteins and nucleic acids (including 16S molecules) by protecting their cargo from degradation. These vesicles can be found in several human biofluids and can be exploited as tools for bacterial detection and identification. In this review, we examine the complex link between circulating 16S RNA molecules and bacteria-derived vesicles.

RevDate: 2020-11-30

Pacifici R (2020)

Role of Gut Microbiota in the Skeletal Response to PTH.

The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism pii:6012904 [Epub ahead of print].

Exposed surfaces of mammals are colonized with 100 trillion indigenous bacteria, fungi and viruses, creating a diverse ecosystem known as the human microbiome. The gut microbiome is the richest microbiome and is now known to regulate postnatal skeletal development and the activity of the major endocrine regulators of bone. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is one of the bone-regulating hormone that requires elements of the gut microbiome to exert both its bone catabolic and its bone anabolic effects. How the gut microbiome regulates the skeletal response to PTH is object of intense research. Involved mechanism include absorption and diffusion of bacterial metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids, and trafficking of immune cells from the gut to the bone marrow. This review will focus on how the gut microbiome communicates and regulates bone marrow cells in order to modulate the skeletal effects of PTH.

RevDate: 2020-11-30

Hassan R, Allali I, Agamah FE, et al (2020)

Drug response in association with pharmacogenomics and pharmacomicrobiomics: towards a better personalized medicine.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6012864 [Epub ahead of print].

Researchers have long been presented with the challenge imposed by the role of genetic heterogeneity in drug response. For many years, Pharmacogenomics and pharmacomicrobiomics has been investigating the influence of an individual's genetic background to drug response and disposition. More recently, the human gut microbiome has proven to play a crucial role in the way patients respond to different therapeutic drugs and it has been shown that by understanding the composition of the human microbiome, we can improve the drug efficacy and effectively identify drug targets. However, our knowledge on the effect of host genetics on specific gut microbes related to variation in drug metabolizing enzymes, the drug remains limited and therefore limits the application of joint host-microbiome genome-wide association studies. In this paper, we provide a historical overview of the complex interactions between the host, human microbiome and drugs. While discussing applications, challenges and opportunities of these studies, we draw attention to the critical need for inclusion of diverse populations and the development of an innovative and combined pharmacogenomics and pharmacomicrobiomics approach, that may provide an important basis in personalized medicine.

RevDate: 2020-12-07

Hernandez CJ (2020)

Musculoskeletal microbiology: The utility of the microbiome in orthopedics.

Journal of orthopaedic research : official publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society [Epub ahead of print].

The past 15 years have witnessed a renaissance in the study of the microbes that colonize the human body. The vast majority of the human microbiome resides within the gut. Alterations to the gut microbiome have been associated with the pathogenesis and progression of wide-ranging diseases throughout the body-including atherosclerosis, depression, and obesity. Our understanding of the effects of the gut microbiome on the musculoskeletal system remains in its infancy, but preclinical work has demonstrated an effect of the gut microbiome on the success of orthopedic surgical procedures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and muscle mass. In this perspective I review preclinical findings demonstrating that an impaired presurgical gut microbiome can increase the likelihood of developing periprosthetic joint infection and how alterations in the gut microbiome can reduce bone strength by impairing bone tissue material properties. In addition to discussing these examples, I review the hypothesis that many chronic non-communicable diseases have become more prevalent in modern industrialized societies as a result of changes in the composition of the gut microbiome resulting from changes in environment/lifestyle (diet, sanitation, antibiotic use). The most burdensome musculoskeletal disorders are chronic and non-communicable and may therefore be related to generational shifts in the composition of the gut microbiome, a possibility I illustrate by reviewing changes in the prevalence of osteoarthritis over the last century. Microbiome-based therapeutics are potentially innocuous, inexpensive, and have the potential to be effective with only occasional use, making them attractive for addressing the needs of chronic and/or slowly progressing musculoskeletal disorders.

RevDate: 2020-11-27

Prihoda D, Maritz JM, Klempir O, et al (2020)

The application potential of machine learning and genomics for understanding natural product diversity, chemistry, and therapeutic translatability.

Natural product reports [Epub ahead of print].

