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14 Oct 2019 at 01:34
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Bibliography on: Human Microbiome


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 14 Oct 2019 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: 2019-10-11

McCrory C, Fiorito G, McLoughlin S, et al (2019)

Epigenetic clocks and allostatic load reveal potential sex-specific drivers of biological ageing.

The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences pii:5586166 [Epub ahead of print].

Allostatic Load (AL) and epigenetic clocks both attempt to characterise the accelerated ageing of biological systems, but at present it is unclear whether these measures are complementary or distinct. This study examines the cross-sectional association of AL with Epigenetic Age Acceleration (EAA) in a sub-sample of 490 community dwelling older-adults participating in The Irish Longitudinal study on Aging (TILDA). A battery of 14 biomarkers representing the activity of 4 different physiological systems: immunological, cardiovascular, metabolic, renal, was used to construct the AL score. DNA methylation age was computed according to the algorithms described by Horvath, Hannum and Levine allowing for estimation of whether an individual is experiencing accelerated or decelerated ageing. Horvath, Hannum and Levine EAA correlated 0.05, 0.03, and 0.21 with AL respectively. Disaggregation by sex revealed that AL was more strongly associated with EAA in men compared with women as assessed using Horvath's clock. Metabolic dysregulation was a strong driver of EAA in men as assessed using Horvath and Levine's clock, while metabolic and cardiovascular dysregulation were associated with EAA in women using Levine's clock. Results indicate that AL and the epigenetic clocks are measuring different age-related variance and implicate sex-specific drivers of biological ageing.

RevDate: 2019-10-11

Stinson LF (2019)

Establishment of the early-life microbiome: a DOHaD perspective.

Journal of developmental origins of health and disease pii:S2040174419000588 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome plays a number of critical roles in host physiology. Evidence from longitudinal cohort studies and animal models strongly supports the theory that maldevelopment of the microbiome in early life can programme later-life disease. The early-life microbiome develops in a clear stepwise manner over the first 3 years of life. During this highly dynamic time, insults such as antibiotic use and formula feeding can adversely affect the composition and temporal development of the microbiome. Such experiences predispose infants for the development of chronic health conditions later in life. This review highlights key factors that disrupt the early-life microbiome and highlights major non-communicable diseases which are underpinned by early-life dysbiosis.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Shkoporov AN, Clooney AG, Sutton TDS, et al (2019)

The Human Gut Virome Is Highly Diverse, Stable, and Individual Specific.

Cell host & microbe, 26(4):527-541.e5.

The human gut contains a vast array of viruses, mostly bacteriophages. The majority remain uncharacterized, and their roles in shaping the gut microbiome and in impacting on human health remain poorly understood. We performed longitudinal metagenomic analysis of fecal viruses in healthy adults that reveal high temporal stability, individual specificity, and correlation with the bacterial microbiome. Using a database-independent approach that uses most of the sequencing data, we uncovered the existence of a stable, numerically predominant individual-specific persistent personal virome. Clustering of viral genomes and de novo taxonomic annotation identified several groups of crAss-like and Microviridae bacteriophages as the most stable colonizers of the human gut. CRISPR-based host prediction highlighted connections between these stable viral communities and highly predominant gut bacterial taxa such as Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Faecalibacterium. This study provides insights into the structure of the human gut virome and serves as an important baseline for hypothesis-driven research.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Andreev VP, Liu G, Zee J, et al (2019)

Clustering of the structures by using "snakes-&-dragons" approach, or correlation matrix as a signal.

PloS one, 14(10):e0223267 pii:PONE-D-19-12477.

Biological, ecological, social, and technological systems are complex structures with multiple interacting parts, often represented by networks. Correlation matrices describing interdependency of the variables in such structures provide key information for comparison and classification of such systems. Classification based on correlation matrices could supplement or improve classification based on variable values, since the former reveals similarities in system structures, while the latter relies on the similarities in system states. Importantly, this approach of clustering correlation matrices is different from clustering elements of the correlation matrices, because our goal is to compare and cluster multiple networks-not the nodes within the networks. A novel approach for clustering correlation matrices, named "snakes-&-dragons," is introduced and illustrated by examples from neuroscience, human microbiome, and macroeconomics.

RevDate: 2019-10-10

Holster S, Hooiveld GJ, Repsilber D, et al (2019)

Allogenic Faecal Microbiota Transfer Induces Immune-Related Gene Sets in the Colon Mucosa of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Biomolecules, 9(10): pii:biom9100586.

Faecal microbiota transfer (FMT) consists of the introduction of new microbial communities into the intestine of a patient, with the aim of restoring a disturbed gut microbiota. Even though it is used as a potential treatment for various diseases, it is unknown how the host mucosa responds to FMT. This study aims to investigate the colonic mucosa gene expression response to allogenic (from a donor) or autologous (own) FMT in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In a recently conducted randomised, double-blinded, controlled clinical study, 17 IBS patients were treated with FMT by colonoscopy. RNA was isolated from colonic biopsies collected by sigmoidoscopy at baseline, as well as two weeks and eight weeks after FMT. In patients treated with allogenic FMT, predominantly immune response-related gene sets were induced, with the strongest response two weeks after the FMT. In patients treated with autologous FMT, predominantly metabolism-related gene sets were affected. Furthermore, several microbiota genera showed correlations with immune-related gene sets, with different correlations found after allogenic compared to autologous FMT. This study shows that the microbe-host response is influenced by FMT on the mucosal gene expression level, and that there are clear differences in response to allogenic compared to autologous FMT.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Zhao H, Fu S, Yu Y, et al (2019)

MetaMed: Linking Microbiota Functions with Medicine Therapeutics.

mSystems, 4(5): pii:4/5/e00413-19.

Understanding how the human microbiome affects human health has consequences for treating disease and minimizing unwanted side effects in clinical research. Here, we present MetaMed (http://metamed.rwebox.com/index), a novel and integrative system-wide correlation mapping system to link bacterial functions and medicine therapeutics, providing novel hypotheses for deep investigation of microbe therapeutic effects on human health. Furthermore, comprehensive relationships between microbes living in the environment and drugs were discovered, providing a rich source for discovering microbiota metabolites with great potential for pharmaceutical applications.

RevDate: 2019-10-08

Li W, ZS Ma (2019)

Diversity scaling of human vaginal microbial communities.

The composition and diversity of the human vaginal microbial community have been investigated intensively due to the diversity-stability relationship (DSR)-based hypothesis for bacterial vaginosis (BV) etiology, which was first proposed in the 1990s and has received renewed interest in recent years. Nevertheless, diversity changes (scaling) across individuals in a cohort or population have not yet been addressed, which is significant both theoretically and practically. Theoretically, biodiversity scaling is the core of biogeography, and practically, inter-subject heterogeneity is critical for understanding the etiology and epidemiology of human microbiome-associated diseases such as BV. Here we applied the diversity-area relationship (DAR), a recent extension to the classic species-area relationship (SAR), to study diversity scaling of the vaginal microbiome by reanalyzing reported data collected from 1 107 postpartum women. The model used here characterized the power-law (or its extension) relationships between accrued diversity and areas (numbers of individuals), upon which four biogeographic profiles were thus defined. Specifically, we established the DAR profile (relationship between diversity scaling parameter and so-termed diversity order (q)), similarly pair-wise diversity overlap (PDO) profile, maximal accrual diversity (MAD) profile, and ratio of individual-level to population-level diversity (RIP) profile. These four profiles offer valuable tools to assess and predict diversity scaling (changes) in the human vaginal microbiome across individuals, as well as to understand the dynamics of vaginal microbiomes in healthy women.

RevDate: 2019-10-09

Amato KR, Mallott EK, McDonald D, et al (2019)

Convergence of human and Old World monkey gut microbiomes demonstrates the importance of human ecology over phylogeny.

Genome biology, 20(1):201 pii:10.1186/s13059-019-1807-z.

BACKGROUND: Comparative data from non-human primates provide insight into the processes that shaped the evolution of the human gut microbiome and highlight microbiome traits that differentiate humans from other primates. Here, in an effort to improve our understanding of the human microbiome, we compare gut microbiome composition and functional potential in 14 populations of humans from ten nations and 18 species of wild, non-human primates.

RESULTS: Contrary to expectations from host phylogenetics, we find that human gut microbiome composition and functional potential are more similar to those of cercopithecines, a subfamily of Old World monkey, particularly baboons, than to those of African apes. Additionally, our data reveal more inter-individual variation in gut microbiome functional potential within the human species than across other primate species, suggesting that the human gut microbiome may exhibit more plasticity in response to environmental variation compared to that of other primates.

CONCLUSIONS: Given similarities of ancestral human habitats and dietary strategies to those of baboons, these findings suggest that convergent ecologies shaped the gut microbiomes of both humans and cercopithecines, perhaps through environmental exposure to microbes, diet, and/or associated physiological adaptations. Increased inter-individual variation in the human microbiome may be associated with human dietary diversity or the ability of humans to inhabit novel environments. Overall, these findings show that diet, ecology, and physiological adaptations are more important than host-microbe co-diversification in shaping the human microbiome, providing a key foundation for comparative analyses of the role of the microbiome in human biology and health.

RevDate: 2019-10-07

Bradley PH, KS Pollard (2019)

phylogenize: correcting for phylogeny reveals genes associated with microbial distributions.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:5582265 [Epub ahead of print].

SUMMARY: Phylogenetic comparative methods are powerful but presently under-utilized ways to identify microbial genes underlying differences in community composition. These methods help to identify functionally important genes because they test for associations beyond those expected when related microbes occupy similar environments. We present phylogenize, a pipeline with web, QIIME 2, and R interfaces that allows researchers to perform phylogenetic regression on 16S amplicon and shotgun sequencing data and to visualize results. phylogenize applies broadly to both host-associated and environmental microbiomes. Using Human Microbiome Project and Earth Microbiome Project data, we show that phylogenize draws similar conclusions from 16S versus shotgun sequencing and reveals both known and candidate pathways associated with host colonization.

AVAILABILITY: phylogenize is available at https://phylogenize.org and https://bitbucket.org/pbradz/phylogenize.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

Hooks KB, MA O'Malley (2019)

Contrasting Strategies: Human Eukaryotic versus Bacterial Microbiome Research.

The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Most discussions of human microbiome research have focused on bacterial investigations and findings. Our target is to understand how human eukaryotic microbiome research is developing, its potential distinctiveness, and how problems can be addressed. We start with an overview of the entire eukaryotic microbiome literature (578 papers), show tendencies in the human-based microbiome literature, then compare the eukaryotic field to more developed human bacterial microbiome research. We are particularly concerned with problems of interpretation that are already apparent in human bacterial microbiome research (e.g., disease causality, probiotic interventions, evolutionary claims). We show where each field converges and diverges, and what this might mean for progress in human eukaryotic microbiome research. Our analysis then makes constructive suggestions for the future of the field.

RevDate: 2019-10-04

Sugimoto Y, Camacho FR, Wang S, et al (2019)

A metagenomic strategy for harnessing the chemical repertoire of the human microbiome.

Science (New York, N.Y.) pii:science.aax9176 [Epub ahead of print].

Remarkable progress has been made in determining the effects of the microbiome on human physiology and disease, but the underlying molecules and mechanisms governing these effects remain largely unexplored. Here, we combine a new computational algorithm with synthetic biology to access biologically active small molecules encoded directly in human microbiome-derived metagenomic sequencing data. We discover that members of a clinically used class of molecules are widely encoded in the human microbiome, and that they exert potent antibacterial activities against neighboring microbes, implying a possible role in niche competition and host defense. Our approach paves the way toward a systematic unveiling of the chemical repertoire encoded by the human microbiome and provides a generalizable platform for discovering molecular mediators of microbiome-host and microbiome-microbiome interactions.

RevDate: 2019-10-02

Chmiel JA, Daisley BA, Burton JP, et al (2019)

Deleterious Effects of Neonicotinoid Pesticides on Drosophila melanogaster Immune Pathways.

mBio, 10(5): pii:mBio.01395-19.

Neonicotinoid insecticides are common agrochemicals that are used to kill pest insects and improve crop yield. However, sublethal exposure can exert unintentional toxicity to honey bees and other beneficial pollinators by dysregulating innate immunity. Generation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by the dual oxidase (Duox) pathway is a critical component of the innate immune response, which functions to impede infection and maintain homeostatic regulation of the gut microbiota. Despite the importance of this pathway in gut immunity, the consequences of neonicotinoid exposure on Duox signaling have yet to be studied. Here, we use a Drosophila melanogaster model to investigate the hypothesis that imidacloprid (a common neonicotinoid) can affect the Duox pathway. The results demonstrated that exposure to sublethal imidacloprid reduced H2O2 production by inhibiting transcription of the Duox gene. Furthermore, the reduction in Duox expression was found to be a result of imidacloprid interacting with the midgut portion of the immune deficiency pathway. This impairment led to a loss of microbial regulation, as exemplified by a compositional shift and increased total abundance of Lactobacillus and Acetobacter spp. (dominant microbiota members) found in the gut. In addition, we demonstrated that certain probiotic lactobacilli could ameliorate Duox pathway impairment caused by imidacloprid, but this effect was not directly dependent on the Duox pathway itself. This study is the first to demonstrate the deleterious effects that neonicotinoids can have on Duox-mediated generation of H2O2 and highlights a novel coordination between two important innate immune pathways present in insects.IMPORTANCE Sublethal exposure to certain pesticides (e.g., neonicotinoid insecticides) is suspected to contribute to honey bee (Apis mellifera) population decline in North America. Neonicotinoids are known to interfere with immune pathways in the gut of insects, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. We used a Drosophila melanogaster model to understand how imidacloprid (a common neonicotinoid) interferes with two innate immune pathways-Duox and Imd. We found that imidacloprid dysregulates these pathways to reduce hydrogen peroxide production, ultimately leading to a dysbiotic shift in the gut microbiota. Intriguingly, we found that presupplementation with probiotic bacteria could mitigate the harmful effects of imidacloprid. Thus, these observations uncover a novel mechanism of pesticide-induced immunosuppression that exploits the interconnectedness of two important insect immune pathways.

RevDate: 2019-10-01

Reid G (2019)

The Need to Focus on Therapy Instead of Associations.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 9:327.

Molecular analyses of the vaginal microbiota have uncovered a vast array of organisms in this niche, but not so far changed what has been known for a long time: lactobacilli are dominant in health, and the diagnosis and treatment of symptomatic bacterial vaginosis is sub-optimal, and has not changed for over 40 years. While the lowering cost of DNA sequencing has attracted more researchers to the field, and bioinformatics, and statistical tools have made it possible to produce large datasets, it is functional and actionable studies that are more urgently needed, not more microbial abundance, and health or disease-associative data. The triggers of dysbiosis remain to be identified, but ultimately treatment will require disrupting biofilms of primarily anaerobic bacteria and replacing them with the host's own lactobacilli, or health-promoting organisms. The options of using probiotic strains to displace the biofilms and for prebiotics to encourage resurgence of the indigenous lactobacilli hold great promise, but more researchers need to develop, and test these concepts in humans. The enormity of the problem of vaginal dysbiosis cannot be understated. It should not take another 40 years to offer better management options.