Covering: up to the end of 2020.The machine learning field can be defined as the study and application of algorithms that perform classification and prediction tasks through pattern recognition instead of explicitly defined rules. Among other areas, machine learning has excelled in natural language processing. As such methods have excelled at understanding written languages (e.g. English), they are also being applied to biological problems to better understand the "genomic language". In this review we focus on recent advances in applying machine learning to natural products and genomics, and how those advances are improving our understanding of natural product biology, chemistry, and drug discovery. We discuss machine learning applications in genome mining (identifying biosynthetic signatures in genomic data), predictions of what structures will be created from those genomic signatures, and the types of activity we might expect from those molecules. We further explore the application of these approaches to data derived from complex microbiomes, with a focus on the human microbiome. We also review challenges in leveraging machine learning approaches in the field, and how the availability of other "omics" data layers provides value. Finally, we provide insights into the challenges associated with interpreting machine learning models and the underlying biology and promises of applying machine learning to natural product drug discovery. We believe that the application of machine learning methods to natural product research is poised to accelerate the identification of new molecular entities that may be used to treat a variety of disease indications.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Montecchiani V, V Fanos (2020)

Human microbiome and allergy.

Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 31 Suppl 26:5-7.

Human microbiome contributes to critical functions that impact health and disease. It influences the development of the immune system, and the pathogenesis of immunological disorders included allergy. While it is easy to understand how airway microbiome, influencing local inflammation and immune activity, could contribute to shaping asthma phenotype, it is not so obvious to understand the influence by the gut microbiome, but there is growing evidence about it. The increase of allergic disorders in western countries led to investigate the role environment is playing and how it may change our microbiome and immune system, with the hope of finding new preventive approaches for allergy.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Hasan A, Hasan LK, Schnabl B, et al (2020)

Microbiome of the Aerodigestive Tract in Health and Esophageal Disease.

Digestive diseases and sciences pii:10.1007/s10620-020-06720-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The diverse human gut microbiome is comprised of approximately 40 trillion microorganisms representing up to 1000 different bacterial species. The human microbiome plays a critical role in gut epithelial health and disease susceptibility. While the interaction between gut microbiome and gastrointestinal pathology is increasingly understood, less is known about the interaction between the microbiome and the aerodigestive tract. This review of the microbiome of the aerodigestive tract in health, and alterations in microbiome across esophageal pathologies highlights important findings and areas for future research. First, microbiome profiles are distinct along the aerodigestive tract, spanning the oral cavity to the stomach. In patients with reflux-related disease such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma, investigators have observed an overall increase in gram negative bacteria in the esophageal microbiome compared to healthy individuals. However, whether differences in microbiome promote disease development, or if these shifts are a consequence of disease remains unknown. Interestingly, use of proton pump inhibitor therapy is also associated with shifts in the microbiome, with distinct shifts and patterns along the aerodigestive tract. The relationship between the human gut microbiome and esophageal pathology is a ripe area for investigation, and further understanding of these pathways may promote development of novel targets in prevention and therapy for esophageal diseases.

RevDate: 2020-12-18

Lyles JK, M Oli (2020)

The student-centered classroom: the new gut feeling.

FEMS microbiology letters, 367(22):.

A student-centered, interactive course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) was implemented in a microbiology course in order to provide an authentic research experience and to stimulate student interest and improve understanding of fermentation, probiotics, the human microbiome and related topics. Students were immersed in the scientific process as they used fundamental techniques to investigate the probiotic composition of a fermented milk beverage, kefir-an unknown question with no predetermined outcomes. In order to assess the benefits and effect of this learning experience on the students, pre- and post-study surveys were administered using Qualtrics. Post-study, 93% of participants agreed that fermented foods are beneficial to human health (compared to 52% pre-study), and notably, 100% of participants indicated that they plan to apply this material in both their personal and professional lives and would suggest consuming probiotics or fermented products to alleviate gastrointestinal issues. As evidenced by demographic data, this CURE is suitable for implementation at both large and small institutions with diverse student populations. Collectively, these data indicate that this collaborative, discovery-based learning experience is a powerful educational tool, encouraging students to make real-life connections between microbiology, medicine and their own health.

RevDate: 2020-12-01

Vernocchi P, Gili T, Conte F, et al (2020)

Network Analysis of Gut Microbiome and Metabolome to Discover Microbiota-Linked Biomarkers in Patients Affected by Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(22):.

Several studies in recent times have linked gut microbiome (GM) diversity to the pathogenesis of cancer and its role in disease progression through immune response, inflammation and metabolism modulation. This study focused on the use of network analysis and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to identify the biological interaction between the gut ecosystem and its metabolites that could impact the immunotherapy response in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients undergoing second-line treatment with anti-PD1. Metabolomic data were merged with operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from 16S RNA-targeted metagenomics and classified by chemometric models. The traits considered for the analyses were: (i) condition: disease or control (CTRLs), and (ii) treatment: responder (R) or non-responder (NR). Network analysis indicated that indole and its derivatives, aldehydes and alcohols could play a signaling role in GM functionality. WGCNA generated, instead, strong correlations between short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and a healthy GM. Furthermore, commensal bacteria such as Akkermansia muciniphila, Rikenellaceae, Bacteroides, Peptostreptococcaceae, Mogibacteriaceae and Clostridiaceae were found to be more abundant in CTRLs than in NSCLC patients. Our preliminary study demonstrates that the discovery of microbiota-linked biomarkers could provide an indication on the road towards personalized management of NSCLC patients.

RevDate: 2020-12-22

Araujo DV, Watson GA, Oliva M, et al (2020)

Bugs as drugs: The role of microbiome in cancer focusing on immunotherapeutics.

Cancer treatment reviews, 92:102125 pii:S0305-7372(20)30163-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome comprising microorganisms, their collective genomes and metabolic products has gained tremendous research interest in oncology, as multiple cohorts and case studies have demonstrated discernible interpatient differences in this ecosystem based on clinical variables including disease type, stage, diet, antibiotic usage, cancer treatments, therapeutic responses and toxicities. The modulation of the gut microbiome is the subject of many ongoing preclinical and clinical investigations, through the manipulation of diet, as well as the use of prebiotics, probiotics, specific antibiotics, fecal microbial transplantation, microbial consortia and stool substitutes. Standardization and quality control are needed to maximize the information being generated in this growing field, ranging from technical assays to measure microbiome composition, to methodological aspects in the analysis and reporting of results. Proof-of-mechanism and proof-of-concept clinical trials with appropriate controls are needed to confirm or refute the feasibility, safety and ultimately the clinical utility of human microbiome modulation in cancer patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-01

McKenzie ND, Hong H, Ahmad S, et al (2020)

The gut microbiome and cancer immunotherapeutics: A review of emerging data and implications for future gynecologic cancer research.

Critical reviews in oncology/hematology, 157:103165 pii:S1040-8428(20)30301-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Investigation of the gynecologic tract microbial milieu has revealed potential new biomarkers. Simultaneously, immunotherapeutics are establishing their place in the treatment of gynecologic malignancies. The interplay between the microbiome, the tumor micro-environment and response to therapy is a burgeoning area of interest. There is evidence to support that microbes, through their genetic make-up, gene products, and metabolites affect human physiology, metabolism, immunity, disease susceptibility, response to pharmacotherapy, and the severity of disease-related side effects. Specifically, the richness and diversity of the gut microbiome appears to affect carcinogenesis, response to immunotherapy, and modulate severity of immune-mediated adverse effects. These effects have best been described in other tumor types and these have shown compelling results. This review summarizes the current understanding and scope of the interplay between the human microbiome, host factors, cancer, and response to treatments. These findings support further exploring whether these associations exist for gynecologic malignancies.

RevDate: 2020-12-04

Teles F, Wang Y, Hajishengallis G, et al (2021)

Impact of systemic factors in shaping the periodontal microbiome.

Periodontology 2000, 85(1):126-160.

Since 2010, next-generation sequencing platforms have laid the foundation to an exciting phase of discovery in oral microbiology as it relates to oral and systemic health and disease. Next-generation sequencing has allowed large-scale oral microbial surveys, based on informative marker genes, such as 16S ribosomal RNA, community gene inventories (metagenomics), and functional analyses (metatranscriptomics), to be undertaken. More specifically, the availability of next-generation sequencing has also paved the way for studying, in greater depth and breadth, the effect of systemic factors on the periodontal microbiome. It was natural to investigate systemic diseases, such as diabetes, in such studies, along with systemic conditions or states, , pregnancy, menopause, stress, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, in recent years, the relevance of systemic "variables" (ie, factors that are not necessarily diseases or conditions, but may modulate the periodontal microbiome) has been explored in detail. These include ethnicity and genetics. In the present manuscript, we describe and elaborate on the new and confirmatory findings unveiled by next-generation sequencing as it pertains to systemic factors that may shape the periodontal microbiome. We also explore the systemic and mechanistic basis for such modulation and highlight the importance of those relationships in the management and treatment of patients.

RevDate: 2020-12-04

Duran-Pinedo AE (2021)

Metatranscriptomic analyses of the oral microbiome.

Periodontology 2000, 85(1):28-45.