RevDate: 2019-09-29

Cammarota G, Ianiro G, Kelly CR, et al (2019)

International consensus conference on stool banking for faecal microbiota transplantation in clinical practice.

Gut pii:gutjnl-2019-319548 [Epub ahead of print].

Although faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has a well-established role in the treatment of recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), its widespread dissemination is limited by several obstacles, including lack of dedicated centres, difficulties with donor recruitment and complexities related to regulation and safety monitoring. Given the considerable burden of CDI on global healthcare systems, FMT should be widely available to most centres.Stool banks may guarantee reliable, timely and equitable access to FMT for patients and a traceable workflow that ensures safety and quality of procedures. In this consensus project, FMT experts from Europe, North America and Australia gathered and released statements on the following issues related to the stool banking: general principles, objectives and organisation of the stool bank; selection and screening of donors; collection, preparation and storage of faeces; services and clients; registries, monitoring of outcomes and ethical issues; and the evolving role of FMT in clinical practice,Consensus on each statement was achieved through a Delphi process and then in a plenary face-to-face meeting. For each key issue, the best available evidence was assessed, with the aim of providing guidance for the development of stool banks in order to promote accessibility to FMT in clinical practice.

RevDate: 2019-09-26

Ghose C, Ly M, Schwanemann LK, et al (2019)

The Virome of Cerebrospinal Fluid: Viruses Where We Once Thought There Were None.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2061.

Traditionally, medicine has held that some human body sites are sterile and that the introduction of microbes to these sites results in infections. This paradigm shifted significantly with the discovery of the human microbiome and acceptance of these commensal microbes living across the body. However, the central nervous system (CNS) is still believed by many to be sterile in healthy people. Using culture-independent methods, we examined the virome of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from a cohort of mostly healthy human subjects. We identified a community of DNA viruses, most of which were identified as bacteriophages. Compared to other human specimen types, CSF viromes were not ecologically distinct. There was a high alpha diversity cluster that included feces, saliva, and urine, and a low alpha diversity cluster that included CSF, body fluids, plasma, and breast milk. The high diversity cluster included specimens known to have many bacteria, while other specimens traditionally assumed to be sterile formed the low diversity cluster. There was an abundance of viruses shared among CSF, breast milk, plasma, and body fluids, while each generally shared less with urine, feces, and saliva. These shared viruses ranged across different virus families, indicating that similarities between these viromes represent more than just a single shared virus family. By identifying a virome in the CSF of mostly healthy individuals, it is now less likely that any human body site is devoid of microbes, which further highlights the need to decipher the role that viral communities may play in human health.

RevDate: 2019-09-26

Pires ES, Hardoim CCP, Miranda KR, et al (2019)

The Gut Microbiome and Metabolome of Two Riparian Communities in the Amazon.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:2003.

During the last decades it has become increasingly clear that the microbes that live on and in humans are critical for health. The communities they form, termed microbiomes, are involved in fundamental processes such as the maturation and constant regulation of the immune system. Additionally, they constitute a strong defense barrier to invading pathogens, and are also intricately linked to nutrition. The parameters that affect the establishment and maintenance of these microbial communities are diverse, and include the genetic background, mode of birth, nutrition, hygiene, and host lifestyle in general. Here, we describe the characterization of the gut microbiome of individuals living in the Amazon, and the comparison of these microbial communities to those found in individuals from an urban, industrialized setting. Our results showed striking differences in microbial communities from these two types of populations. Additionally, we used high-throughput metabolomics to study the chemical ecology of the gut environment and found significant metabolic changes between the two populations. Although we cannot point out a single cause for the microbial and metabolic changes observed between Amazonian and urban individuals, they are likely to include dietary differences as well as diverse patterns of environmental exposure. To our knowledge, this is the first description of gut microbial and metabolic profiles in Amazonian populations, and it provides a starting point for thorough characterizations of the impact of individual environmental conditions on the human microbiome and metabolome.

RevDate: 2019-09-24

Dizzell S, Nazli A, Reid G, et al (2019)

Protective Effect of Probiotic Bacteria and Estrogen in Preventing HIV-1-Mediated Impairment of Epithelial Barrier Integrity in Female Genital Tract.

Cells, 8(10): pii:cells8101120.

Approximately 40% of global HIV-1 transmission occurs in the female genital tract (FGT) through heterosexual transmission. Epithelial cells lining the FGT provide the first barrier to HIV-1 entry. Previous studies have suggested that certain hormonal contraceptives or a dysbiosis of the vaginal microbiota can enhance HIV-1 acquisition in the FGT. We examined the effects of lactobacilli and female sex hormones on the barrier functions and innate immune responses of primary endometrial genital epithelial cells (GECs). Two probiotic strains, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and L. rhamnosus GR-1, were tested, as were sex hormones estrogen (E2), progesterone (P4), and the hormonal contraceptive medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). Our results demonstrate that probiotic lactobacilli enhance barrier function without affecting cytokines. Treatment of GECs with MPA resulted in reduced barrier function. In contrast, E2 treatment enhanced barrier function and reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines. Comparison of hormones plus lactobacilli as a pre-treatment prior to HIV exposure revealed a dominant effect of lactobacilli in preventing loss of barrier function by GECs. In summary, the combination of E2 and lactobacilli had the best protective effect against HIV-1 seen by enhancement of barrier function and reduction in proinflammatory cytokines. These studies provide insights into how probiotic lactobacilli in the female genital microenvironment can alter HIV-1-mediated barrier disruption and how the combination of E2 and lactobacilli may decrease susceptibility to primary HIV infection.

RevDate: 2019-09-23

Chu J, Vila-Farres X, SF Brady (2019)

Bioactive syn-BNP cyclic peptides inspired by nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene clusters from the human microbiome.

Journal of the American Chemical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Bioinformatic analysis of sequenced bacterial genomes has uncovered an increasing number of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters to which no known bacterial metabolite can be ascribed. One emerging method we have investigated for studying these gene clusters is the synthetic-Bioinformatic Natural Product (syn-BNP) approach. The syn-BNP approach replaces transcription, translation and in vivo enzymatic biosynthesis of natural products with bioinformatic algorithms to predict the output of a gene cluster and in vitro chemical synthesis to produce the predicted structure. Here we report on expanding the syn-BNP approach to the design and synthesis of cyclic peptides inspired by nonribosomal peptide synthetase biosynthetic gene clusters associated with the human microbiota. While no syn-BNPs we tested inhibited the growth of the bacteria or yeast, five were found to be active in the human cell-based MTT metabolic activity assay. Interestingly, active peptides were mostly inspired by gene clusters found in the genomes of opportunistic pathogens that are often more commonly associated with environments outside the human microbiome. The cyclic syn-BNP studies presented here provide further evidence of its potential for identifying bioactive small molecules directly from the instructions encoded in the primary sequences of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

RevDate: 2019-09-23

Bosch TCG (2019)

Multidisciplinary Approaches to Exploring Human-Microbiome Interactions.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, 41(10):1-2.

RevDate: 2019-09-20

Yerushalmy O, Coppenhagen-Glazer S, Nir-Paz R, et al (2019)

Complete Genome Sequences of Two Klebsiella pneumoniae Phages Isolated as Part of an International Effort.

Microbiology resource announcements, 8(38): pii:8/38/e00843-19.

We report the genomic sequences of phages KpCHEMY26 and KpGranit, isolated in Israel during a worldwide effort against a multidrug- and phage-resistant strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae from a patient in Finland. These results demonstrate the importance of an efficient worldwide network for collaborating in personalized therapy for infectious diseases.

RevDate: 2019-09-19

Willmann M, Vehreschild MJGT, Biehl LM, et al (2019)

Distinct impact of antibiotics on the gut microbiome and resistome: a longitudinal multicenter cohort study.

BMC biology, 17(1):76 pii:10.1186/s12915-019-0692-y.

BACKGROUND: The selection pressure exercised by antibiotic drugs is an important consideration for the wise stewardship of antimicrobial treatment programs. Treatment decisions are currently based on crude assumptions, and there is an urgent need to develop a more quantitative knowledge base that can enable predictions of the impact of individual antibiotics on the human gut microbiome and resistome.

RESULTS: Using shotgun metagenomics, we quantified changes in the gut microbiome in two cohorts of hematological patients receiving prophylactic antibiotics; one cohort was treated with ciprofloxacin in a hospital in Tübingen and the other with cotrimoxazole in a hospital in Cologne. Analyzing this rich longitudinal dataset, we found that gut microbiome diversity was reduced in both treatment cohorts to a similar extent, while effects on the gut resistome differed. We observed a sharp increase in the relative abundance of sulfonamide antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) by 148.1% per cumulative defined daily dose of cotrimoxazole in the Cologne cohort, but not in the Tübingen cohort treated with ciprofloxacin. Through multivariate modeling, we found that factors such as individual baseline microbiome, resistome, and plasmid diversity; liver/kidney function; and concurrent medication, especially virostatic agents, influence resistome alterations. Strikingly, we observed different effects on the plasmidome in the two treatment groups. There was a substantial increase in the abundance of ARG-carrying plasmids in the cohort treated with cotrimoxazole, but not in the cohort treated with ciprofloxacin, indicating that cotrimoxazole might contribute more efficiently to the spread of resistance.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study represents a step forward in developing the capability to predict the effect of individual antimicrobials on the human microbiome and resistome. Our results indicate that to achieve this, integration of the individual baseline microbiome, resistome, and mobilome status as well as additional individual patient factors will be required. Such personalized predictions may in the future increase patient safety and reduce the spread of resistance.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02058888 . Registered February 10 2014.

RevDate: 2019-09-18

Bhuta R, Nieder M, Jubelirer T, et al (2019)

The Gut Microbiome and Pediatric Cancer: Current Research and Gaps in Knowledge.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Monographs, 2019(54):169-173.

The human microbiome consists of trillions of microbial cells that interact with one another and the human host to play a clinically significant role in health and disease. Gut microbial changes have been identified in cancer pathogenesis, at disease diagnosis, during therapy, and even long after completion of treatment. Alterations in the gut microbiome have been linked to treatment-related toxicity and potential long-term morbidity and mortality in children with cancer. Such alterations are plausible given immune modulation due to disease as well as exposure to cytotoxic chemotherapy, infections, and antibiotics. The following review presents our current scientific understanding on the role of the gut microbiome in pediatric cancer, identifies gaps in knowledge, and suggests future research goals.

RevDate: 2019-09-18

Köberl M, Erschen S, Etemadi M, et al (2019)

Deciphering the microbiome shift during fermentation of medicinal plants.

Scientific reports, 9(1):13461 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-49799-2.

The importance of the human-microbiome relationship for positive health outcomes has become more apparent over the last decade. Influencing the gut microbiome via modification of diet represents a possibility of maintaining a healthy gut flora. Fermented food and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) display a preventive way to inhibit microbial dysbioses and diseases, but their ecology on plants is poorly understood. We characterized the microbiome of medicinal plants (Matricaria chamomilla L. and Calendula officinalis L.) using 16S rRNA gene profiling from leaves that were fermented over a six-week time course. The unfermented samples were characterized by a distinct phyllosphere microbiome, while the endosphere revealed a high similarity. During fermentation, significant microbial shifts were observed, whereby LAB were enhanced in all approaches but never numerically dominated. Among the LAB, Enterococcaceae were identified as the most dominant family in both plants. M. chamomilla community had higher relative abundances of Lactobacillaceae and Carnobacteriaceae, while C. officinalis showed a higher presence of Leuconostocaceae and Streptococcaceae. The natural leaf microbiome and the indigenous LAB communities of field-grown Asteraceae medicinal plants are plant-specific and habitat-specific and are subjected to significant shifts during fermentation. Leaf surfaces as well as leaf endospheres were identified as sources for biopreservative LAB.

RevDate: 2019-09-18

Reid G (2019)

Fourteen steps to relevance: taking probiotics from the bench to the consumer.

Canadian journal of microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Much is made of the need to translate scientific research into improved care of people or other life forms. Grant applications invariably start with the extent of a problem, and end by claiming that their work will or could result in making an impact. In truth, very few projects ever lead to translation at the level of the host, nor was that really their intent. For those who are focused on applied science, there are many ways to reach the desired goal, sometimes through serendipity or by logical stepwise progress. The following paper will provide personal insight into the stages, pitfalls and ultimate assessment of relevance in the context of using probiotic lactobacilli for human health and other applications.

RevDate: 2019-09-16

Amato KR, Jeyakumar T, Poinar H, et al (2019)

Shifting Climates, Foods, and Diseases: The Human Microbiome through Evolution.

BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology [Epub ahead of print].

Human evolution has been punctuated by climate anomalies, structuring environments, deadly infections, and altering landscapes. How well humans adapted to these new circumstances had direct effects on fitness and survival. Here, how the gut microbiome could have contributed to human evolutionary success through contributions to host nutritional buffering and infectious disease resistance is reviewed. How changes in human genetics, diet, disease exposure, and social environments almost certainly altered microbial community composition is also explored. Emerging research points to the microbiome as a key player in host responses to environmental change. Therefore, the reciprocal interactions between humans and their microbes are likely to have shaped human patterns of local adaptation throughout our shared evolutionary history. Recent alterations in human lifestyle, however, are altering human microbiomes in unprecedented ways. The consequences of interrupted host-microbe relationships for human adaptive potential in the future are unknown.

RevDate: 2019-09-16

Requena T, M Velasco (2019)

The human microbiome in sickness and in health.

Revista clinica espanola pii:S0014-2565(19)30194-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The study of the human microbiome has led to an exceptional increase in the current understanding of the importance of microbiota for health throughout all stages of life. Human microbial colonization occurs in the skin, genitourinary system and, mainly, in the oral cavity and intestinal tract. In these locations, the human microbiota establishes a symbiotic relationship with the host and helps maintain the physiological homeostasis. Lifestyle, age, diet and use of antibiotics are the main regulators of the composition and functionality of human microbiota. Recent studies have indicated the reduction in microbial diversity as one of the contributors to the development of diseases. In addition to phylogenetic diversity studies, further metagenomic studies are needed at the functional level of the human microbiome to improve our understanding of its involvement in human health.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Polkowska-Pruszyńska B, Gerkowicz A, D Krasowska (2019)

The gut microbiome alterations in allergic and inflammatory skin diseases - an update.