Although the composition of the oral human microbiome is now well studied, regulation of genes within oral microbial communities remains mostly uncharacterized. Current concepts of periodontal disease and caries highlight the importance of oral biofilms and their role as etiological agents of those diseases. Currently, there is increased interest in exploring and characterizing changes in the composition and gene-expression profiles of oral microbial communities. These efforts aim to identify changes in functional activities that could explain the transition from health to disease and the reason for the chronicity of those infections. It is now clear that the functions of distinct species within the subgingival microbiota are intimately intertwined with the rest of the microbial community. This point highlights the relevance of examining the expression profile of specific species within the subgingival microbiota in the case of periodontal disease or caries lesions, in the context of the other members of the biofilm in vivo. Metatranscriptomic analysis of the oral community is the starting point for identifying environmental signals that modulate the shift in metabolism of the community from commensal to dysbiotic. These studies give a snapshot of the expression patterns of microbial communities and also allow us to determine triggers to diseases. For example, in the case of caries, studies have unveiled a potential new pathway of sugar metabolism, namely the use of sorbitol as an additional source of carbon by Streptococcus mutans; and in the case of periodontal disease, high levels of extracellular potassium could be a signal of disease. Longitudinal studies are needed to identify the real markers of the initial stages of caries and periodontal disease. More information on the gene-expression profiles of the host, along with the patterns from the microbiome, will lead to a clearer understanding of the modulation of health and disease. This review presents a summary of these initial studies, which have opened the door to a new understanding of the dynamics of the oral community during the dysbiotic process in the oral cavity.

RevDate: 2020-11-22

Kasmanas JC, Bartholomäus A, Corrêa FB, et al (2020)

HumanMetagenomeDB: a public repository of curated and standardized metadata for human metagenomes.

Nucleic acids research pii:5998395 [Epub ahead of print].

Metagenomics became a standard strategy to comprehend the functional potential of microbial communities, including the human microbiome. Currently, the number of metagenomes in public repositories is increasing exponentially. The Sequence Read Archive (SRA) and the MG-RAST are the two main repositories for metagenomic data. These databases allow scientists to reanalyze samples and explore new hypotheses. However, mining samples from them can be a limiting factor, since the metadata available in these repositories is often misannotated, misleading, and decentralized, creating an overly complex environment for sample reanalysis. The main goal of the HumanMetagenomeDB is to simplify the identification and use of public human metagenomes of interest. HumanMetagenomeDB version 1.0 contains metadata of 69 822 metagenomes. We standardized 203 attributes, based on standardized ontologies, describing host characteristics (e.g. sex, age and body mass index), diagnosis information (e.g. cancer, Crohn's disease and Parkinson), location (e.g. country, longitude and latitude), sampling site (e.g. gut, lung and skin) and sequencing attributes (e.g. sequencing platform, average length and sequence quality). Further, HumanMetagenomeDB version 1.0 metagenomes encompass 58 countries, 9 main sample sites (i.e. body parts), 58 diagnoses and multiple ages, ranging from just born to 91 years old. The HumanMetagenomeDB is publicly available at https://webapp.ufz.de/hmgdb/.

RevDate: 2020-12-16

Münch PC, Franzosa EA, Stecher B, et al (2020)

Identification of Natural CRISPR Systems and Targets in the Human Microbiome.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(20)30573-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Many bacteria resist invasive DNA by incorporating sequences into CRISPR loci, which enable sequence-specific degradation. CRISPR systems have been well studied from isolate genomes, but culture-independent metagenomics provide a new window into their diversity. We profiled CRISPR loci and cas genes in the body-wide human microbiome using 2,355 metagenomes, yielding functional and taxonomic profiles for 2.9 million spacers by aligning the spacer content to each sample's metagenome and corresponding gene families. Spacer and repeat profiles agree qualitatively with those from isolate genomes but expand their diversity by approximately 13-fold, with the highest spacer load present in the oral microbiome. The taxonomy of spacer sequences parallels that of their source community, with functional targets enriched for viral elements. When coupled with cas gene systems, CRISPR-Cas subtypes are highly site and taxon specific. Our analysis provides a comprehensive collection of natural CRISPR-cas loci and targets in the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Kim SA, Kang N, T Park (2020)

Hierarchical structured Component Analysis for Microbiome Data Using Taxonomy Assignments.

IEEE/ACM transactions on computational biology and bioinformatics, PP: [Epub ahead of print].