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome is a wide range of microorganisms residing in and on our body. The homeostasis between host immune system and the microbial environment allows mutual benefits and protection. Physiological bacterial colonization is essential for the establishment of organism immunity. The human microbiota ecosystem can be divided into several compartments, out of which intestinal flora strongly affects our health and plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of many diseases. The gastrointestinal tract, being a major guardian of the immune system, maintains the homeostasis with the commensal microorganisms by tolerating the typical flora antigens. The dysbiosis may trigger an inflammatory response followed by tissue damage or autoimmune processes. The gut microbiome alterations are linked to the pathogenesis of the allergic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, metabolic, neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Moreover, there is increasing evidence connecting the skin condition with the gastrointestinal microbiome, which has been described as the skin-gut axis. The aim of this study was to review the literature regarding the role of the gut microbiome alterations in the pathogenesis of selected allergic and inflammatory skin diseases.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Ndika J, Seemab U, Poon WL, et al (2019)

Silver, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide nanoparticles trigger miRNA/isomiR expression changes in THP-1 cells that are proportional to their health hazard potential.

Nanotoxicology [Epub ahead of print].

After over a decade of nanosafety research, it is indisputable that the vast majority of nano-sized particles induce a plethora of adverse cellular responses - the severity of which is linked to the material's physicochemical properties. Differentiated THP-1 cells were previously exposed for 6 h and 24 h to silver, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide nanoparticles at the maximum molar concentration at which no more than 15% cellular cytotoxicity was observed. All three nanoparticles differed in extent of induction of biological pathways corresponding to immune response signaling and metal ion homeostasis. In this study, we integrated gene and miRNA expression profiles from the same cells to propose miRNA biomarkers of adverse exposure to metal-based nanoparticles. We employed RNA sequencing together with a quantitative strategy that also enables analysis of the overlooked repertoire of length and sequence miRNA variants called isomiRs. Whilst only modest changes in expression were observed within the first 6 h of exposure, the miRNA/isomiR (miR) profiles of each nanoparticle were unique. Via canonical correlation and pathway enrichment analyses, we identified a co-regulated miR-mRNA cluster, predicted to be highly relevant for cellular response to metal ion homeostasis. These miRs were annotated to be canonical or variant isoforms of hsa-miR-142-5p, -342-3p, -5100, -6087, -6894-3p, and -7704. Hsa-miR-5100 was differentially expressed in response to each nanoparticle in both the 6 h and 24 h exposures. Taken together, this co-regulated miR-mRNA cluster could represent potential biomarkers of sub-toxic metal-based nanoparticle exposure.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Forsberg KJ, Bhatt IV, Schmidtke DT, et al (2019)

Functional metagenomics-guided discovery of potent Cas9 inhibitors in the human microbiome.

eLife, 8: pii:46540.

CRISPR-Cas systems protect bacteria and archaea from phages and other mobile genetic elements, which use small anti-CRISPR (Acr) proteins to overcome CRISPR-Cas immunity. Because Acrs are challenging to identify, their natural diversity and impact on microbial ecosystems are underappreciated. To overcome this discovery bottleneck, we developed a high-throughput functional selection to isolate ten DNA fragments from human oral and fecal metagenomes that inhibit Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpyCas9) in Escherichia coli. The most potent Acr from this set, AcrIIA11, was recovered from a Lachnospiraceae phage. We found that AcrIIA11 inhibits SpyCas9 in bacteria and in human cells. AcrIIA11 homologs are distributed across diverse bacteria; many distantly-related homologs inhibit both SpyCas9 and a divergent Cas9 from Treponema denticola. We find that AcrIIA11 antagonizes SpyCas9 using a different mechanism than other previously characterized Type II-A Acrs. Our study highlights the power of functional selection to uncover widespread Cas9 inhibitors within diverse microbiomes.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Kumar M, Singh P, Murugesan S, et al (2020)

Microbiome as an Immunological Modifier.

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2055:595-638.

Humans are living ecosystems composed of human cells and microbes. The microbiome is the collection of microbes (microbiota) and their genes. Recent breakthroughs in the high-throughput sequencing technologies have made it possible for us to understand the composition of the human microbiome. Launched by the National Institutes of Health in USA, the human microbiome project indicated that our bodies harbor a wide array of microbes, specific to each body site with interpersonal and intrapersonal variabilities. Numerous studies have indicated that several factors influence the development of the microbiome including genetics, diet, use of antibiotics, and lifestyle, among others. The microbiome and its mediators are in a continuous cross talk with the host immune system; hence, any imbalance on one side is reflected on the other. Dysbiosis (microbiota imbalance) was shown in many diseases and pathological conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and cancer. The microbial composition mirrors inflammation variations in certain disease conditions, within various stages of the same disease; hence, it has the potential to be used as a biomarker.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Mark Welch JL, Dewhirst FE, GG Borisy (2019)

Biogeography of the Oral Microbiome: The Site-Specialist Hypothesis.

Annual review of microbiology, 73:335-358.

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic, composed of hundreds of taxa interacting across multiple spatial scales. Advances in sequencing and imaging technology have led to great strides in understanding both the composition and the spatial organization of these complex communities. In the human mouth, sequencing results indicate that distinct sites host microbial communities that not only are distinguishable but to a meaningful degree are composed of entirely different microbes. Imaging suggests that the spatial organization of these communities is also distinct. Together, the literature supports the idea that most oral microbes are site specialists. A clear understanding of microbiota structure at different sites in the mouth enables mechanistic studies, informs the generation of hypotheses, and strengthens the position of oral microbiology as a model system for microbial ecology in general.

RevDate: 2019-09-08

Boto L, Pineda M, R Pineda (2019)

Potential impacts of horizontal gene transfer on human health and physiology and how anthropogenic activity can affect it.

The FEBS journal [Epub ahead of print].

Horizontal gene transfer is widespread among Prokaryotes driving their evolution. In this paper we review the potential impact in humans of the horizontal gene transfer between prokaryotes living in close association with humans in two scenarios: horizontal transfer in human microbiomes and transfer between microbes living in human managed environments. Although our vision is focused on the possible impact of these transfers in the propagation of antibiotic resistance genes or pathogenicity determinants, we also discuss possible human physiological adaptations via gene transfer between resident and occasional bacteria in the human microbiome. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Fielding RA, Reeves AR, Jasuja R, et al (2019)

Muscle strength is increased in mice that are colonized with microbiota from high-functioning older adults.

Experimental gerontology pii:S0531-5565(19)30477-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Evidence in support of a gut-muscle axis has been reported in rodents, but studies in older adult humans are limited. Accordingly, the primary goals of the present study were to compare gut microbiome composition in older adults that differed in terms of the percentage of whole body lean mass and physical functioning (high-functioning, HF, n = 18; low-functioning, LF, n = 11), and to evaluate the causative role of the gut microbiome on these variables by transferring fecal samples from older adults into germ-free mice. Family-level Prevotellaceae, genus-level Prevotella and Barnesiella, and the bacterial species Barnesiella intestinihominis were higher in HF older adults at the initial study visit, at a 1-month follow-up visit, in HF human fecal donors, and in HF-colonized mice, when compared with their LF counterparts. Grip strength was significantly increased by 6.4% in HF-, when compared with LF-colonized mice. In contrast, despite significant differences for the percentage of whole body lean mass and physical functioning when comparing the human fecal donors, the percentage of whole body lean mass and treadmill endurance capacity were not different when comparing human microbiome-containing mice. In sum, these data suggest a role for gut bacteria on the maintenance of muscle strength, but argue against a role for gut bacteria on the maintenance of the percentage of whole body lean mass or endurance capacity, findings that collectively add to elucidation of the gut-muscle axis in older adults.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Wheeler KM, MA Liss (2019)

The Microbiome and Prostate Cancer Risk.

Current urology reports, 20(10):66 pii:10.1007/s11934-019-0922-4.

PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW: There is an abundance of evidence that the human microbiome plays an important and nuanced role in controlling human metabolism, immunity, and cancer. Herein we aim to review the most current research looking at prostate cancer and its link with the gut and genitourinary microbiome. There is now a host of evidence for a unique genitourinary (GU) microbiome. The prostate microbiota, to include viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic contributions, as assessed from formalin-fixed tissue is described nicely in the study by Banerjee et al. Further hierarchical analysis by this group found a unique microbiome signature for higher Gleason score cancers and validation PCR studies noted a marked number of viral genomic insertions into host DNA. Shretha et al. also recently established unique GU microbiomes in patients with prostate cancer or benign prostate pathology based on urine samples. The gut microbiome likely also has an indirect but significant role in prostate cancer development and treatment. Liss et al. and Golombos et al. found significant associations between specific gut microbiota and prostate cancer. Interestingly, the balance of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory bacterial lipopolysaccharides, production of bile salts, and metabolism of dietary fiber to short chain fatty acids all likely play important roles in creating systemic pro- or anti-carcinogenic states. In terms of prostate cancer treatment effects, Sfanos et al. noted a unique microbial signature in patients undergoing oral androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) as compared with prostate cancer patients not on ADT. Patients undergoing ADT also had enrichment of bacterial metabolic pathways promoting androgen synthesis. Together, these studies have identified a unique GU microbiome and linked both the GU microbiome and unique gut microbial signatures with prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatments. Whether this information can be used in cancer prevention, treatment, or diagnosis are areas of ongoing and active research.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Soto-Perez P, Bisanz JE, Berry JD, et al (2019)

CRISPR-Cas System of a Prevalent Human Gut Bacterium Reveals Hyper-targeting against Phages in a Human Virome Catalog.

Cell host & microbe pii:S1931-3128(19)30417-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Bacteriophages are abundant within the human gastrointestinal tract, yet their interactions with gut bacteria remain poorly understood, particularly with respect to CRISPR-Cas immunity. Here, we show that the type I-C CRISPR-Cas system in the prevalent gut Actinobacterium Eggerthella lenta is transcribed and sufficient for specific targeting of foreign and chromosomal DNA. Comparative analyses of E. lenta CRISPR-Cas systems across (meta)genomes revealed 2 distinct clades according to cas sequence similarity and spacer content. We assembled a human virome database (HuVirDB), encompassing 1,831 samples enriched for viral DNA, to identify protospacers. This revealed matches for a majority of spacers, a marked increase over other databases, and uncovered "hyper-targeted" phage sequences containing multiple protospacers targeted by several E. lenta strains. Finally, we determined the positional mismatch tolerance of observed spacer-protospacer pairs. This work emphasizes the utility of merging computational and experimental approaches for determining the function and targets of CRISPR-Cas systems.

RevDate: 2019-09-07

Wang S, Ryan CA, Boyaval P, et al (2019)

Maternal Vertical Transmission Affecting Early-life Microbiota Development.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(19)30208-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The association of the human microbiome with health outcomes has attracted much interest toward its therapeutic manipulation. The likelihood of modulating the human microbiome in early life is high and offers great potential to exert profound effects on human development since the early microbiota shows more flexibility compared to that of adults. The human microbiota, being similar to human genetics, can be transmitted from mother to infant, providing insights into early microbiota acquisition, subsequent development, and potential opportunities for intervention. Here, we review adaptations of the maternal microbiota during pregnancy, birth, and infancy, the acquisition and succession of early-life microbiota, and highlight recent efforts to elucidate mother-to-infant microbiota transmission. We further discuss how the mother-to-infant microbial transmission is shaped; and finally we address potential directions for future studies to promote our understanding within this field.

RevDate: 2019-09-08

Cammarota G, Putignani L, A Gasbarrini (2019)

Gut microbiome beats two to zero host genome.

Hepatobiliary surgery and nutrition, 8(4):378-380.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Badal VD, Wright D, Katsis Y, et al (2019)

Challenges in the construction of knowledge bases for human microbiome-disease associations.

Microbiome, 7(1):129 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0742-2.

The last few years have seen tremendous growth in human microbiome research, with a particular focus on the links to both mental and physical health and disease. Medical and experimental settings provide initial sources of information about these links, but individual studies produce disconnected pieces of knowledge bounded in context by the perspective of expert researchers reading full-text publications. Building a knowledge base (KB) consolidating these disconnected pieces is an essential first step to democratize and accelerate the process of accessing the collective discoveries of human disease connections to the human microbiome. In this article, we survey the existing tools and development efforts that have been produced to capture portions of the information needed to construct a KB of all known human microbiome-disease associations and highlight the need for additional innovations in natural language processing (NLP), text mining, taxonomic representations, and field-wide vocabulary standardization in human microbiome research. Addressing these challenges will enable the construction of KBs that help identify new insights amenable to experimental validation and potentially clinical decision support.

RevDate: 2019-09-04

Basu Thakur P, Long AR, Nelson BJ, et al (2019)

Complex Responses to Hydrogen Peroxide and Hypochlorous Acid by the Probiotic Bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri.

mSystems, 4(5): pii:4/5/e00453-19.

Inflammatory diseases of the gut are associated with increased intestinal oxygen concentrations and high levels of inflammatory oxidants, including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which are antimicrobial compounds produced by the innate immune system. This contributes to dysbiotic changes in the gut microbiome, including increased populations of proinflammatory enterobacteria (Escherichia coli and related species) and decreased levels of health-associated anaerobic Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes The pathways for H2O2 and HOCl resistance in E. coli have been well studied, but little is known about how commensal and probiotic bacteria respond to inflammatory oxidants. In this work, we have characterized the transcriptomic response of the anti-inflammatory, gut-colonizing Gram-positive probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri to both H2O2 and HOCl. L. reuteri mounts distinct but overlapping responses to each of these stressors, and both gene expression and survival were strongly affected by the presence or absence of oxygen. Oxidative stress response in L. reuteri required several factors not found in enterobacteria, including the small heat shock protein Lo18, polyphosphate kinase 2, and RsiR, an L. reuteri-specific regulator of anti-inflammatory mechanisms.IMPORTANCE Reactive oxidants, including hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid, are antimicrobial compounds produced by the immune system during inflammation. Little is known, however, about how many important types of bacteria present in the human microbiome respond to these oxidants, especially commensal and other health-associated species. We have now mapped the stress response to both H2O2 and HOCl in the intestinal lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Abid MB, CJ Koh (2019)

Probiotics in health and disease: fooling Mother Nature?.

Infection pii:10.1007/s15010-019-01351-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Probiotics are ubiquitous, consumption by the general public is common, and the dogma remains that they are beneficial for general and gut health. However, evolving evidence suggests a potentially "harmful" impact of many commercially available probiotics. There is also significant variability in formulations that leads to a lack of a universally acceptable definition of probiotics. In this perspective, we review the flaws with definition, relevant observational and randomized studies that showed both positive and negative impacts on health and disease, unbiased interpretation of key trials, emerging evidence from microbiome and immuno-oncological studies, and impact on systemic immunity. We propose that caution be exercised prior to endorsements of their illness-directed consumption and rampant general usage. As a deeper understanding of the human microbiome accrues and our ability to manipulate this complex ecosystem improves, the probiotic of tomorrow might be the precision tool that deals with diseases on a broad front. Gut microbiome, akin to fingerprints, is indigenous to an individual and 'one size fits all' prescription strategy should be discouraged until a more universally acceptable 'favorable taxa' or a 'personalized probiotic,' to complement an individual's native microbiota, gets fashioned.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Godoy-Vitorino F (2019)

Human microbial ecology and the rising new medicine.