The advent of high-throughput sequencing technology has enabled us to study the associations between human microbiome and diseases. The DNA sequences of microbiome samples are clustered as operational taxonomic units (OTUs) according to their similarity. The OTU table is used to measure correlations between OTUs and disease status and find key microbes for prediction of the disease status. Various statistical methods have been proposed for such microbiome data analysis. However, none of these methods reflects the hierarchy of taxonomy information. Here, we propose a hierarchical structural component model for microbiome data (HisCoM-microb) using taxonomy information as well as OTU table data. The proposed HisCoM-microb consists of two layers: one for OTUs and the other for taxa at the higher taxonomy level. Then we calculate simultaneously coefficient estimates of OTUs and taxa of the two layers inserted in the hierarchical model. Through this analysis, we can infer the association between taxa or OTUs and disease status, considering the impact of taxonomic structure on disease status. Both simulation study and real microbiome data analysis show that HisCoM-microb can successfully reveal the relations between each taxon and disease status and identify the key OTUs of the disease at the same time.

RevDate: 2020-12-28

Hugerth LW, Pereira M, Zha Y, et al (2020)

Assessment of In Vitro and In Silico Protocols for Sequence-Based Characterization of the Human Vaginal Microbiome.

mSphere, 5(6):.

The vaginal microbiome has been connected to a wide range of health outcomes. This has led to a thriving research environment but also to the use of conflicting methodologies to study its microbial composition. Here, we systematically assessed best practices for the sequencing-based characterization of the human vaginal microbiome. As far as 16S rRNA gene sequencing is concerned, the V1-V3 region performed best in silico, but limitations of current sequencing technologies meant that the V3-V4 region performed equally well. Both approaches presented very good agreement with qPCR quantification of key taxa, provided that an appropriate bioinformatic pipeline was used. Shotgun metagenomic sequencing presents an interesting alternative to 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequencing but requires deeper sequencing and more bioinformatic expertise and infrastructure. We assessed different tools for the removal of host reads and the taxonomic annotation of metagenomic reads, including a new, easy-to-build and -use reference database of vaginal taxa. This curated database performed as well as the best-performing previously published strategies. Despite the many advantages of shotgun sequencing, none of the shotgun approaches assessed here agreed with the qPCR data as well as the 16S rRNA gene sequencing.IMPORTANCE The vaginal microbiome has been connected to various aspects of host health, including susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections as well as gynecological cancers and pregnancy outcomes. This has led to a thriving research environment but also to conflicting available methodologies, including many studies that do not report their molecular biological and bioinformatic methods in sufficient detail to be considered reproducible. This can lead to conflicting messages and delay progress from descriptive to intervention studies. By systematically assessing best practices for the characterization of the human vaginal microbiome, this study will enable past studies to be assessed more critically and assist future studies in the selection of appropriate methods for their specific research questions.

RevDate: 2020-12-15

Tsai JC, Casteneda G, Lee A, et al (2020)

Identification and Characterization of the Intra-Articular Microbiome in the Osteoarthritic Knee.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(22):.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disorder in the United States, and the gut microbiome has recently emerged as a potential etiologic factor in OA development. Recent studies have shown that a microbiome is present at joint synovia. Therefore, we aimed to characterize the intra-articular microbiome within osteoarthritic synovia and to illustrate its role in OA disease progression. RNA-sequencing data from OA patient synovial tissue was aligned to a library of microbial reference genomes to identify microbial reads indicative of microbial abundance. Microbial abundance data of OA and normal samples was compared to identify differentially abundant microbes. We computationally explored the correlation of differentially abundant microbes to immunological gene signatures, immune signaling pathways, and immune cell infiltration. We found that microbes correlated to OA are related to dysregulation of two main functional pathways: increased inflammation-induced extracellular matrix remodeling and decreased cell signaling pathways crucial for joint and immune function. We also confirmed that the differentially abundant and biologically relevant microbes we had identified were not contaminants. Collectively, our findings contribute to the understanding of the human microbiome, well-known OA risk factors, and the role microbes play in OA pathogenesis. In conclusion, we present previously undiscovered microbes implicated in the OA disease progression that may be useful for future treatment purposes.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-14

Perttu L, Jonna J, Anna H, et al (2020)

Letter: faecal microbiota transplantation for irritable bowel syndrome-which improvements are required? Authors' reply.

Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 52(11-12):1754-1755.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Al KF, Denstedt JD, Daisley BA, et al (2020)

Ureteral Stent Microbiota Is Associated with Patient Comorbidities but Not Antibiotic Exposure.

Cell reports. Medicine, 1(6):100094.