Annals of translational medicine, 7(14):342.

The first life forms on earth were Prokaryotic, and the evolution of all Eukaryotic life occurred with the help of bacteria. Animal-associated microbiota also includes members of the archaea, fungi, protists, and viruses. The genomes of this host-associated microbial life are called the microbiome. Across the mammalian tree, microbiomes guarantee the development of immunity, physiology, and resistance to pathogens. In humans, all surfaces and cavities are colonized by a microbiome, maintained by a careful balance between the host response and its colonizers-thus humans are considered now supraorganisms. These microbiomes supply essential ecosystem services that benefit health through homeostasis, and the loss of the indigenous microbiota leads to dysbiosis, which can have significant consequences to disease. This educational review aims to describe the importance of human microbial ecology, explain the ecological terms applied to the study of the human microbiome, developments within the cutting-edge microbiome field, and implications to diagnostic and treatment.

RevDate: 2019-09-02

Derrien M, Alvarez AS, WM de Vos (2019)

The Gut Microbiota in the First Decade of Life.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(19)30214-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Appreciation of the importance of the gut microbiome is growing, and it is becoming increasingly relevant to identify preventive or therapeutic solutions targeting it. The composition and function of the gut microbiota are relatively well described for infants (less than 3 years) and adults, but have been largely overlooked in pre-school (3-6 years) and primary school-age (6-12 years) children, as well as teenagers (12-18 years). Early reports suggested that the infant microbiota would attain an adult-like structure at the age of 3 years, but recent studies have suggested that microbiota development may take longer. This development time is of key importance because there is evidence to suggest that deviations in this development may have consequences in later life. In this review, we provide an overview of current knowledge concerning the gut microbiota, its evolution, variation, and response to dietary challenges during the first decade of life with a focus on healthy pre-school and primary school-age children (up to 12 years) from various populations around the globe. This knowledge should facilitate the identification of diet-based approaches targeting individuals of this age group, to promote the development of a healthy microbiota in later life.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Yan ZZ, Chen QL, Zhang YJ, et al (2019)

Antibiotic resistance in urban green spaces mirrors the pattern of industrial distribution.

Environment international, 132:105106 pii:S0160-4120(19)32108-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Urban green spaces are closely related to the activities and health of urban residents. Turf grass and soil are two major interfaces between the environmental and human microbiome, which represent potential pathways for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from environmental to human microbiome through skin-surface contact. However, the information regarding the prevalence of ARGs in urban green spaces and drivers in shaping their distribution patterns remain unclear. Here, we profiled a wide spectrum of ARGs in grass phyllosphere and soils from 40 urban parks across Greater Melbourne, Australia, using high throughput quantitative PCR. A total of 217 and 218 unique ARGs and MGEs were detected in grass phyllosphere and soils, respectively, conferring resistance to almost all major classes of antibiotics commonly used in human and animals. The plant microbiome contained a core resistome, which occupied >84% of the total abundance of ARGs. In contrast, no core resistome was identified in the soil microbiome. The difference between plant and soil resistome composition was attributed to the difference in bacterial community structure and intensity of environmental and anthropogenic influence. Most importantly, the abundance of ARGs in urban green spaces was significantly positively related to industrial factors including total number of business, number of manufacturing, and number of electricity, gas, water and waste services in the region. Structural equation models further revealed that industrial distribution was a major factor shaping the ARG profiles in urban green spaces after accounting for multiple drivers. These findings have important implications for mitigation of the potential risks posed by ARGs to urban residents.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Putignani L, Gasbarrini A, B Dallapiccola (2019)

Potential of multiomics technology in precision medicine.

Current opinion in gastroenterology [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The 'precision medicine' refers to the generation of identification and classification criteria for advanced taxonomy of patients, exploiting advanced models to infer optimized clinical decisions for each disease phenotype.

RECENT FINDINGS: The current article reviews new advances in the past 18 months on the microbiomics science intended as new discipline contributing to advanced 'precision medicine'. Recently published data highlight the importance of multidimensional data in the description of deep disease phenotypes, including microbiome and immune profiling, and support the efficacy of the systems medicine to better stratify patients, hence optimizing diagnostics, clinical management and response to treatments.

SUMMARY: The articles referenced in this review help inform the reader on new decision-support systems that can be based on multiomics patients' data including microbiome and immune profiling. These harmonized and integrated data can be elaborated by artificial intelligence to generate optimized diagnostic pipelines and clinical interventions.

RevDate: 2019-08-31

Herd P, Palloni A, Rey F, et al (2018)

Social and population health science approaches to understand the human microbiome.

Nature human behaviour, 2(11):808-815.

The microbiome is now considered our 'second genome' with potentially comparable importance to the genome in determining human health. There is, however, a relatively limited understanding of the broader environmental factors, particularly social conditions, that shape variation in human microbial communities. Fulfilling the promise of microbiome research - particularly the microbiome's potential for modification - will require collaboration between biologists and social and population scientists. For life scientists, the plasticity and adaptiveness of the microbiome calls for an agenda to understand the sensitivity of the microbiome to broader social environments already known to be powerful predictors of morbidity and mortality. For social and population scientists, attention to the microbiome may help answer nagging questions about the underlying biological mechanisms that link social conditions to health. We outline key substantive and methodological advances that can be made if collaborations between social and population health scientists and life scientists are strategically pursued.

RevDate: 2019-08-28

Chen J, Douglass J, Prasath V, et al (2019)

The microbiome and breast cancer: a review.

Breast cancer research and treatment pii:10.1007/s10549-019-05407-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome plays an integral role in physiology, with most microbes considered benign or beneficial. However, some microbes are known to be detrimental to human health, including organisms linked to cancers and other diseases characterized by aberrant inflammation. Dysbiosis, a state of microbial imbalance with harmful bacteria species outcompeting benign bacteria, can lead to maladies including cancer. The microbial composition varies across body sites, with the gut, urogenital, and skin microbiomes particularly well characterized. However, the microbiome associated with normal breast tissue and breast diseases is poorly understood. Collectively, studies have shown that breast tissue has a distinct microbiome with particular species enriched in the breast tissue itself, as well as the nipple aspirate and gut bacteria of women with breast cancer. More importantly, the breast and associated microbiomes may modulate therapeutic response and serve as potential biomarkers for diagnosing and staging breast cancer.

RevDate: 2019-08-28

Creekmore BC, Gray JH, Walton WG, et al (2019)

Mouse Gut Microbiome-Encoded β-Glucuronidases Identified Using Metagenome Analysis Guided by Protein Structure.

mSystems, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00452-19.

Gut microbial β-glucuronidase (GUS) enzymes play important roles in drug efficacy and toxicity, intestinal carcinogenesis, and mammalian-microbial symbiosis. Recently, the first catalog of human gut GUS proteins was provided for the Human Microbiome Project stool sample database and revealed 279 unique GUS enzymes organized into six categories based on active-site structural features. Because mice represent a model biomedical research organism, here we provide an analogous catalog of mouse intestinal microbial GUS proteins-a mouse gut GUSome. Using metagenome analysis guided by protein structure, we examined 2.5 million unique proteins from a comprehensive mouse gut metagenome created from several mouse strains, providers, housing conditions, and diets. We identified 444 unique GUS proteins and organized them into six categories based on active-site features, similarly to the human GUSome analysis. GUS enzymes were encoded by the major gut microbial phyla, including Firmicutes (60%) and Bacteroidetes (21%), and there were nearly 20% for which taxonomy could not be assigned. No differences in gut microbial gus gene composition were observed for mice based on sex. However, mice exhibited gus differences based on active-site features associated with provider, location, strain, and diet. Furthermore, diet yielded the largest differences in gus composition. Biochemical analysis of two low-fat-associated GUS enzymes revealed that they are variable with respect to their efficacy of processing both sulfated and nonsulfated heparan nonasaccharides containing terminal glucuronides.IMPORTANCE Mice are commonly employed as model organisms of mammalian disease; as such, our understanding of the compositions of their gut microbiomes is critical to appreciating how the mouse and human gastrointestinal tracts mirror one another. GUS enzymes, with importance in normal physiology and disease, are an attractive set of proteins to use for such analyses. Here we show that while the specific GUS enzymes differ at the sequence level, a core GUSome functionality appears conserved between mouse and human gastrointestinal bacteria. Mouse strain, provider, housing location, and diet exhibit distinct GUSomes and gus gene compositions, but sex seems not to affect the GUSome. These data provide a basis for understanding the gut microbial GUS enzymes present in commonly used laboratory mice. Further, they demonstrate the utility of metagenome analysis guided by protein structure to provide specific sets of functionally related proteins from whole-genome metagenome sequencing data.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Cao L, Shcherbin E, H Mohimani (2019)

A Metabolome- and Metagenome-Wide Association Network Reveals Microbial Natural Products and Microbial Biotransformation Products from the Human Microbiota.

mSystems, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00387-19.

The human microbiome consists of thousands of different microbial species, and tens of thousands of bioactive small molecules are associated with them. These associated molecules include the biosynthetic products of microbiota and the products of microbial transformation of host molecules, dietary components, and pharmaceuticals. The existing methods for characterization of these small molecules are currently time consuming and expensive, and they are limited to the cultivable bacteria. Here, we propose a method for detecting microbiota-associated small molecules based on the patterns of cooccurrence of molecular and microbial features across multiple microbiomes. We further map each molecule to the clade in a phylogenetic tree that is responsible for its production/transformation. We applied our proposed method to the tandem mass spectrometry and metagenomics data sets collected by the American Gut Project and to microbiome isolates from cystic fibrosis patients and discovered the genes in the human microbiome responsible for the production of corynomycolenic acid, which serves as a ligand for human T cells and induces a specific immune response against infection. Moreover, our method correctly associated pseudomonas quinolone signals, tyrvalin, and phevalin with their known biosynthetic gene clusters.IMPORTANCE Experimental advances have enabled the acquisition of tandem mass spectrometry and metagenomics sequencing data from tens of thousands of environmental/host-oriented microbial communities. Each of these communities contains hundreds of microbial features (corresponding to microbial species) and thousands of molecular features (corresponding to microbial natural products). However, with the current technology, it is very difficult to identify the microbial species responsible for the production/biotransformation of each molecular feature. Here, we develop association networks, a new approach for identifying the microbial producer/biotransformer of natural products through cooccurrence analysis of metagenomics and mass spectrometry data collected on multiple microbiomes.

RevDate: 2019-08-26

Brüssow H (2019)

Problems with the concept of gut microbiota dysbiosis.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome research is with the notable exception of fecal transplantation still mostly in a descriptive phase. Part of the difficulty for translating research into medical interventions is due to the large compositional complexity of the microbiome resulting in datasets that need sophisticated statistical methods for their analysis and do not lend to industrial applications. Another part of the difficulty might be due to logical flaws in terminology particularly concerning 'dysbiosis' that avoids circular conclusions and is based on sound ecological and evolutionary reasoning. Many case-control studies are underpowered necessitating more meta-analyses that sort out consistent from spurious dysbiosis-disease associations. We also need for the microbiome a transition from statistical associations to causal relationships with diseases that fulfil a set of modified Koch's postulates for commensals. Disturbingly, the most sophisticated statistical analyses explain only a small percentage of the variance in the microbiome. Microbe-microbe interactions irrelevant to the host and stochastic processes might play a greater role than anticipated. To satisfy the concept of Karl Popper about conjectures and refutations in the scientific process, we should also conduct more experiments that try to refute the role of the commensal gut microbiota for human health and disease.

RevDate: 2019-08-24

Satokari R (2019)

Modulation of Gut Microbiota for Health by Current and Next-Generation Probiotics.

Nutrients, 11(8): pii:nu11081921.

The human gut microbiota is a complex ecosystem and has an essential role in maintaining intestinal and systemic health. Microbiota dysbiosis is associated with a number of intestinal and systemic conditions and its modulation for human health is of great interest. Gut microbiota is a source of novel health-promoting bacteria, often termed as next-generation probiotics in order to distinguish them from traditional probiotics. The previous lessons learned with traditional probiotics can help the development of next-generation probiotics that target specific health issues and needs.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Mittelman K, D Burstein (2019)

Tiny Hidden Genes within Our Microbiome.

Cell, 178(5):1034-1035.

Exploration of tiny protein-coding sequences within the human microbiome reveals thousands of conserved gene families that have been overlooked by traditional analyses. These small proteins may play key roles in the crosstalk among bacteria within the microbiome and in interactions with their human hosts.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Mu X, Zhao C, Yang J, et al (2019)

Group B Streptococcus colonization induces Prevotella and Megasphaera abundance-featured vaginal microbiome compositional change in non-pregnant women.

PeerJ, 7:e7474 pii:7474.

Background: Previous studies have indicated that variations in the vaginal microbiome result in symptomatic conditions. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a significant neonatal pathogen and maternal vaginal colonization has been recognized as an important risk factor for neonatal disease. Therefore, it is important to discover the relationship between the composition of the vaginal microbiome and GBS colonization. This study explores the potential relationship between the composition of the vaginal microbiome and GBS colonization in non-pregnant Chinese women.

Methods: A total of 22 GBS-positive, non-pregnant women and 44 matched GBS-negative women were recruited for the current study. The composition of the vaginal microbiome was profiled by sequencing the 16S rRNA genes. The microbiome diversity and variation were then evaluated.

Results: The vaginal microbiome of the 66 subjects enrolled in the current study were compared and the results showed that GBS-positive women exhibited significant vaginal microbial differences compared with the GBS-negative women based on the analysis of similarities (r = 0.306, p < 0.01). The relative abundance of the bacterial genus Lactobacillus (p < 0.01) was significantly lower in the GBS-positive group, while the abundances of the bacterial genera Prevotella (p < 0.01), Megasphaera (p < 0.01), and Streptococcus (p < 0.01) were significantly higher in the GBS-positive group.

Discussion: The current study addressed significant variations across the communities of the vaginal microbiome in GBS-positive and GBS-negative women in a Chinese cohort, which paves the way for a larger cohort-based clinical validation study and the development of therapeutic probiotics in the future.

RevDate: 2019-08-25

Guo J, Lv Q, Ariff A, et al (2019)

Western oropharyngeal and gut microbial profiles are associated with allergic conditions in Chinese immigrant children.

The World Allergy Organization journal, 12(8):100051 pii:100051.