Ureteral stents are commonly used to prevent urinary obstruction but can become colonized by bacteria and encrusted, leading to clinical complications. Despite recent discovery and characterization of the healthy urinary microbiota, stent-associated bacteria and their impact on encrustation are largely underexplored. We profile the microbiota of patients with typical short-term stents, as well as over 30 atypical cases (all with paired mid-stream urine) from 241 patients. Indwelling time, age, and various patient comorbidities correlate with alterations to the stent microbiota composition, whereas antibiotic exposure, urinary tract infection (UTI), and stent placement method do not. The stent microbiota most likely originates from adhesion of resident urinary microbes but subsequently diverges to a distinct, reproducible population, thereby negating the urine as a biomarker for stent encrustation or microbiota. Urological practice should reconsider standalone prophylactic antibiotics in favor of tailored therapies based on patient comorbidities in efforts to minimize bacterial burden, encrustation, and complications of ureteral stents.

RevDate: 2020-12-17

Patin NV, Peña-Gonzalez A, Hatt JK, et al (2020)

The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Resisting Norovirus Infection as Revealed by a Human Challenge Study.

mBio, 11(6):.

Norovirus infections take a heavy toll on worldwide public health. While progress has been made toward understanding host responses to infection, the role of the gut microbiome in determining infection outcome is unknown. Moreover, data are lacking on the nature and duration of the microbiome response to norovirus infection, which has important implications for diagnostics and host recovery. Here, we characterized the gut microbiomes of subjects enrolled in a norovirus challenge study. We analyzed microbiome features of asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals at the genome (population) and gene levels and assessed their response over time in symptomatic individuals. We show that the preinfection microbiomes of subjects with asymptomatic infections were enriched in Bacteroidetes and depleted in Clostridia relative to the microbiomes of symptomatic subjects. These compositional differences were accompanied by differences in genes involved in the metabolism of glycans and sphingolipids that may aid in host resilience to infection. We further show that microbiomes shifted in composition following infection and that recovery times were variable among human hosts. In particular, Firmicutes increased immediately following the challenge, while Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria decreased over the same time. Genes enriched in the microbiomes of symptomatic subjects, including the adenylyltransferase glgC, were linked to glycan metabolism and cell-cell signaling, suggesting as-yet unknown roles for these processes in determining infection outcome. These results provide important context for understanding the gut microbiome role in host susceptibility to symptomatic norovirus infection and long-term health outcomes.IMPORTANCE The role of the human gut microbiome in determining whether an individual infected with norovirus will be symptomatic is poorly understood. This study provides important data on microbes that distinguish asymptomatic from symptomatic microbiomes and links these features to infection responses in a human challenge study. The results have implications for understanding resistance to and treatment of norovirus infections.

RevDate: 2020-11-22

Ma Y, Zhao J, Y Ma (2020)

MHSNMF: multi-view hessian regularization based symmetric nonnegative matrix factorization for microbiome data analysis.

BMC bioinformatics, 21(Suppl 6):234.

BACKGROUND: With the rapid development of high-throughput technique, multiple heterogeneous omics data have been accumulated vastly (e.g., genomics, proteomics and metabolomics data). Integrating information from multiple sources or views is challenging to obtain a profound insight into the complicated relations among micro-organisms, nutrients and host environment. In this paper we propose a multi-view Hessian regularization based symmetric nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm (MHSNMF) for clustering heterogeneous microbiome data. Compared with many existing approaches, the advantages of MHSNMF lie in: (1) MHSNMF combines multiple Hessian regularization to leverage the high-order information from the same cohort of instances with multiple representations; (2) MHSNMF utilities the advantages of SNMF and naturally handles the complex relationship among microbiome samples; (3) uses the consensus matrix obtained by MHSNMF, we also design a novel approach to predict the classification of new microbiome samples.

RESULTS: We conduct extensive experiments on two real-word datasets (Three-source dataset and Human Microbiome Plan dataset), the experimental results show that the proposed MHSNMF algorithm outperforms other baseline and state-of-the-art methods. Compared with other methods, MHSNMF achieves the best performance (accuracy: 95.28%, normalized mutual information: 91.79%) on microbiome data. It suggests the potential application of MHSNMF in microbiome data analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Results show that the proposed MHSNMF algorithm can effectively combine the phylogenetic, transporter, and metabolic profiles into a unified paradigm to analyze the relationships among different microbiome samples. Furthermore, the proposed prediction method based on MHSNMF has been shown to be effective in judging the types of new microbiome samples.

RevDate: 2020-12-01

van Soest APM, Hermes GDA, Berendsen AAM, et al (2020)

Associations between Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Gastro-Intestinal Microbiota, Diet, and Cognitive Functioning in Dutch Healthy Older Adults: The NU-AGE Study.

Nutrients, 12(11):.

Dietary modulation of the gastro-intestinal microbiota is a potential target in improving healthy ageing and age-related functional outcomes, including cognitive decline. We explored the association between diet, gastro-intestinal microbiota and cognition in Dutch healthy older adults of the 'New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of the elderly population for healthy aging in Europe' (NU-AGE) study. The microbiota profile of 452 fecal samples from 226 subjects was determined using a 16S ribosomal RNA gene-targeted microarray. Dietary intake was assessed by 7-day food records. Cognitive functioning was measured with an extensive cognitive test battery. We observed a dietary and microbial pro- to anti-inflammatory gradient associated with diets richer in animal- or plant-based foods. Fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts, red and processed meat and grain products were most strongly associated to microbiota composition. Plant-rich diets containing fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts were positively correlated with alpha-diversity, various taxa from the Bacteroidetes phylum and anti-inflammatory species, including those related to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale and E. biforme. Animal product-rich diets associated with pro-inflammatory species, including those related to Ruminococcus gnavus and Collinsella spp.. Cognition was neither associated with microbiota composition nor alpha-diversity. In conclusion, diets richer in animal- and plant-based foods were related to a pro- and anti-inflammatory microbial profile, while cognition was associated with neither.

RevDate: 2020-12-01

Krishnamoorthy M, Lenehan JG, Burton JP, et al (2020)

Immunomodulation in Pancreatic Cancer.

Cancers, 12(11):.

Pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate, and its incidence is increasing worldwide. The almost universal poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer is partly due to symptoms presenting only at late stages and limited effective treatments. Recently, immune checkpoint blockade inhibitors have drastically improved patient survival in metastatic and advanced settings in certain cancers. Unfortunately, these therapies are ineffective in pancreatic cancer. However, tumor biopsies from long-term survivors of pancreatic cancer are more likely to be infiltrated by cytotoxic T-cells and certain species of bacteria that activate T-cells. These observations suggest that T-cell activation is essential for anti-tumor immunity in pancreatic cancers. This review discusses the immunological mechanisms responsible for effective anti-tumor immunity and how immune-based strategies can be exploited to develop new pancreatic cancer treatments.

RevDate: 2020-11-28

Collins SL, Walsh JP, Renaud JB, et al (2020)

Improved methods for biomarker analysis of the big five mycotoxins enables reliable exposure characterization in a population of childbearing age women in Rwanda.

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association pii:S0278-6915(20)30744-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Of the five agriculturally important mycotoxins, AFB1, FB1, DON, ZEA and OTA, a well-characterized biomarker of exposure in blood is only available for aflatoxin. Working with a population of 139 women of childbearing age in Rwanda, we undertook a comprehensive assessment of their dietary mycotoxin exposure. Using high-resolution LC-MS/MS with stable isotope dilution analysis, the albumin-aflatoxin adduct was quantitated in plasma. Similarly, AFM1, AFB1, AFG1, FB1 and B2, OTA, zearalenone, α-zearalenol, deoxynivalenol, deoxynivalenol-15-glucuronide and deoxynivalenol-3-glucuronide were quantitated in urine. AFB1-Lys was detected in plasma from 81% of the women, indicative of exposures 1-2 orders of magnitude above current guidance. Zearalenone and/or α-zearalenol were detected in the urine of 61% of the women, the majority of whom had estimated exposures 2-5 times the PMTDI, with one third more than an order of magnitude above. Urinary deoxynivalenol or the two glucuronide conjugates were found in 77% of the participants. Of these, 60% were below the PMTDI, 28% were twice and 12% were >10x the PMTDI. Fumonisin B1 (30%) and ochratoxin A (71%) were also detected in urine. Exposures observed in these Rwandan women raise serious food safety concerns and highlight the need for authorities to help manage multiple mycotoxins in their diet.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Irfan M, Delgado RZR, J Frias-Lopez (2020)

The Oral Microbiome and Cancer.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:591088.