Background: The allergy epidemic resulting from western environment/lifestyles is potentially due to modifications of the human microbiome. Therefore, it is of interest to study immigrants living in a western environment as well as their counterparts in the country of origin to understand differences in their microbiomes and health status.

Methods: We investigated 58 Australian Chinese (AC) children from Perth, Western Australia as well as 63 Chinese-born Chinese (CC) children from a city in China. Oropharyngeal (OP) and fecal samples were collected. To assess the microbiomes, 16s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing for variable regions V3 and V4 was used. Skin prick tests (SPT) were performed to measure the children's atopic status. Information on food allergy and wheezing were acquired from a questionnaire.

Results: AC children had more allergic conditions than CC children. The alpha diversity (mean species diversity) of both OP and gut microbiome was lower in AC children compared to CC children for richness estimate (Chao1), while diversity evenness (Shannon index) was higher. The beta diversity (community similarity) displayed a distinct separation of the OP and gut microbiota between AC and CC children. An apparent difference in microbial abundance was observed for many bacteria. In AC children, we sought to establish consistent trends in bacterial relative abundance that are either higher or lower in AC versus CC children and higher or lower in children with allergy versus those without allergy. The majority of OP taxa showed a consistent trend while the majority of fecal taxa showed a contrasting trend.

Conclusion: Distinct differences in microbiome compositions were found in both oropharyngeal and fecal samples of AC and CC children. The association of the OP microbiome with allergic condition is different from that of the gut microbiome in AC children. The microbiome profiles are changed by the western environment/lifestyle and are associated with allergies in Chinese immigrant children in Australia.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Pendegraft AH, Guo B, N Yi (2019)

Bayesian hierarchical negative binomial models for multivariable analyses with applications to human microbiome count data.

PloS one, 14(8):e0220961 pii:PONE-D-18-33781.

The analyses of large volumes of metagenomic data extracted from aggregate populations of microscopic organisms residing on and in the human body are advancing contemporary understandings of the integrated participation of microbes in human health and disease. Next generation sequencing technology facilitates said analyses in terms of diversity, community composition, and differential abundance by filtering and binning microbial 16S rRNA genes extracted from human tissues into operational taxonomic units. However, current statistical tools restrict study designs to investigations of limited numbers of host characteristics mediated by limited numbers of samples potentially yielding a loss of relevant information. This paper presents a Bayesian hierarchical negative binomial model as an efficient technique capable of compensating for multivariable sets including tens or hundreds of host characteristics as covariates further expanding analyses of human microbiome count data. Simulation studies reveal that the Bayesian hierarchical negative binomial model provides a desirable strategy by often outperforming three competing negative binomial model in terms of type I error while simultaneously maintaining consistent power. An application of the Bayesian hierarchical negative binomial model using subsets of the open data published by the American Gut Project demonstrates an ability to identify operational taxonomic units significantly differentiable among persons diagnosed by a medical professional with either inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome that are consistent with contemporary gastrointestinal literature.

RevDate: 2019-08-21

Spencer SP, Fragiadakis GK, JL Sonnenburg (2019)

Pursuing Human-Relevant Gut Microbiota-Immune Interactions.

Immunity, 51(2):225-239.

The gut microbiota is a complex and plastic network of diverse organisms intricately connected with human physiology. Recent advances in profiling approaches of both the microbiota and the immune system now enable a deeper exploration of immunity-microbiota connections. An important next step is to elucidate a human-relevant "map" of microbial-immune wiring while focusing on animal studies to probe a prioritized subset of interactions. Here, we provide an overview of this field's current status and discuss two approaches for establishing priorities for detailed investigation: (1) longitudinal intervention studies in humans probing the dynamics of both the microbiota and the immune system and (2) the study of traditional populations to assess lost features of human microbial identity whose absence may be contributing to the rise of immunological disorders. These human-centered approaches offer a judicious path forward to understand the impact of the microbiota in immune development and function.

RevDate: 2019-08-19

Mougeot JC, Stevens CB, Morton DS, et al (2019)

Oral Microbiome and Cancer Therapy-Induced Oral Mucositis.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Monographs, 2019(53):.

Characterization of the role of oral microbiome in cancer therapy-induced oral mucositis (CTOM) is critical in preventing the clinically deleterious effects on patients' health that are associated with CTOM. Funding initiatives related to the National Institutes of Health human microbiome project have resulted in groundbreaking advancements in biology and medicine during the last decade. These advancements have shown that a human being is in fact a superorganism made of human cells and associated symbiotic or commensal microbiota. In this review, we describe the state of science as it relates to fundamental knowledge on oral microbiome and its role in CTOM. We also discuss how state-of-the-art technologies and systems biology tools may be used to help tackle the difficult challenges ahead to develop effective treatments or preventive therapies for oral mucositis. We make a clear distinction between disease processes pertaining to the oral microbiome, which includes opportunistic pathogens that may be defined as pathobionts, and those infectious disease processes initiated by exogenous pathogens. We also explored the extent to which knowledge from the gastrointestinal tract in disease and intestinal mucositis could help us better understand CTOM pathobiology. Finally, we propose a model in which the oral microbiome participates in the current five-step CTOM pathobiology model. With the advent of more sophisticated metagenomics technologies and methods of analysis, much hope lies ahead to implement an effective holistic approach to treat cancer patients affected by CTOM.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Conteville LC, Oliveira-Ferreira J, ACP Vicente (2019)

Gut Microbiome Biomarkers and Functional Diversity Within an Amazonian Semi-Nomadic Hunter-Gatherer Group.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1743.

Human groups that still maintain traditional modes of subsistence (hunter-gatherers and rural agriculturalists) represent human groups non-impacted by urban-industrialized lifestyles, and therefore their gut microbiome provides the basis for understanding the human microbiome evolution and its association with human health and disease. The Yanomami is the largest semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer group of the Americas, exploring different niches of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Venezuela. Here, based on shotgun metagenomic data, we characterized the gut microbiome of the Yanomami from Brazil and compared taxonomically and functionally with the Yanomami from Venezuela, with other traditional groups from the Amazon and an urban-industrialized group. Taxonomic biomarkers were identified to each South American traditional group studied, including each Yanomami group. Broader levels of functional categories poorly discriminated the traditional and urban-industrialized groups, but the stratification of these categories revealed clear segregation of these groups. The Yanomami/Brazil gut microbiome presented unique functional features, such as a higher abundance of gene families involved in regulation/cell signaling, motility/chemotaxis, and virulence, contrasting with the gut microbiomes from the Yanomami/Venezuela and the other groups. Our study revealed biomarkers, and taxonomic and functional features that distinguished the gut microbiome of Yanomami/Brazil and Yanomami/Venezuela individuals, despite their shared lifestyle, culture, and genetic background. These differences may be a reflection of the environmental and seasonal diversity of the niches they explore. Overall, their microbiome profiles are shared with South American and African traditional groups, probably due to their lifestyle. The unique features identified within the Yanomami highlight the bias imposed by underrepresented sampling, and factors such as variations over space and time (seasonality) that impact, mainly, the hunter-gatherers.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Sudo N (2019)

Biogenic Amines: Signals Between Commensal Microbiota and Gut Physiology.

Frontiers in endocrinology, 10:504.

There is increasing interest in the interactions among the gut microbiota, gut, and brain, which is often referred to as the "microbiota-gut-brain" axis. Biogenic amines including dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamines are all generated by commensal gut microorganisms and are suggested to play roles as signaling molecules mediating the function of the "microbiota-gut-brain" axis. In addition, such amines generated in the gut have attracted attention in terms of possible clues into the etiologies of depression, anxiety, and even psychosis. This review covers the latest research related to the potential role of microbe-derived amines such as catecholamine, serotonin, histamine, as well as other trace amines, in modulating not only gut physiology but also brain function of the host. Further attention in this field can offer not only insight into expanding the fundamental roles and impacts of the human microbiome, but also further offer new therapeutic strategies for psychological disorders based on regulating the balance of resident bacteria.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Lacorte E, Gervasi G, Bacigalupo I, et al (2019)

A Systematic Review of the Microbiome in Children With Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Frontiers in neurology, 10:727.

Background and Purpose: A relationship between gut microbiome and central nervous system (CNS), have been suggested. The human microbiome may have an influence on brain's development, thus implying that dysbiosis may contribute in the etiology and progression of some neurological/neuropsychiatric disorders. The objective of this systematic review was to identify evidence on the characterization and potential distinctive traits of the microbiome of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, as compared to healthy children. Methods: The review was performed following the methodology described in the Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews, and was reported based on the PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. All literature published up to April 2019 was retrieved searching the databases PubMed, ISI Web of Science and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Only observational studies, published in English and reporting data on the characterization of the microbiome in humans aged 0-18 years with a neurodevelopmental disorder were included. Neurodevelopmental disorders were categorized according to the definition included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5 (DSM-5). Results: Bibliographic searches yielded 9,237 records. One study was identified through other data sources. A total of 16 studies were selected based on their relevance and pertinence to the topic of the review, and were then applied the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 10 case-control studies met the inclusion criteria, and were thus included in the qualitative analysis and applied the NOS score. Two studies reported data on the gut microbiome of children with ADHD, while 8 reported data on either the gut (n = 6) or the oral microbiome (n = 2) of children with ASD. Conclusions: All the 10 studies included in this review showed a high heterogeneity in terms of sample size, gender, clinical issues, and type of controls. This high heterogeneity, along with the small sample size of the included studies, strongly limited the external validity of results. The quality assessment performed using the NOS score showed an overall low to moderate methodological quality of the included studies. To better clarify the potential role of microbiome in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders, further high-quality observational (specifically cohort) studies are needed.

RevDate: 2019-09-01

Tierney BT, Yang Z, Luber JM, et al (2019)

The Landscape of Genetic Content in the Gut and Oral Human Microbiome.

Cell host & microbe, 26(2):283-295.e8.

Despite substantial interest in the species diversity of the human microbiome and its role in disease, the scale of its genetic diversity, which is fundamental to deciphering human-microbe interactions, has not been quantified. Here, we conducted a cross-study meta-analysis of metagenomes from two human body niches, the mouth and gut, covering 3,655 samples from 13 studies. We found staggering genetic heterogeneity in the dataset, identifying a total of 45,666,334 non-redundant genes (23,961,508 oral and 22,254,436 gut) at the 95% identity level. Fifty percent of all genes were "singletons," or unique to a single metagenomic sample. Singletons were enriched for different functions (compared with non-singletons) and arose from sub-population-specific microbial strains. Overall, these results provide potential bases for the unexplained heterogeneity observed in microbiome-derived human phenotypes. One the basis of these data, we built a resource, which can be accessed at https://microbial-genes.bio.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Zhang F, Wang M, Yang J, et al (2019)

Response of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes to hypoglycemic agents.

Endocrine pii:10.1007/s12020-019-02041-5 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Accumulated evidence has indicated that the gut microbiome affected the pharmacology of anti-diabetic agents, and their metabolic products induced by the agents transformed the structure of gastrointestinal microbiota in return. However, the studies around heredity, ethnicity, or living condition, referring to human microbiome were mostly represented by an occidental pattern partial and rare studies that focused on the effect of several first-line hypoglycemic agents on the gut flora in a single medical center. Therefore, we aimed to explore the interaction between gut microbiome and type 2 diabetes (T2D) or hypoglycemics in Chinese population.

METHODS: A total of 130 T2D patients with a specific hypoglycemic treatment and 50 healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study. Gut microbiome compositons were analyzed by 16S ribosomal RNA gene-based sequencing protocol.

RESULTS: Hypoglycemic agents contributed to the alteration of specific species in gut bacteria rather than its total diversity. Metformin increased the abundance of Spirochaete, Turicibacter, and Fusobacterium. Insulin also increased Fusobacterium, and α-glucosidase inhibitors (α-GIs) contributed to the plentitude of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Both metformin and insulin improved taurine and hypotaurine metabolism, and α-GI promoted several amino acid pathways. Although the community of gut microbiota with metformin and insulin showed similarity, significant differences were available in each diabetic group with hypoglycemia.

CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbiota is significantly associated with anti-diabetic agents. The gut microbiome and metabolism have shown respective characteristics in different T2D groups, which were also significantly different from the healthy group. This study provides some new insights for identification and exploration of the pathogenesis of T2D.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Pereira EM, de Mattos CS, Dos Santos OC, et al (2019)

Staphylococcus hominis subspecies can be identified by SDS-PAGE or MALDI-TOF MS profiles.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11736 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-48248-4.

Staphylococcus hominis is part of the normal human microbiome. Two subspecies, S. hominis hominis (Shh) and S. hominis novobiosepticus (Shn), have clinical significance. Forty-nine S. hominis isolates were analyzed by the MicroScan automated system, SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF methods, followed by partial sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene. The trehalose fermentation test, disk diffusion and broth microdilution tests were used to identify (novobiocin test) and access the susceptibility to oxacillin and vancomycin of isolates. The SCCmec elements and genomic diversity were evaluated by PCR and PFGE methods, respectively. Profiles of 28 (57%; 8 Shh and 20 Shn) isolates corroborated with the results found in all the applied methods of identification. The remaining 21 (43%) isolates were phenotypically identified as Shh by MicroScan; however, they were identified as Shn by SDS-PAGE and mass spectral, and confirmed by 16S rDNA sequencing. Among 41 isolates identified as Shn by the molecular and mass spectrometry methods, 19 (41%) were novobiocin-sensitive, and the trehalose test indicated 11 positive isolates, which are considered atypical phenotypic results for this subspecies. In addition, 92.7% of the isolates identified as Shn by these methods carried mecA gene, while only 12.5% of the Shh isolates were positive. Together, the results highlighted the SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF MS methods as promising tools for discriminating S. hominis subspecies.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Anonymous (2019)

Vast pool of new proteins is found, thanks to the human microbiome.

Nature, 572(7769):287.

RevDate: 2019-08-15

Gargiullo L, Del Chierico F, D'Argenio P, et al (2019)

Gut Microbiota Modulation for Multidrug-Resistant Organism Decolonization: Present and Future Perspectives.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1704.

The emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is of great concern to global public health. Treatment of multi-drug resistant (MDR) infections is a major clinical challenge: the increase in antibiotic resistance leads to a greater risk of therapeutic failure, relapses, longer hospitalizations, and worse clinical outcomes. Currently, there are no validated treatments for many MDR or pandrug-resistant (PDR) infections, and preventing the spread of these pathogens through hospital infection control procedures and antimicrobial stewardship programs is often the only tool available to healthcare providers. Therefore, new solutions to control the colonization of MDR pathogens are urgently needed. In this narrative review, we discuss current knowledge of microbiota-mediated mechanisms of AMR and strategies for MDR colonization control. We focus particularly on fecal microbiota transplantation for MDR intestinal decolonization and report updated literature on its current clinical use.

RevDate: 2019-08-12

Mora D, Filardi R, Arioli S, et al (2019)

Development of omics-based protocols for the microbiological characterization of multi-strain formulations marketed as probiotics: the case of VSL#3.

Microbial biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

The growing commercial interest in multi-strain formulations marketed as probiotics has not been accompanied by an equal increase in the evaluation of quality levels of these biotechnological products. The multi-strain product VSL#3 was used as a model to setup a microbiological characterization that could be extended to other formulations with high complexity. Shotgun metagenomics by deep Illumina sequencing was applied to DNA isolated from the commercial VSL#3 product to confirm strains identity safety and composition. Single-cell analysis was used to evaluate the cell viability, and β-galactosidase and urease activity have been used as marker to monitor the reproducibility of the production process. Similarly, these lots were characterized in detail by a metaproteomics approach for which a robust protein extraction protocol was combined with advanced mass spectrometry. The results identified over 1600 protein groups belonging to all strains present in the VSL#3 formulation. Of interest, only 3.2 % proteins showed significant differences mainly related to small variations in strain abundance. The protocols developed in this study addressed several quality criteria that are relevant for marketed multi-strain products and these represent the first efforts to define the quality of complex probiotic formulations such as VSL#3.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Sberro H, Fremin BJ, Zlitni S, et al (2019)

Large-Scale Analyses of Human Microbiomes Reveal Thousands of Small, Novel Genes.

Cell, 178(5):1245-1259.e14.

Small proteins are traditionally overlooked due to computational and experimental difficulties in detecting them. To systematically identify small proteins, we carried out a comparative genomics study on 1,773 human-associated metagenomes from four different body sites. We describe >4,000 conserved protein families, the majority of which are novel; ∼30% of these protein families are predicted to be secreted or transmembrane. Over 90% of the small protein families have no known domain and almost half are not represented in reference genomes. We identify putative housekeeping, mammalian-specific, defense-related, and protein families that are likely to be horizontally transferred. We provide evidence of transcription and translation for a subset of these families. Our study suggests that small proteins are highly abundant and those of the human microbiome, in particular, may perform diverse functions that have not been previously reported.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

Hietala V, Horsma-Heikkinen J, Carron A, et al (2019)

The Removal of Endo- and Enterotoxins From Bacteriophage Preparations.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1674.

The production of phages for therapeutic purposes demands fast, efficient and scalable purification procedures. Phage lysates have a wide range of impurities, of which endotoxins of gram-negative bacteria and protein toxins produced by many pathogenic bacterial species are harmful to humans. The highest allowed endotoxin concentration for parenterally applied medicines is 5 EU/kg/h. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of different purification methods in endotoxin and protein toxin removal in the production of phage preparations for clinical use. In the purification assays, we utilized three phages: Escherichia phage vB_EcoM_fHoEco02, Acinetobacter phage vB_ApiM_fHyAci03, and Staphylococcus phage vB_SauM_fRuSau02. The purification methods tested in the study were precipitation with polyethylene glycol, ultracentrifugation, ultrafiltration, anion exchange chromatography, octanol extraction, two different endotoxin removal columns, and different combinations thereof. The efficiency of the applied purification protocols was evaluated by measuring phage titer and either endotoxins or staphylococcal enterotoxins A and C (SEA and SEC, respectively) from samples taken from different purification steps. The most efficient procedure in endotoxin removal was the combination of ultrafiltration and EndoTrap HD affinity column, which was able to reduce the endotoxin-to-phage ratio of vB_EcoM_fHoEco02 lysate from 3.5 × 104 Endotoxin Units (EU)/109 plaque forming units (PFU) to 0.09 EU/109 PFU. The combination of ultrafiltration and anion exchange chromatography resulted in ratio 96 EU/109 PFU, and the addition of octanol extraction step into this procedure still reduced this ratio threefold. The other methods tested either resulted to less efficient endotoxin removal or required the use of harmful chemicals that should be avoided when producing phage preparations for medical use. Ultrafiltration with 100,000 MWCO efficiently removed enterotoxins from vB_SauM_fRuSau02 lysate (from 1.3 to 0.06 ng SEA/109 PFU), and anion exchange chromatography reduced the enterotoxin concentration below 0.25 ng/ml, the detection limit of the assay.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Stoyancheva G (2019)

Study of helveticin gene in Lactobacillus crispatus strains and evaluation of its use as a phylogenetic marker.

Archives of microbiology pii:10.1007/s00203-019-01711-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Lactobacilli are a part of the human microbiome in healthy humans. Studies of their physiological and genetic characteristics are the basis for their use in probiotic preparations. This report is a brief description of the helveticin gene found in two Lactobacillus crispatus strains, which are a part of the human microbiome. Our analysis showed that the two variants of the gene are not solely characteristic of strains isolated from humans. In the phylogenetic analysis, we found that the studied sequence (this gene) showed a significant difference between the species of the genus Lactobacillus and could be used as a phylogenetic marker.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Roura E, Depoortere I, M Navarro (2019)

Review: Chemosensing of nutrients and non-nutrients in the human and porcine gastrointestinal tract.

Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience pii:S1751731119001794 [Epub ahead of print].

The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is an interface between the external and internal milieus that requires continuous monitoring for nutrients or pathogens and toxic chemicals. The study of the physiological/molecular mechanisms, mediating the responses to the monitoring of the GIT contents, has been referred to as chemosensory science. While most of the progress in this area of research has been obtained in laboratory rodents and humans, significant steps forward have also been reported in pigs. The objective of this review was to update the current knowledge on nutrient chemosensing in pigs in light of recent advances in humans and laboratory rodents. A second objective relates to informing the existence of nutrient sensors with their functionality, particularly linked to the gut peptides relevant to the onset/offset of appetite. Several cell types of the intestinal epithelium such as Paneth, goblet, tuft and enteroendocrine cells (EECs) contain subsets of chemosensory receptors also found on the tongue as part of the taste system. In particular, EECs show specific co-expression patterns between nutrient sensors and/or transceptors (transport proteins with sensing functions) and anorexigenic hormones such as cholecystokinin (CCK), peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) or glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), amongst others. In addition, the administration of bitter compounds has an inhibitory effect on GIT motility and on appetite through GLP-1-, CCK-, ghrelin- and PYY-labelled EECs in the human small intestine and colon. Furthermore, the mammalian chemosensory system is the target of some bacterial metabolites. Recent studies on the human microbiome have discovered that commensal bacteria have developed strategies to stimulate chemosensory receptors and trigger host cellular functions. Finally, the study of gene polymorphisms related to nutrient sensors explains differences in food choices, food intake and appetite between individuals.

RevDate: 2019-08-21

Chu DM, Valentine GC, Seferovic MD, et al (2019)

The Development of the Human Microbiome: Why Moms Matter.

Gastroenterology clinics of North America, 48(3):357-375.

The human body is cohabitated with trillions of commensal bacteria that are essential for our health. However, certain bacteria can also cause diseases in the human host. Before the microbiome can be attributed to disease risk and pathogenesis, normal acquisition and development of the microbiome must be understood. Here, we explore the evidence surrounding in utero microbial exposures and the significant of this exposure in the proper development of the fetal and neonatal microbiome. We further explore the development of the fetal and neonatal microbiome and its relationship to preterm birth, feeding practices, and mode of delivery, and maternal diet.

RevDate: 2019-08-08

Lo Presti A, Zorzi F, Del Chierico F, et al (2019)

Fecal and Mucosal Microbiota Profiling in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1655.

An imbalance in the bacterial species resulting in the loss of intestinal homeostasis has been described in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this prospective study, we investigated whether IBD and IBS patients exhibit specific changes in richness and distribution of fecal and mucosal-associated microbiota. Additionally, we assessed potential 16S rRNA gene amplicons biomarkers for IBD, IBS, and controls (CTRLs) by comparison of taxonomic composition. The relative abundance of bacteria, at phylum and genus/species levels, and the bacterial diversity were determined through 16S rRNA sequence-based fecal and mucosal microbiota analysis. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) was used for biomarker discovery associated to IBD and IBS as compared to CTRLs. In fecal and mucosal samples, the microbiota richness was characterized by a microbial diversity reduction, going from CTRLs to IBS to IBD. β-diversity analysis showed a clear separation between IBD and CTRLs and between IBD and IBS with no significant separation between IBS and CTRLs. β-diversity showed a clear separation between mucosa and stool samples in all the groups. In IBD, there was no difference between inflamed and not inflamed mucosa. Based upon the LEfSe data, the Anaerostipes and Ruminococcaceae were identified as the most differentially abundant bacterial taxa in CTRLs. Erysipelotrichi was identified as potential biomarker for IBS, while Gammaproteobacteria, Enterococcus, and Enterococcaceae for IBD. This study provides an overview of the alterations of microbiota and may aid in identifying potential 16S rRNA gene amplicons mucosal biomarkers for IBD and IBS.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Colosimo DA, Kohn JA, Luo PM, et al (2019)

Mapping Interactions of Microbial Metabolites with Human G-Protein-Coupled Receptors.

Cell host & microbe, 26(2):273-282.e7.

Despite evidence linking the human microbiome to health and disease, how the microbiota affects human physiology remains largely unknown. Microbiota-encoded metabolites are expected to play an integral role in human health. Therefore, assigning function to these metabolites is critical to understanding these complex interactions and developing microbiota-inspired therapies. Here, we use large-scale functional screening of molecules produced by individual members of a simplified human microbiota to identify bacterial metabolites that agonize G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Multiple metabolites, including phenylpropanoic acid, cadaverine, 9-10-methylenehexadecanoic acid, and 12-methyltetradecanoic acid, were found to interact with GPCRs associated with diverse functions within the nervous and immune systems, among others. Collectively, these metabolite-receptor pairs indicate that diverse aspects of human health are potentially modulated by structurally simple metabolites arising from primary bacterial metabolism.

RevDate: 2019-08-02

Vitetta L, Llewellyn H, D Oldfield (2019)

Gut Dysbiosis and the Intestinal Microbiome: Streptococcus thermophilus a Key Probiotic for Reducing Uremia.

Microorganisms, 7(8): pii:microorganisms7080228.

In the intestines, probiotics can produce antagonistic effects such as antibiotic-like compounds, bactericidal proteins such as bacteriocins, and encourage the production of metabolic end products that may assist in preventing infections from various pathobionts (capable of pathogenic activity) microbes. Metabolites produced by intestinal bacteria and the adoptions of molecular methods to cross-examine and describe the human microbiome have refreshed interest in the discipline of nephology. As such, the adjunctive administration of probiotics for the treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) posits that certain probiotic bacteria can reduce the intestinal burden of uremic toxins. Uremic toxins eventuate from the over manifestation of glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity, increased activity of the hexosamine and polyol biochemical and synthetic pathways. The accumulation of advanced glycation end products that have been regularly associated with a dysbiotic colonic microbiome drives the overproduction of uremic toxins in the colon and the consequent local pro-inflammatory processes. Intestinal dysbiosis associated with significant shifts in abundance and diversity of intestinal bacteria with a resultant and maintained uremia promoting an uncontrolled mucosal pro-inflammatory state. In this narrative review we further address the efficacy of probiotics and highlighted in part the probiotic bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus as an important modulator of uremic toxins in the gut of patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. In conjunction with prudent nutritional practices it may be possible to prevent the progression of CKD and significantly downregulate mucosal pro-inflammatory activity with the administration of probiotics that contain S. thermophilus.

RevDate: 2019-08-04

Fall NS, Lo CI, Fournier PE, et al (2019)

Arcanobacterium ihumii sp. nov., Varibaculum vaginae sp. nov. and Tessaracoccus timonensis sp. nov., isolated from vaginal swabs from healthy Senegalese women.

New microbes and new infections, 31:100585 pii:100585.

Culturomics studies the microbial variety of the human microbiome by combining diversified culture conditions, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and 16S rRNA gene identification. This study identifies three putative new bacterial species: Arcanobacterium ihumii sp. nov. strain Marseille-P5647T, Varibaculum vaginae sp. nov. strain Marseille-P5644T and Tessaracoccus timonensis sp. nov. strain Marseille-P5995T, which we describe according to the concept of taxonogenomics.

RevDate: 2019-08-02

Yin G, Y Xia (2019)

Assessing the Hybrid Effects of Neutral and Niche Processes on Gut Microbiome Influenced by HIV Infection.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1467.

That both stochastic neutral and deterministic niche forces are in effect in shaping the community assembly and diversity maintenance is becoming an increasingly important consensus. However, assessing the effects of disease on the balance between the two forces in the human microbiome has not been explored to the best of our knowledge. In this article, we applied a hybrid model to address this issue by analyzing the potential effect of HIV infection on the human gut microbiome and adopted a further step of multimodality testing to improve the interpretation of their model. Our study revealed that although niche process is the dominant force in shaping human gut microbial communities, niche process- and neutral process-driven taxa could coexist in the same microbiome, confirming the notion of their joint responsibility. However, we failed to detect the effect of HIV infection in changing the balance. This suggests that the rule governing community assembly and diversity maintenance may be changed by the disturbance from HIV infection-caused dysbiosis. Although we admit that the general question of disease effect on community assembly and diversity maintenance may still be an open question, our study presents the first piece of evidence to reject the significant influence of diseases.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

Pietilä JP, Meri T, Siikamäki H, et al (2019)

Dientamoeba fragilis - the most common intestinal protozoan in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Finland, 2007 to 2017.

Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 24(29):.

BackgroundDespite the global distribution of the intestinal protozoan Dientamoeba fragilis, its clinical picture remains unclear. This results from underdiagnosis: microscopic screening methods either lack sensitivity (wet preparation) or fail to reveal Dientamoeba (formalin-fixed sample).AimIn a retrospective study setting, we characterised the clinical picture of dientamoebiasis and compared it with giardiasis. In addition, we evaluated an improved approach to formalin-fixed samples for suitability in Dientamoeba diagnostics.MethodsThis study comprised four parts: (i) a descriptive part scrutinising rates of Dientamoeba findings; (ii) a methodological part analysing an approach to detect Dientamoeba-like structures in formalin samples; (iii) a clinical part comparing demographics and symptoms between patients with dientamoebiasis (n = 352) and giardiasis (n = 272), and (iv) a therapeutic part (n = 89 patients) investigating correlation between faecal eradication and clinical improvement.ResultsThe rate of Dientamoeba findings increased 20-fold after introducing criteria for Dientamoeba-like structures in formalin-fixed samples (88.9% sensitivity and 83.3% specificity). A further increase was seen after implementing faecal PCR. Compared with patients with giardiasis, the symptoms in the Dientamoeba group lasted longer and more often included abdominal pain, cramping, faecal urgency and loose rather than watery stools. Resolved symptoms correlated with successful faecal eradication (p < 0.001).ConclusionsPreviously underdiagnosed, Dientamoeba has become the most frequently recorded pathogenic enteroparasite in Finland. This presumably results from improved diagnostics with either PCR or detection of Dientamoeba-like structures in formalin-fixed samples, an approach applicable also in resource-poor settings. Symptoms of dientamoebiasis differ slightly from those of giardiasis; patients with distressing symptoms require treatment.

RevDate: 2019-07-26

Dong Z, Chen B, Pan H, et al (2019)

Detection of Microbial 16S rRNA Gene in the Serum of Patients With Gastric Cancer.

Frontiers in oncology, 9:608.

Aberrance in the blood bacterial microbiome has been identified and validated in several non-infectious diseases, including cancer. The occurrence and progression of gastric cancer has been found to be associated with alterations in the microbiome composition. However, the composition of the blood microbiome in patients with gastric cancer is not well-characterized. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a case-control study to investigate the microbiota compositions in the serum of patients with gastric cancer. The serum microbiome was investigated in patients with gastric cancer, atypical hyperplasia, chronic gastritis, and in healthy controls using 16S rRNA gene sequencing targeting the V1-V2 region. Our results revealed that the structure of the serum microbiome in gastric cancer was significantly different from all other groups, and alpha diversity decreased from the healthy control to patients with gastric cancer. The serum microbiome correlated significantly with tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage, lymphatic metastasis, tumor diameter, and invasion depth in gastric cancer. Three genera or species, namely, Acinetobacter, Bacteroides, Haemophilus parainfluenzae, were enriched in patients with gastric cancer, whereas Sphingomonas, Comamonas, and Pseudomonas stutzeri were enriched in the healthy control. Furthermore, the structure of serum microbiota differed between gastric cancer lymphatic metastasis and non-lymphatic metastasis. As a pilot investigation to characterizing the serum microbiome in gastric cancer, our study provided a foundation for improving our understanding of the role of microbiota in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer.

RevDate: 2019-07-24

Kumar M, Ji B, Zengler K, et al (2019)

Modelling approaches for studying the microbiome.

Nature microbiology, 4(8):1253-1267.

Advances in metagenome sequencing of the human microbiome have provided a plethora of new insights and revealed a close association of this complex ecosystem with a range of human diseases. However, there is little knowledge about how the different members of the microbial community interact with each other and with the host, and we lack basic mechanistic understanding of these interactions related to health and disease. Mathematical modelling has been demonstrated to be highly advantageous for gaining insights into the dynamics and interactions of complex systems and in recent years, several modelling approaches have been proposed to enhance our understanding of the microbiome. Here, we review the latest developments and current approaches, and highlight how different modelling strategies have been applied to unravel the highly dynamic nature of the human microbiome. Furthermore, we discuss present limitations of different modelling strategies and provide a perspective of how modelling can advance understanding and offer new treatment routes to impact human health.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Scribano D, Marzano V, Levi Mortera S, et al (2019)

Insights into the Periplasmic Proteins of Acinetobacter baumannii AB5075 and the Impact of Imipenem Exposure: A Proteomic Approach.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(14): pii:ijms20143451.

Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains cause life-threatening infections due to the lack of therapeutic options. Although the main mechanisms underlying antibiotic-resistance have been extensively studied, the general response to maintain bacterial viability under antibiotic exposure deserves to be fully investigated. Since the periplasmic space contains several proteins with crucial cellular functions, besides carbapenemases, we decided to study the periplasmic proteome of the multidrug-resistant (MDR) A. baumannii AB5075 strain, grown in the absence and presence of imipenem (IMP). Through the proteomic approach, 65 unique periplasmic proteins common in both growth conditions were identified: eight proteins involved in protein fate, response to oxidative stress, energy metabolism, antibiotic-resistance, were differentially expressed. Among them, ABUW_1746 and ABUW_2363 gene products presented the tetratricopeptide repeat motif, mediating protein-protein interactions. The expression switch of these proteins might determine specific protein interactions to better adapt to changing environmental conditions. ABUW_2868, encoding a heat shock protein likely involved in protection against oxidative stress, was upregulated in IMP-exposed bacteria. Accordingly, the addition of periplasmic proteins from A. baumannii cultured with IMP increased bacterial viability in an antioxidant activity assay. Overall, this study provides the first insights about the composition of the periplasmic proteins of a MDR A. baumannii strain, its biological response to IMP and suggests possible new targets to develop alternative antibiotic drugs.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

Wakabayashi R, Nakahama Y, Nguyen V, et al (2019)

The Host-Microbe Interplay in Human Papillomavirus-Induced Carcinogenesis.

Microorganisms, 7(7): pii:microorganisms7070199.

Every year nearly half a million new cases of cervix cancer are diagnosed worldwide, making this malignancy the fourth commonest cancer in women. In 2018, more than 270,000 women died of cervix cancer globally with 85% of them being from developing countries. The majority of these cancers are caused by the infection with carcinogenic strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), which is also causally implicated in the development of other malignancies, including cancer of the anus, penis cancer and head and neck cancer. HPV is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide, however, most infected people do not develop cancer and do not even have a persistent infection. The development of highly effective HPV vaccines against most common high-risk HPV strains is a great medical achievement of the 21st century that could prevent up to 90% of cervix cancers. In this article, we review the current understanding of the balanced virus-host interaction that can lead to either virus elimination or the establishment of persistent infection and ultimately malignant transformation. We also highlight the influence of certain factors inherent to the host, including the immune status, genetic variants and the coexistence of other microbe infections and microbiome composition in the dynamic of HPV infection induced carcinogenesis.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Hamidi B, Wallace K, AV Alekseyenko (2019)

MODIMA, a Method for Multivariate Omnibus Distance Mediation Analysis, Allows for Integration of Multivariate Exposure-Mediator-Response Relationships.

Genes, 10(7): pii:genes10070524.

Many important exposure-response relationships, such as diet and weight, can be influenced by intermediates, such as the gut microbiome. Understanding the role of these intermediates, the mediators, is important in refining cause-effect theories and discovering additional medical interventions (e.g., probiotics, prebiotics). Mediation analysis has been at the heart of behavioral health research, rapidly gaining popularity with the biomedical sciences in the last decade. A specific analytic challenge is being able to incorporate an entire 'omics assay as a mediator. To address this challenge, we propose a hypothesis testing framework for multivariate omnibus distance mediation analysis (MODIMA). We use the power of energy statistics, such as partial distance correlation, to allow for analysis of multivariate exposure-mediator-response triples. Our simulation results demonstrate the favorable statistical properties of our approach relative to the available alternatives. Finally, we demonstrate the application of the proposed methods in two previously published microbiome datasets. Our framework adds a new tool to the toolbox of approaches to the integration of 'omics big data.

RevDate: 2019-07-22

PeBenito AM, Liu M, Nazzal L, et al (2019)

Development of a humanized murine model for the study of Oxalobacter formigenes intestinal colonization.

The Journal of infectious diseases pii:5536758 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Oxalobacter formigenes are bacteria that colonize the human gut and degrade oxalate, a component of most kidney stones. Clinical and epidemiological studies suggest that O. formigenes colonization reduces the risk for kidney stones. We sought to develop murine models to allow investigating O. formigenes in the context of its native human microbiome.For humanization, we transplanted pooled feces from healthy, non-colonized human donors supplemented with a human O. formigenes strain into recipient mice. We compared transplanting microbiota into mice that were either treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics to suppress their native microbiome, or were germ-free, or received humanization without pre-treatment or received a sham gavage (controls).

RESULTS: All humanized mice were stably colonized with O. formigenes through 8 weeks post-gavage, whereas mice receiving sham gavage remained uncolonized (p<0.001). Humanization significantly changed the murine intestinal microbial community structure (p<0.001) with humanized germ-free and antibiotic-treated groups overlapping in β-diversity. Both the germ-free and antibiotic-treated mice had significantly increased numbers of human species compared to sham-gavaged mice (p<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Transplanting mice with human feces and O. formigenes introduced new microbial populations resembling the human microbiome, with stable O. formigenes colonization; such models can define optimal O. formigenes strains to facilitate clinical trials.

RevDate: 2019-07-22

O'Gorman DB, Pena-Diaz AM, Drosdowech D, et al (2019)

Response to Long et al regarding: "Cutibacterium acnes and the shoulder microbiome".

Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery, 28(8):e277-e278.

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Santiago-Rodriguez TM, EB Hollister (2019)

Human Virome and Disease: High-Throughput Sequencing for Virus Discovery, Identification of Phage-Bacteria Dysbiosis and Development of Therapeutic Approaches with Emphasis on the Human Gut.

Viruses, 11(7): pii:v11070656.

The virome is comprised of endogenous retroviruses, eukaryotic viruses, and bacteriophages and is increasingly being recognized as an essential part of the human microbiome. The human virome is associated with Type-1 diabetes (T1D), Type-2 diabetes (T2D), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, and cancer. Increasing evidence also supports trans-kingdom interactions of viruses with bacteria, small eukaryotes and host in disease progression. The present review focuses on virus ecology and biology and how this translates mostly to human gut virome research. Current challenges in the field and how the development of bioinformatic tools and controls are aiding to overcome some of these challenges are also discussed. Finally, the present review also focuses on how human gut virome research could result in translational and clinical studies that may facilitate the development of therapeutic approaches.

RevDate: 2019-08-06

Huddleston JP, Thoden JB, Dopkins BJ, et al (2019)

Structural and Functional Characterization of YdjI, an Aldolase of Unknown Specificity in Escherichia coli K12.

Biochemistry, 58(31):3340-3353.

The ydj gene cluster is found in 80% of sequenced Escherichia coli genomes and other closely related species in the human microbiome. On the basis of the annotations of the enzymes located in this cluster, it is expected that together they catalyze the catabolism of an unknown carbohydrate. The focus of this investigation is on YdjI, which is in the ydj gene cluster of E. coli K-12. It is predicted to be a class II aldolase of unknown function. Here we describe a structural and functional characterization of this enzyme. YdjI catalyzes the hydrogen/deuterium exchange of the pro-S hydrogen at C3 of dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP). In the presence of DHAP, YdjI catalyzes an aldol condensation with a variety of aldo sugars. YdjI shows a strong preference for higher-order (seven-, eight-, and nine-carbon) monosaccharides with specific hydroxyl stereochemistries and a negatively charged terminus (carboxylate or phosphate). The best substrate is l-arabinuronic acid with an apparent kcat of 3.0 s-1. The product, l-glycero-l-galacto-octuluronate-1-phosphate, has a kcat/Km value of 2.1 × 103 M-1 s-1 in the retro-aldol reaction with YdjI. This is the first recorded synthesis of l-glycero-l-galacto-octuluronate-1-phosphate and six similar carbohydrates. The crystal structure of YdjI, determined to a nominal resolution of 1.75 Å (Protein Data Bank entry 6OFU), reveals unusual positions for two arginine residues located near the active site. Computational docking was utilized to distinguish preferable binding orientations for l-glycero-l-galacto-octuluronate-1-phosphate. These results indicate a possible alternative binding orientation for l-glycero-l-galacto-octuluronate-1-phosphate compared to that observed in other class II aldolases, which utilize shorter carbohydrate molecules.

RevDate: 2019-08-12

Peters DL, Wang W, Zhang X, et al (2019)

Metaproteomic and Metabolomic Approaches for Characterizing the Gut Microbiome.

Proteomics, 19(16):e1800363.

The gut microbiome has been shown to play a significant role in human healthy and diseased states. The dynamic signaling that occurs between the host and microbiome is critical for the maintenance of host homeostasis. Analyzing the human microbiome with metaproteomics, metabolomics, and integrative multi-omics analyses can provide significant information on markers for healthy and diseased states, allowing for the eventual creation of microbiome-targeted treatments for diseases associated with dysbiosis. Metaproteomics enables functional activity information to be gained from the microbiome samples, while metabolomics provides insight into the overall metabolic states affecting/representing the host-microbiome interactions. Combining these functional -omic platforms together with microbiome composition profiling allows for a holistic overview on the functional and metabolic state of the microbiome and its influence on human health. Here the benefits of metaproteomics, metabolomics, and the integrative multi-omic approaches to investigating the gut microbiome in the context of human health and diseases are reviewed.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

Ticinesi A, Nouvenne A, Cerundolo N, et al (2019)

Gut Microbiota, Muscle Mass and Function in Aging: A Focus on Physical Frailty and Sarcopenia.

Nutrients, 11(7): pii:nu11071633.

Human gut microbiota is able to influence the host physiology by regulating multiple processes, including nutrient absorption, inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function, and anabolic balance. Aging is associated with reduced microbiota biodiversity, increased inter-individual variability, and over-representation of pathobionts, and these phenomena may have great relevance for skeletal muscle mass and function. For this reason, the presence of a gut-muscle axis regulating the onset and progression of age-related physical frailty and sarcopenia has been recently hypothesized. In this narrative review, we summarize the studies supporting a possible association between gut microbiota-related parameters with measures of muscle mass, muscle function, and physical performance in animal models and humans. Reduced muscle mass has been associated with distinct microbiota composition and reduced fermentative capacity in mice, and the administration of probiotics or butyrate to mouse models of muscle wasting has been associated with improved muscle mass. However, no studies have targeted the human microbiome associated with sarcopenia. Limited evidence from human studies shows an association between microbiota composition, involving key taxa such as Faecalibacterium and Bifidobacterium, and grip strength. Similarly, few studies conducted on patients with parkinsonism showed a trend towards a different microbiota composition in those with reduced gait speed. No studies have assessed the association of fecal microbiota with other measures of physical performance. However, several studies, mainly with a cross-sectional design, suggest an association between microbiota composition and frailty, mostly assessed according to the deficit accumulation model. Namely, frailty was associated with reduced microbiota biodiversity, and lower representation of butyrate-producing bacteria. Therefore, we conclude that the causal link between microbiota and physical fitness is still uncertain due to the lack of targeted studies and the influence of a large number of covariates, including diet, exercise, multimorbidity, and polypharmacy, on both microbiota composition and physical function in older age. However, the relationship between gut microbiota and physical function remains a very promising area of research for the future.

RevDate: 2019-07-23

Novotný M, Klimova B, M Valis (2019)

Microbiome and Cognitive Impairment: Can Any Diets Influence Learning Processes in a Positive Way?.

Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 11:170.

The aim of this review is to summarize the effect of human intestinal microbiome on cognitive impairments and to focus primarily on the impact of diet and eating habits on learning processes. Better understanding of the microbiome could revolutionize the possibilities of therapy for many diseases. The authors performed a literature review of available studies on the research topic describing the influence of human microbiome and diet on cognitive impairment or learning processes found in the world's acknowledged databases Web of Science, PubMed, Springer, and Scopus. The digestive tube is populated by billions of living microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, helminths, and microscopic fungi. In adulthood, under physiological conditions, the intestinal microbiome appears to be relatively steady. However, it is not true that it would not be influenced, both in the positive sense of the word and in the negative one. The basic pillars that maintain a steady microbiome are genetics, lifestyle, diet and eating habits, geography, and age. It is reported that the gastrointestinal tract and the brain communicate with each other through several pathways and one can speak about gut-brain axis. New evidence is published every year about the association of intestinal dysbiosis and neurological/psychiatric diseases. On the other hand, specific diets and eating habits can have a positive effect on a balanced microbiota composition and thus contribute to the enhancement of cognitive functions, which are important for any learning process.

RevDate: 2019-09-01

Zhou H, Suo J, J Zhu (2019)

[Therapeutic Relevance of Human Microbiota and Lung Cancer].

Zhongguo fei ai za zhi = Chinese journal of lung cancer, 22(7):464-469.

The human microbiome is closely related to human health status. Disruption of the symbiotic balance of the human microbiome is commonly found in systematic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and chronic gastric diseases. The human microbiome confers benefits or disease susceptibility to the human body through multiple pathways, associated with approximately 20% of malignancies. The incidence and mortality of lung cancer (LC) in men in China are the highest among all malignancies, which is a serious threat to human health. Emerging evidence has suggested that the human microbiota may be closely related to lung cancer at multiple levels, e.g., by affecting metabolic, inflammatory, or immune pathways. At the same time, the human microbiota affects the efficacy of lung cancer on chemoradiotherapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy and other treatments. Immunotherapy is a promising method for the treatment of malignancies such as lung cancer, but the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients is heterogeneous. Preclinical studies based on lung cancer cell lines suggest that the intestinal microbiota can modulate responses to anti--PD-1 therapy through interactions with the host immune system. But for lung cancer patients, whether the intestinal flora can still regulate immunotherapy remains controversial. In this mini-review, we summarize current research findings describing therapeutic relevance of human microbiota and lung cancer. A better knowledge of the interplay between the human microbiome and lung cancer may promote the development of innovative strategies for prevention and personalized treatment in lung cancer.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Gallon P, Parekh M, Ferrari S, et al (2019)

Metagenomics in ophthalmology: Hypothesis or real prospective?.

Biotechnology reports (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 23:e00355 pii:e00355.

Metagenomic analysis was originally associated with the studies of genetic material from environmental samples. But, with the advent of the Human Microbiome Project, it has now been applied in clinical practices. The ocular surface (OS) is the most exposed part of the eye, colonized by several microbial communities (both, OS and environmental) that contribute to the maintenance of the physiological state. Limited knowledge has been acquired on these microbes due to the limitations of conventional diagnostic methods. Emerging fields of research are focusing on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies to obtain reliable information on the OS microbiome. Currently only pre-specified pathogens can be detected by conventional culture-based techniques or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), but there are conditions to state whether metagenomics could revolutionize the diagnosis of ocular diseases. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview of the studies involving NGS technology for OS microbiome.

RevDate: 2019-07-26

Huang C, G Shi (2019)

Smoking and microbiome in oral, airway, gut and some systemic diseases.

Journal of translational medicine, 17(1):225 pii:10.1186/s12967-019-1971-7.

The human microbiome harbors a diverse array of microbes which establishes a mutually beneficial relation with the host in healthy conditions, however, the dynamic homeostasis is influenced by both host and environmental factors. Smoking contributes to modifications of the oral, lung and gut microbiome, leading to various diseases, such as periodontitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and cancers. However, the exact causal relationship between smoking and microbiome alteration remains to be further explored.

RevDate: 2019-07-13

Li JKM, Chiu PKF, CF Ng (2019)

The impact of microbiome in urological diseases: a systematic review.

International urology and nephrology pii:10.1007/s11255-019-02225-y [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The term microbiome is used to signify the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that share our body space, in which there were increasing evidences to suggest that they might have potential roles in various medical conditions. While the study of microbiome in the urinary system is not as robust as the systems included in the Human Microbiome Project, there are still evidences in the literature showing that microbiome may have a role in urological diseases. Therefore, we would like to perform a systematic review on the topic and summarize the available evidence on the impact of microbiome on urological diseases.

METHODOLOGY: This review was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) statement. After screening 589 abstracts and including additional studies (such as references from review papers), 76 studies were included for review and discussion.

RESULTS: Studies had suggested that there were correlations of microbiome of different body cavities (e.g., fecal, urinary and seminal fluid) with urological diseases. Also, different diseases would have different microbiome profile in different body cavities. Unfortunately, the studies on the association of microbiome and urological diseases were still either weak or inconsistent.

CONCLUSION: Studies suggested that there might be some relationship between microbiome and various urological diseases. However, further large-scale studies with control of confounding factors should be performed under a standardized methodology in order to have better understanding of the relationship. Also, more standardized reporting protocol for microbiome studies should be considered for better communications in future studies.

RevDate: 2019-07-14

Zhang Z, Yang J, Feng Q, et al (2019)

Compositional and Functional Analysis of the Microbiome in Tissue and Saliva of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:1439.

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is affected by the interaction between oral pathogen and holobionts, or the combination of the host and its microbial communities. Studies have indicated the structure and feature of the microbiome in OSCC tissue and saliva, the relationships between microbiota and OSCC sites, stages remain unclear. In the present study, OSCC tissue (T), saliva (S) and mouthwash (W) samples were collected from the same subjects and carried out the microbiome study by 16S sequencing. The results showed the T group was significantly different from the S and W groups with the character of lower richness and diversity. Proteobacteria were most enriched in the T group at the phylum level, while Firmicutes were predominant in groups S and W. At the genus level, the predominant taxa of group T were Acinetobacter and Fusobacterium, and for group S and W, the predominant taxa were Streptococcus and Prevotella. The genera related to late stage tumors were Acinetobacter and Fusobacterium, suggesting microbiota may be implicated in OSCC developing. Both compositional and functional analyses indicated that microbes in tumor tissue were potential indicator for the initiation and development of OSCC.

RevDate: 2019-08-28

Lam KN, Alexander M, PJ Turnbaugh (2019)

Precision Medicine Goes Microscopic: Engineering the Microbiome to Improve Drug Outcomes.

Cell host & microbe, 26(1):22-34.

Despite the recognition, nearly a century ago, that the human microbiome plays a clinically relevant role in drug disposition, mechanistic insights, and translational applications are still limited. Here, we highlight the recent re-emergence of "pharmacomicrobiomics," which seeks to understand how inter-individual variations in the microbiome shape drug efficacy and side effect profiles. Multiple bacterial species, genes, and enzymes have already been implicated in the direct biotransformation of drugs, both from targeted case studies and from systematic computational and experimental analyses. Indirect mechanisms are also at play; for example, microbial interactions with the host immune system can have broad effects on immunomodulatory drugs. Finally, we discuss multiple emerging strategies for the precise manipulation of complex microbial communities to improve treatment outcomes. In the coming years, we anticipate a shift toward a more comprehensive view of precision medicine that encompasses our human and microbial genomes and their combined metabolic activities.

RevDate: 2019-07-18

Mike LA (2019)

mSphere of Influence: Systematically Decoding Microbial Chemical Communication.

mSphere, 4(4): pii:4/4/e00319-19.

Laura A. Mike works in the field of bacterial pathogenesis. In this mSphere of Influence article, she reflects on how "Insights into Secondary Metabolism from a Global Analysis of Prokaryotic Biosynthetic Gene Clusters" by P. Cimermancic et al. (Cell 158:412-421, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2014.06.034) and "A Systematic Analysis of Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in the Human Microbiome Reveals a Common Family of Antibiotics" by M. S. Donia et al. (Cell 158:1402-1414, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2014.08.032) made an impact on her by systematically identifying microbiome-associated biosynthetic gene clusters predicted to synthesize secondary metabolites, which may facilitate interspecies interactions.

RevDate: 2019-07-22

Wree A, Geisler LJ, F Tacke (2019)

[Microbiome & NASH - partners in crime driving progression of fatty liver disease].

Zeitschrift fur Gastroenterologie, 57(7):871-882.

Along with the increasing prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is rapidly increasing and poses a major challenge for gastroenterologists. Many studies have demonstrated that the microbiome is closely associated with the progression of nutrition-related diseases, especially of fatty liver disease. Changes in the quantity and quality of the intestinal flora, commonly referred to as dysbiosis, result in altered food metabolism, increased permeability of the intestinal barrier ("leaky gut") and consecutive inflammatory processes in the liver. This favors both the progression of obesity and metabolic disorders as well as NAFLD towards non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), hepatic fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Important molecular mechanisms include microbial metabolites, microbial and endogenous signaling substances (so-called PAMPs/DAMPs) as well as bile acids. Essential cellular mechanisms include immune cells in the gut and liver, especially macrophages and Kupffer cells, as well as intestinal epithelial cells and hepatocytes as central regulators of metabolism. In this review article, we briefly summarize the relevant species of the human microbiome, describe the microbial analytics, explain the most important molecular relationships between microbiome and NAFLD/NASH, and finally the opportunities and challenges of microbiome-modulating therapy for the treatment of fatty liver disease.

RevDate: 2019-07-09

Jackson BR, Chow N, Forsberg K, et al (2019)

On the Origins of a Species: What Might Explain the Rise of Candida auris?.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 5(3): pii:jof5030058.

Candida auris is an emerging multidrug-resistant yeast first described in 2009 that has since caused healthcare-associated outbreaks of severe human infections around the world. In some hospitals, it has become a leading cause of invasive candidiasis. C. auris is markedly different from most other pathogenic Candida species in its genetics, antifungal resistance, and ability to spread between patients. The reasons why this fungus began spreading widely in the last decade remain a mystery. We examine available data on C. auris and related species, including genomic epidemiology, phenotypic characteristics, and sites of detection, to put forth hypotheses on its possible origins. C. auris has not been detected in the natural environment; related species have been detected in in plants, insects, and aquatic environments, as well as from human body sites. It can tolerate hypersaline environments and higher temperatures than most Candida species. We explore hypotheses about the pre-emergence niche of C. auris, whether in the environmental or human microbiome, and speculate on factors that might have led to its spread, including the possible roles of healthcare, antifungal use, and environmental changes, including human activities that might have expanded its presence in the environment or caused increased human contact.

RevDate: 2019-07-08

Amsterdam D, BE Ostrov (2018)

The Impact of the Microbiome on Immunosenescence.

Immunological investigations, 47(8):801-811.

Human microbiome investigations now provide evidence that changes in the microbiome over time and their interaction with the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems are associated with a wide array of disorders. Human immunological studies typically absent a microbiome consideration in their investigations. An area of recent exploration is the role of the microbiome as a critical partner in the development and function of the human immune system in aging. It is well known that immunologic maturation is influenced by a lifetime of interactions of the host with its companion microbiome. It is generally not well recognized that intestinal microbes play an essential role in the development and expansion of gut mucosal and systemic immune function. Gut microbial communities of elderly people have different composition and behavior compared to healthy younger adults. Comorbidities associated with microbial pathogens and an aberrant immune system tend to increase with aging. This review underscores the impact of the human-microbiome interface on the development and function of the immune system and on immunosenescence. These changes have important implications regarding health and health system utilization in the elderly population.

RevDate: 2019-07-17

Velsko IM, Fellows Yates JA, Aron F, et al (2019)

Microbial differences between dental plaque and historic dental calculus are related to oral biofilm maturation stage.

Microbiome, 7(1):102 pii:10.1186/s40168-019-0717-3.

BACKGROUND: Dental calculus, calcified oral plaque biofilm, contains microbial and host biomolecules that can be used to study historic microbiome communities and host responses. Dental calculus does not typically accumulate as much today as historically, and clinical oral microbiome research studies focus primarily on living dental plaque biofilm. However, plaque and calculus reflect different conditions of the oral biofilm, and the differences in microbial characteristics between the sample types have not yet been systematically explored. Here, we compare the microbial profiles of modern dental plaque, modern dental calculus, and historic dental calculus to establish expected differences between these substrates.

RESULTS: Metagenomic data was generated from modern and historic calculus samples, and dental plaque metagenomic data was downloaded from the Human Microbiome Project. Microbial composition and functional profile were assessed. Metaproteomic data was obtained from a subset of historic calculus samples. Comparisons between microbial, protein, and metabolomic profiles revealed distinct taxonomic and metabolic functional profiles between plaque, modern calculus, and historic calculus, but not between calculus collected from healthy teeth and periodontal disease-affected teeth. Species co-exclusion was related to biofilm environment. Proteomic profiling revealed that healthy tooth samples contain low levels of bacterial virulence proteins and a robust innate immune response. Correlations between proteomic and metabolomic profiles suggest co-preservation of bacterial lipid membranes and membrane-associated proteins.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we find that there are systematic microbial differences between plaque and calculus related to biofilm physiology, and recognizing these differences is important for accurate data interpretation in studies comparing dental plaque and calculus.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Soligo M, Albini M, Bertoli FL, et al (2019)

Different responses of PC12 cells to different pro-nerve growth factor protein variants.

Neurochemistry international, 129:104498.

The present work aimed to explore the innovative hypothesis that different transcript/protein variants of a pro-neurotrophin may generate different biological outcomes in a cellular system. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is important in the development and progression of neurodegenerative and cancer conditions. Mature NGF (mNGF) originates from a precursor, proNGF, produced in mouse in two major variants, proNGF-A and proNGF-B. Different receptors bind mNGF and proNGF, generating neurotrophic or neurotoxic outcomes. It is known that dysregulation in the proNGF/mNGF ratio and in NGF-receptors expression affects brain homeostasis. To date, however, the specific roles of the two major proNGF variants remain unexplored. Here we attempted a first characterization of the possible differential effects of proNGF-A and proNGF-B on viability, differentiation and endogenous ngf gene expression in the PC12 cell line. We also investigated the differential involvement of NGF receptors in the actions of proNGF. We found that native mouse mNGF, proNGF-A and proNGF-B elicited different effects on PC12 cell survival and differentiation. Only mNGF and proNGF-A promoted neurotrophic responses when all NGF receptors are exposed at the cell surface. Tropomyosine receptor kinase A (TrkA) blockade inhibited cell differentiation, regardless of which NGF was added to culture media. Only proNGF-A exerted a pro-survival effect when TrkA was inhibited. Conversely, proNGF-B exerted differentiative effects when the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) was antagonized. Stimulation with NGF variants differentially regulated the autocrine production of distinct proNgf mRNA. Overall, our findings suggest that mNGF and proNGF-A may elicit similar neurotrophic effects, not necessarily linked to activation of the same NGF-receptor, while the action of proNGF-B may be determined by the NGF-receptors balance. Thus, the proposed involvement of proNGF/NGF on the development and progression of neurodegenerative and tumor conditions may depend on the NGF-receptors balance, on specific NGF trancript expression and on the proNGF protein variant ratio.


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.

963 Red Tail Lane
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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

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 )