There is mounting evidence that members of the human microbiome are highly associated with a wide variety of cancer types. Among oral cancers, oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most prevalent and most commonly studied, and it is the most common malignancy of the head and neck worldwide. However, there is a void regarding the role that the oral microbiome may play in OSCC. Previous studies have not consistently found a characteristic oral microbiome composition associated with OSCC. Although a direct causality has not been proven, individual members of the oral microbiome are capable of promoting various tumorigenic functions related to cancer development. Two prominent oral pathogens, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Fusobacterium nucleatum can promote tumor progression in mice. P. gingivalis infection has been associated with oro-digestive cancer, increased oral cancer invasion, and proliferation of oral cancer stem cells. The microbiome can influence the evolution of the disease by directly interacting with the human body and significantly altering the response and toxicity to various forms of cancer therapy. Recent studies have shown an association of certain phylogenetic groups with the immunotherapy treatment outcomes of certain tumors. On the other side of the coin, recently it has been a resurgence in interest on the potential use of bacteria to cure cancer. These kinds of treatments were used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the first line of defense against cancer in some hospitals but later displaced by other types of treatments such as radiotherapy. Currently, organisms such as Salmonella typhimurium and Clostridium spp. have been used for targeted strategies as potential vectors to treat cancer. In this review, we briefly summarize our current knowledge of the role of the oral microbiome, focusing on its bacterial fraction, in cancer in general and in OSCC more precisely, and a brief description of the potential use of bacteria to target tumors.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Petrie KL (2020)

There're CRISPRs in My Yogurt: A Discovery-Based CURE at the Intersection of Industrial Food Production and the Human Microbiome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:578737.

Support for undergraduate laboratory education based on a CURE (Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience) model is more widespread than ever. By giving students the opportunity to conduct genuine research in laboratory courses they are required to take, CUREs can expose more students to scientific practice and have the potential to make science more inclusive, especially when research topics have direct impact on students' lives. Here, I present a new microbiology CURE module where students explore the real-world intersection between industrial food production and the human microbiome. In this module, students sequence CRISPR arrays in the genomes of lactic acid bacteria they isolate from yogurt. Natural CRISPRs (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) act as the bacterial immune system. When a bacterial cell survives viral infection, it can incorporate a bit of that virus's DNA into its own genome, and produce small RNA guides that surveil the cell, ready to deploy virus-destroying enzymes if matching DNA from a fresh viral infection is detected. This viral immunity is of particular interest in the fermentation industry, since viral infection can destroy stocks of starter cultures and batches of product. Commercial producers of lactic acid bacteria for yogurt production often endeavor to produce strains with large CRISPR arrays and robust immunities. With this context, students are given the task of cataloging the viral immunities found in both commercial and traditionally produced yogurt, and exploring their potential impact on human health. Wet-lab practices (strain isolation, PCR, and Sanger sequencing) are combined with bioinformatic and literature sleuthing to identify the viruses to which bacteria are immune and explore whether consumption of these strains could impact human health via interactions with the human microbiome. Here, a detailed implementation of the module is presented with guides for educators and students.

RevDate: 2020-11-14

Coe GL, Pinkham NV, Celis AI, et al (2020)

Dynamic gut microbiome changes to low-iron challenge.

Applied and environmental microbiology pii:AEM.02307-20 [Epub ahead of print].

Iron is an essential micronutrient for life. In mammals, dietary iron is primarily absorbed in the small intestine. Currently, the impacts of dietary iron on the taxonomic structure and function of the gut microbiome and reciprocal effects on the animal host are not well understood. Here, we establish a mouse model of low-iron challenge in which intestinal biomarkers and reduced fecal iron reveal iron stress while serum iron and mouse behavioral markers indicate maintenance of iron homeostasis. We show that the diversity of the gut microbiome in conventional C57BL/6 mice changes dramatically during two-weeks on a low-iron diet. We also show the effects of a low-iron diet on microbiome diversity are long-lasting and not easily recovered when iron is returned to the diet. Finally, after optimizing taxon association methods, we show that some bacteria are unable to fully recover after the low-iron challenge and appear to be extirpated from the gut entirely. In particular, OTUs from the Prevotellaceae and Porphyromonadaceae families and Bacteroidales order are highly sensitive to low-iron conditions, while other seemingly insensitive OTUs recover. These results provide new insights into the iron requirements of gut microbiome members and add to the growing understanding of mammalian iron cycling.IMPORTANCE All cells need iron. Both too much iron and too little lead to diseases and unwanted outcomes. Although the impact of dietary iron on human cells and tissues has been well studied, there is currently a lack of understanding about how different levels of iron influence the abundant and diverse members of the human microbiome. This study develops a well-characterized mouse model for studying low-iron levels and identifies key groups of bacteria that are most affected. We found that the microbiome undergoes large changes when iron is removed from the diet but that many individual bacteria are able to rebound when iron levels are changed by to normal. That said, a select few members, referred to as "iron-sensitive" bacteria seem to be lost. This study begins to identify individual members of the mammalian microbiome most affected by changes in dietary iron levels.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )