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30 Mar 2023 at 01:50
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Bibliography on: Human Microbiome


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2023 at 01:50 Created: 

Human Microbiome

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-03-29

Cappello C, Tlais AZA, Acin-Albiac M, et al (2023)

Identification and Selection of Prospective Probiotics for Enhancing Gastrointestinal Digestion: Application in Pharmaceutical Preparations and Dietary Supplements.

Nutrients, 15(6): pii:nu15061306.

Our study investigated the effectiveness of 446 strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) belonging to different species and isolated from diverse sources (food, human, and animal) as potential probiotic candidates, with the perspective of producing dietary supplements or pharmacological formulations suitable for enhancing gastrointestinal digestion. The survival capability of all the isolates under harsh gastrointestinal tract conditions was evaluated, in which only 44 strains, named high-resistant, were selected for further food digestibility investigations. All 44 strains hydrolyzed raffinose and exhibited amino and iminopeptidase activities but at various extents, confirming species- and strain-specificity. After partial in vitro digestion mimicking oral and gastric digestive phases, food matrices were incubated with single strains for 24 h. Fermented partially digested matrices provided additional functional properties for some investigated strains by releasing peptides and increasing the release of highly bio-accessible free phenolic compounds. A scoring procedure was proposed as an effective tool to reduce data complexity and quantitively characterize the probiotic potential of each LAB strain, which could be more useful in the selection procedure of powerful probiotics.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Qin F, Li J, Mao T, et al (2023)

2 Hydroxybutyric Acid-Producing Bacteria in Gut Microbiome and Fusobacterium nucleatum Regulates 2 Hydroxybutyric Acid Level In Vivo.

Metabolites, 13(3): pii:metabo13030451.

2-hydroxybutyric acid (2HB) serves as an important regulatory factor in a variety of diseases. The circulating level of 2HB in serum is significantly higher in multiple diseases, such as cancer and type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, there is currently no systematic study on 2HB-producing bacteria that demonstrates whether gut bacteria contribute to the circulating 2HB pool. To address this question, we used BLASTP to reveal the taxonomic profiling of 2HB-producing bacteria in the human microbiome, which are mainly distributed in the phylum Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. In vitro experiments showed that most gut bacteria (21/32) have at least one path to produce 2HB, which includes Aspartic acid, methionine, threonine, and 2-aminobutyric acid. Particularly, Fusobacterium nucleatum has the strongest ability to synthesize 2HB, which is sufficient to alter colon 2HB concentration in mice. Nevertheless, neither antibiotic (ABX) nor Fusobacterium nucleatum gavage significantly affected mouse serum 2HB levels during the time course of this study. Taken together, our study presents the profiles of 2HB-producing bacteria and demonstrates that gut microbiota was a major contributor to 2HB concentration in the intestinal lumen but a relatively minor contributor to serum 2HB concentration.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Wazir HU, Narang P, Silvani G, et al (2023)

Bacterial Virulence and Prevention for Human Spaceflight.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 13(3): pii:life13030656.

With the advancement in reusable rocket propulsion technology, space tourist trips into outer space are now becoming a possibility at a cost-effective rate. As such, astronauts will face a host of health-related challenges, particularly on long-duration space missions where maintaining a balanced healthy microbiome is going to be vital for human survival in space exploration as well as mission success. The human microbiome involves a whole list of micro-organisms that reside in and on the human host, and plays an integral role in keeping the human host healthy. However, imbalances in the microbiome have been directly linked to many human diseases. Research findings have clearly shown that the outer space environment can directly affect the normal microbiome of astronauts when the astronaut is exposed to the microgravity environment. In this study, we show that the simulation of microgravity on earth can mimic the outer space microgravity environment. Staphylococus aureus (S. aureus) was chosen for this study as it is an opportunistic pathogen, which is part of the normal human skin microflora and the nasal passages. This study's results show that S. aureus proliferation was significantly increased under a microgravity environment compared to Earth's gravity conditions, which complements previous work performed on bacteria in the outer space environment in the International Space Station (ISS). This demonstrates that this technology can be utilised here on Earth to mimic the outer space environment and to study challenging health-related questions. This in return saves us the cost on conducting experiments in the ISS and can help advance knowledge at a faster rate and produce countermeasures to mitigate the negative side effects of the hostile outer space environment on humans.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Kartti S, Bendani H, Boumajdi N, et al (2023)

Metagenomics Analysis of Breast Microbiome Highlights the Abundance of Rothia Genus in Tumor Tissues.

Journal of personalized medicine, 13(3): pii:jpm13030450.

Breast cancer is one of the main global priorities in terms of public health. It remains the most frequent cancer in women and is the leading cause of their death. The human microbiome plays various roles in maintaining health by ensuring a dynamic balance with the host or in the appearance of various pathologies including breast cancer. In this study, we performed an analysis of bacterial signature differences between tumor and adjacent tissues of breast cancer patients in Morocco. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, we observed that adjacent tissue contained a much higher percentage of the Gammaproteobacteria class (35.7%) while tumor tissue was characterized by a higher percentage of Bacilli and Actinobacteria classes, with about 18.8% and 17.2% average abundance, respectively. Analysis of tumor subtype revealed enrichment of genus Sphingomonodas in TNBC while Sphingomonodas was predominant in HER2. The LEfSe and the genus level heatmap analysis revealed a higher abundance of the Rothia genus in tumor tissues. The identified microbial communities can therefore serve as potential biomarkers for prognosis and diagnosis, while also helping to develop new strategies for the treatment of breast cancer patients.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Zhao L, Wang S, Ilves M, et al (2023)

Transcriptomic Profiling the Effects of Airway Exposure of Zinc Oxide and Silver Nanoparticles in Mouse Lungs.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(6): pii:ijms24065183.

Consumers and manufacturers are exposed to nanosized zinc oxide (nZnO) and silver particles (nAg) via airways, but their biological effects are still not fully elucidated. To understand the immune effects, we exposed mice to 2, 10, or 50 μg of nZnO or nAg by oropharyngeal aspiration and analyzed the global gene expression profiles and immunopathological changes in the lungs after 1, 7, or 28 days. Our results show that the kinetics of responses varied in the lungs. Exposure to nZnO resulted in the highest accumulation of F4/80- and CD3-positive cells, and the largest number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified after day 1, while exposure to nAg caused peak responses at day 7. Additionally, nZnO mainly activated the innate immune responses leading to acute inflammation, whereas the nAg activated both innate and adaptive immune pathways, with long-lasting effects. This kinetic-profiling study provides an important data source to understand the cellular and molecular processes underlying nZnO- and nAg-induced transcriptomic changes, which lead to the characterization of the corresponding biological and toxicological effects of nZnO and nAg in the lungs. These findings could improve science-based hazard and risk assessment and the development of safe applications of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), e.g., in biomedical applications.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Brzozowska E, Lipiński T, Korzeniowska-Kowal A, et al (2023)

Detection and Level Evaluation of Antibodies Specific to Environmental Bacteriophage I11mO19 and Related Coliphages in Non-Immunized Human Sera.

Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(3): pii:antibiotics12030586.

Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses infecting bacteria. They are widely present in the environment, food, and normal microflora. The human microbiome is a mutually interdependent network of bacteria, bacteriophages, and human cells. The stability of these tri-kingdom interactions may be essential for maintaining immunologic and metabolic health. Phages, as with each other's antigens, may evoke an immune response during a human's lifetime and induce specific antibody generation. In this manuscript, we labeled these antibodies as naturally generated. Naturally generated antibodies may be one of the most important factors limiting the efficacy of phage therapy. Herein, we attempted to determine the physiological level of these antibodies specific to a population bacteriophage named I11mO19 in human sera, using an ELISA-based assay. First, we purified the phage particles and assessed the immunoreactivity of phage proteins. Then, affinity chromatography was performed on columns with immobilized phage proteins to obtain a fraction of human polyclonal anti-phage antibodies. These antibodies were used as a reference to elaborate an immunoenzymatic test that was used to determine the level of natural anti-phage antibodies. We estimated the average level of anti-I11mO19 phage antibodies at 190 µg per one milliliter of human serum. However, immunoblotting revealed that cross-reactivity occurs between some proteins of I11mO19 and two other coliphages: T4 and ΦK1E. The antigens probably share common epitopes, suggesting that the determined level of anti-I11mO19 phage might be overestimated and reflects a group of antibodies reactive to a broad range of other E. coli phages. Anti-I11mO19 antibodies did not react with Pseudomonas bacteriophage F8, confirming specificity to the coliphage group. In this work, we wanted to show whether it is possible to determine the presence and level of anti-phage antibodies in nontargeted-immunized sera, using an immunoenzymatic assay. The conclusion is that it is possible, and specific antibodies can be determined. However, the specificity refers to a broader coliphage group of phages, not only the single phage strain.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Dugot M, Merzon E, Ashkenazi S, et al (2023)

The Association between Previous Antibiotic Consumption and SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Population-Based Case-Control Study.

Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(3): pii:antibiotics12030587.

Background: The susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection is complex and not yet fully elucidated, being related to many variables; these include human microbiome and immune status, which are both affected for a long period by antibiotic use. We therefore aimed to examine the association of previous antibiotic consumption and SARS-CoV-2 infection in a large-scale population-based study with control of known confounders. Methods: A matched case-control study was performed utilizing the electronic medical records of a large Health Maintenance Organization. Cases were subjects with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 31,260), matched individually (1:4 ratio) to controls without a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (n = 125,039). The possible association between previous antibiotic use and SARS-CoV-2 infection was determined by comparing antibiotic consumption in the previous 6 and 12 months between the cases and controls. For each antibiotic consumed we calculated the odds ratio (OR) for documented SARS-CoV-2 infection, 95% confidence interval (CI), and p-value using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The association between previous antibiotic consumption and SARS-CoV-2 infection was complex and bi-directional. In the multivariate analysis, phenoxymethylpenicillin was associated with increased rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR 1.110, 95% CI: 1.036-1.191) while decreased rates were associated with previous consumption of trimethoprim-sulfonamides (OR 0.783, 95% CI: 0.632-0.971) and azithromycin (OR 0.882, 95% CI: 0.829-0.938). Fluroquinolones were associated with decreased rates (OR 0.923, 95% CI: 0.861-0.989) only in the univariate analysis. Previous consumption of other antibiotics had no significant association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions: Previous consumption of certain antibiotic agents has an independent significant association with increased or decreased rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Plausible mechanisms, that should be further elucidated, are mainly antibiotic effects on the human microbiome and immune modulation.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Liu F, Lu H, Dong B, et al (2023)

Systematic Evaluation of the Viable Microbiome in the Human Oral and Gut Samples with Spike-in Gram+/- Bacteria.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

PMA (propidium monoazide) is one of the few methods that are compatible with metagenomic sequencing to characterize the live/intact microbiota. However, its efficiency in complex communities such as saliva and feces is still controversial. An effective method for depleting host and dead bacterial DNA in human microbiome samples is lacking. Here, we systematically evaluate the efficiency of osmotic lysis and PMAxx treatment (lyPMAxx) in characterizing the viable microbiome with four live/dead Gram+/Gram- microbial strains in simple synthetic and spiked-in complex communities. We show that lyPMAxx-quantitative PCR (qPCR)/sequencing eliminated more than 95% of the host and heat-killed microbial DNA and had a much smaller effect on the live microbes in both simple mock and spiked-in complex communities. The overall microbial load and the alpha diversity of the salivary and fecal microbiome were decreased by lyPMAxx, and the relative abundances of the microbes were changed. The relative abundances of Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria, and Firmicutes in saliva were decreased by lyPMAxx, as was that of Firmicutes in feces. We also found that the frequently used sample storage method, freezing with glycerol, killed or injured 65% and 94% of the living microbial cells in saliva and feces, respectively, with the Proteobacteria phylum affected most in saliva and the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes phyla affected most in feces. By comparing the absolute abundance variation of the shared species among different sample types and individuals, we found that sample habitat and personal differences affected the response of microbial species to lyPMAxx and freezing. IMPORTANCE The functions and phenotypes of microbial communities are largely defined by viable microbes. Through advanced nucleic acid sequencing technologies and downstream bioinformatic analyses, we gained an insight into the high-resolution microbial community composition of human saliva and feces, yet we know very little about whether such community DNA sequences represent viable microbes. PMA-qPCR was used to characterize the viable microbes in previous studies. However, its efficiency in complex communities such as saliva and feces is still controversial. By spiking-in four live/dead Gram+/Gram- bacterial strains, we demonstrate that lyPMAxx can effectively discriminate between live and dead microbes in the simple synthetic community and complex human microbial communities (saliva and feces). In addition, freezing storage was found to kill or injure the microbes in saliva and feces significantly, as measured with lyPMAxx-qPCR/sequencing. This method has a promising prospect in the viable/intact microbiota detection of complex human microbial communities.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Etienne-Mesmin L, Meslier V, Uriot O, et al (2023)

In Vitro Modelling of Oral Microbial Invasion in the Human Colon.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Recent advances in the human microbiome characterization have revealed significant oral microbial detection in stools of dysbiotic patients. However, little is known about the potential interactions of these invasive oral microorganisms with commensal intestinal microbiota and the host. In this proof-of-concept study, we proposed a new model of oral-to-gut invasion by the combined use of an in vitro model simulating both the physicochemical and microbial (lumen- and mucus-associated microbes) parameters of the human colon (M-ARCOL), a salivary enrichment protocol, and whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing. Oral invasion of the intestinal microbiota was simulated by injection of enriched saliva in the in vitro colon model inoculated with a fecal sample from the same healthy adult donor. The mucosal compartment of M-ARCOL was able to retain the highest species richness levels over time, while species richness levels decreased in the luminal compartment. This study also showed that oral microorganisms preferably colonized the mucosal microenvironment, suggesting potential oral-to-intestinal mucosal competitions. This new model of oral-to-gut invasion can provide useful mechanistic insights into the role of oral microbiome in various disease processes. IMPORTANCE Here, we propose a new model of oral-to-gut invasion by the combined use of an in vitro model simulating both the physicochemical and microbial (lumen- and mucus-associated microbes) parameters of the human colon (M-ARCOL), a salivary enrichment protocol, and whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing. Our study revealed the importance of integrating the mucus compartment, which retained higher microbial richness during fermentation, showed the preference of oral microbial invaders for the mucosal resources, and indicated potential oral-to-intestinal mucosal competitions. It also underlined promising opportunities to further understand mechanisms of oral invasion into the human gut microbiome, define microbe-microbe and mucus-microbe interactions in a compartmentalized fashion, and help to better characterize the potential of oral microbial invasion and their persistence in the gut.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Zou H, Sun T, Jin B, et al (2023)

sBGC-hm: an atlas of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters from the human gut microbiome.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England), 39(3):.

SUMMARY: Microbial secondary metabolites exhibit potential medicinal value. A large number of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) in the human gut microbiome, which exhibit essential biological activity in microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions, have not been adequately characterized, making it difficult to prioritize these BGCs for experimental characterization. Here, we present the sBGC-hm, an atlas of secondary metabolite BGCs allows researchers to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of these natural products. One of its key features is the ability to assist in optimizing the BGC structure by utilizing the gene co-occurrence matrix obtained from Human Microbiome Project data. Results are viewable online and can be downloaded as spreadsheets.

The database is openly available at https://www.wzubio.com/sbgc. The website is powered by Apache 2 server with PHP and MariaDB.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Ling Z, Cheng Y, Gao J, et al (2023)

Alterations of the fecal and vaginal microbiomes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and their associations with immunological profiles.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1135861.

BACKGROUND: Exploring the human microbiome in multiple body niches is beneficial for clinicians to determine which microbial dysbiosis should be targeted first. We aimed to study whether both the fecal and vaginal microbiomes are disrupted in SLE patients and whether they are correlated, as well as their associations with immunological features.

METHODS: A group of 30 SLE patients and 30 BMI-age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Fecal and vaginal samples were collected, the 16S rRNA gene was sequenced to profile microbiomes, and immunological features were examined.

RESULTS: Distinct fecal and vaginal bacterial communities and decreased microbial diversity in feces compared with the vagina were found in SLE patients and controls. Altered bacterial communities were found in the feces and vaginas of patients. Compared with the controls, the SLE group had slightly lower gut bacterial diversity, which was accompanied by significantly higher bacterial diversity in their vaginas. The most predominant bacteria differed between feces and the vagina in all groups. Eleven genera differed in patients' feces; for example, Gardnerella and Lactobacillus increased, whereas Faecalibacterium decreased. Almost all the 13 genera differed in SLE patients' vaginas, showing higher abundances except for Lactobacillus. Three genera in feces and 11 genera in the vagina were biomarkers for SLE patients. The distinct immunological features were only associated with patients' vaginal microbiomes; for example, Escherichia-Shigella was negatively associated with serum C4.

CONCLUSIONS: Although SLE patients had fecal and vaginal dysbiosis, dysbiosis in the vagina was more obvious than that in feces. Additionally, only the vaginal microbiome interacted with patients' immunological features.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Yang X, An H, He Y, et al (2023)

Comprehensive analysis of microbiota signature across 32 cancer types.

Frontiers in oncology, 13:1127225.

Microbial communities significantly inhabit the human body. Evidence shows the interaction between the human microbiome and host cells plays a central role in multiple physiological processes and organ microenvironments. However, the majority of related studies focus on gut microbiota or specific tissues/organs, and the component signature of intratumor microbiota across various cancer types remains unclear. Here, we systematically analyzed the correlation between intratumor microbial signature with survival outcomes, genomic features, and immune profiles across 32 cancer types based on the public databases of Bacteria in Cancer (BIC) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Results showed the relative abundance of microbial taxa in tumors compared to normal tissues was observed as particularly noticeable. Survival analysis found that specific candidate microbial taxa were correlated with prognosis across various cancers. Then, a microbial-based scoring system (MS), which was composed of 64 candidate prognostic microbes, was established. Further analyses showed significant differences in survival status, genomic function, and immune profiles among the distinct MS subgroups. Taken together, this study reveals the diversity and complexity of microbiomes in tumors. Classifying cancer into different subtypes based on intratumor microbial signatures might reasonably reflect genomic characteristics, immune features, and survival status.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Zhao Y, Yi J, Xiang J, et al (2023)

Exploration of lung mycobiome in the patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

BMC microbiology, 23(1):81.

As the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) progresses, the relationship between microbes and human health has been receiving increasing attention. A growing number of reports support the correlation between cancer and microbes. However, most studies have focused on bacteria, rather than fungal communities. In this study, we studied the alteration in lung mycobiome in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using metagenomic sequencing and qPCR. The higher fungal diversity and more complex network were observed in the patients with NSCLC. In addition, Alternaria arborescens was found as the most relevant fungus to NSCLC, and the enrichment of it in cancerous tissue was also detected. This study proposes that the changes in fungal communities may be closely related to lung cancer, and provides insights into further exploration the relationship between lung cancer and fungi.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Elghannam MT, Hassanien MH, Ameen YA, et al (2023)

Oral microbiota and liver diseases.

Clinical nutrition ESPEN, 54:68-72.

Gut microbiota plays a crucial role in our health and particularly liver diseases, including NAFLD, cirrhosis, and HCC. Oral microbiome and its role in health and disease represent an active field of research. Several lines of evidence have suggested that oral microbiota dysbiosis represents a major factor contributing to the occurrence and progression of many liver diseases. The human microbiome is valuable to the diagnosis of cancer and provides a novel strategy for targeted therapy of HCC. The most studied liver disease in relation to oral-gut-liver axis dysbiosis includes MAFLD; however, other diseases include Precancerous liver disease as viral liver diseases, liver cirrhosis, AIH and liver carcinoma (HCC). It seems that restoring populations of beneficial organisms and correcting dysbiosis appears to improve outcomes in liver disorders. We discuss the possible role of oral microbiota in these diseases.

RevDate: 2023-03-24

Beliaeva MA, Wilmanns M, M Zimmermann (2023)

Decipher enzymes from human microbiota for drug discovery and development.

Current opinion in structural biology, 80:102567 pii:S0959-440X(23)00041-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiota plays an important role in human health and contributes to the metabolism of therapeutic drugs affecting their potency. However, the current knowledge on human gut bacterial metabolism is limited and lacks an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of observed drug biotransformations. Despite the complexity of the gut microbial community, genomic and metagenomic sequencing provides insights into the diversity of chemical reactions that can be carried out by the microbiota and poses new challenges to functionally annotate thousands of bacterial enzymes. Here, we outline methods to systematically address the structural and functional space of the human microbiome, highlighting a combination of in silico and in vitro approaches. Systematic knowledge about microbial enzymes could eventually be applied for personalized therapy, the development of prodrugs and modulators of unwanted bacterial activity, and the further discovery of new antibiotics.

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Ivashkin V, Shifrin O, Maslennikov R, et al (2023)

Eubiotic effect of rifaximin is associated with decreasing abdominal pain in symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease: results from an observational cohort study.

BMC gastroenterology, 23(1):82.

BACKGROUND: Rifaximin effectively treats symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease (SUDD) and has shown eubiotic potential (i.e., an increase in resident microbial elements with potential beneficial effects) in other diseases. This study investigated changes in the fecal microbiome of patients with SUDD after repeated monthly treatment with rifaximin and the association of these changes with the severity of abdominal pain.

METHODS: This was a single-center, prospective, observational, uncontrolled cohort study. Patients received rifaximin 400 mg twice a day for 7 days per month for 6 months. Abdominal pain (assessed on a 4-point scale from 0 [no pain] to 3 [severe pain]) and fecal microbiome (assessed using 16 S rRNA gene sequencing) were assessed at inclusion (baseline) and 3 and 6 months. The Spearman's rank test analyzed the relationship between changes in the gut microbiome and the severity of abdominal pain. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Of the 23 patients enrolled, 12 patients completed the study and were included in the analysis. Baseline abdominal pain levels decreased significantly after 3 (p = 0.036) and 6 (p = 0.008) months of treatment with rifaximin. The abundance of Akkermansia in the fecal microbiome was significantly higher at 3 (p = 0.017) and 6 (p = 0.015) months versus baseline. The abundance of Ruminococcaceae (p = 0.034), Veillonellaceae (p = 0.028), and Dialister (p = 0.036) were significantly increased at 6 months versus baseline, whereas Anaerostipes (p = 0.049) was significantly decreased. The severity of abdominal pain was negatively correlated with the abundance of Akkermansia (r=-0.482; p = 0.003) and Ruminococcaceae (r=-0.371; p = 0.026) but not with Veillonellaceae, Dialister, or Anaerostipes. After 3 months of rifaximin, abdominal pain was significantly less in patients with Akkermansia in their fecal microbiome than in patients without Akkermansia (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSION: The eubiotic effect of rifaximin was associated with decreased abdominal pain in patients with SUDD.

RevDate: 2023-03-24

Wu CM, Wheeler KM, Cárcamo-Oyarce G, et al (2023)

Mucin glycans drive oral microbial community composition and function.

NPJ biofilms and microbiomes, 9(1):11.

Human microbiome composition is closely tied to health, but how the host manages its microbial inhabitants remains unclear. One important, but understudied, factor is the natural host environment: mucus, which contains gel-forming glycoproteins (mucins) that display hundreds of glycan structures with potential regulatory function. Leveraging a tractable culture-based system to study how mucins influence oral microbial communities, we found that mucin glycans enable the coexistence of diverse microbes, while resisting disease-associated compositional shifts. Mucins from tissues with unique glycosylation differentially tuned microbial composition, as did isolated mucin glycan libraries, uncovering the importance of specific glycan patterns in microbiome modulation. We found that mucins shape microbial communities in several ways: serving as nutrients to support metabolic diversity, organizing spatial structure through reduced aggregation, and possibly limiting antagonism between competing taxa. Overall, this work identifies mucin glycans as a natural host mechanism and potential therapeutic intervention to maintain healthy microbial communities.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Ait-Zenati F, Djoudi F, Mehelleb D, et al (2023)

Involvement of the human microbiome in frequent cancers, current knowledge and carcinogenesis mechanisms.

Bulletin du cancer pii:S0007-4551(23)00092-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The human body is home to a complex microbial community, living in symbiosis. However, when an imbalance occurs, known as dysbiosis, it can lead to organic diseases such as cancers. Helicobacter pylori is commonly recognized as the causative agent of gastric cancer. Numerous studies have explored the potential role of other microorganisms in cancers. For example, the role of intestinal microbiota in the hepatocellular carcinoma formation and progression, the microbiota in breast cancer and the interaction between the microbiome and TP53 in human lung carcinogenesis. In this review, we highlight the latest findings on the microbiome involved in the most common cancers and the suggested mechanisms of carcinogenesis.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Chen GY (2023)

The Human Microbiome and Cancer.

Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.), 29(2):47-48.

RevDate: 2023-03-21

Zhou C, Wang Y, Li C, et al (2023)

Amelioration of Colitis by a Gut Bacterial Consortium Producing Anti-Inflammatory Secondary Bile Acids.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

The Integrative Human Microbiome Project and other cohort studies have indicated that inflammatory bowel disease is accompanied by dysbiosis of gut microbiota, decreased production of secondary bile acids, and increased levels of primary bile acids. Secondary bile acids, such as ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and lithocholic acid (LCA), have been reported to be anti-inflammatory, yet it remains to be studied whether introducing selected bacteria strains to restore bile acid metabolism of the gut microbiome can alleviate intestinal inflammation. In this study, we screened human gut bacterial strains for bile acid metabolism and designed a consortium of three species, including Clostridium AP sp000509125, Bacteroides ovatus, and Eubacterium limosum, and named it BAC (bile acid consortium). We showed that the three-strain gut bacterial consortium BAC is capable of converting conjugated primary bile acids taurochenodeoxycholic acid and glycochenodeoxycholic acid to secondary bile acids UDCA and LCA in vitro. Oral gavage treatment with BAC in mice resulted in protective effects against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, including reduced weight loss and increased colon length. Furthermore, BAC treatment increased the fecal level of bile acids, including UDCA and LCA. BAC treatment enhanced intestinal barrier function, which may be attributed to the increased activation of the bile acid receptor TGR5 by secondary bile acids. Finally, we examined the remodeling of gut microbiota by BAC treatment. Taken together, the three-strain gut bacterial consortium BAC restored the dysregulated bile acid metabolism and alleviated DSS-induced colitis. Our study provides a proof-of-concept demonstration that a rationally designed bacterial consortium can reshape the metabolism of the gut microbiome to treat diseases. IMPORTANCE Secondary bile acids have been reported to be anti-inflammatory, yet it remains to be studied whether introducing selected bacteria strains to restore bile acid metabolism of the gut microbiome can alleviate intestinal inflammation. To address this gap, we designed a consortium of human gut bacterial strains based on their metabolic capacity to produce secondary bile acids UDCA and LCA, and we evaluated the efficacy of single bacterial strains and the bacterial consortium in treating the murine colitis model. We found that oral gavage of the bacterial consortium to mice restored secondary bile acid metabolism to increase levels of UDCA and LCA, which induced the activation of TGR5 to improve gut-barrier integrity and reduced the inflammation in murine colitis. Overall, our study demonstrates that rationally designed bacterial consortia can reshape the metabolism of the gut microbiome and provides novel insights into the application of live biotherapeutics for treating IBD.

RevDate: 2023-03-20

English J, Patrick S, LD Stewart (2023)

The potential role of molecular mimicry by the anaerobic microbiome in the aetiology of autoimmune disease.

Anaerobe pii:S1075-9964(23)00030-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Autoimmune diseases are thought to develop as a consequence of various environmental and genetic factors, each of which contributes to dysfunctional immune responses and/or a breakdown in immunological tolerance towards native structures. Molecular mimicry by microbial components is among the environmental factors thought to promote a breakdown in immune tolerance, particularly through the presence of cross-reactive epitopes shared with the human host. While resident members of the microbiome are essential promoters of human health through immunomodulation, defence against pathogenic colonisation and conversion of dietary fibre into nutritional resources for host tissues, there may be an underappreciated role of these microbes in the aetiology and/or progression of autoimmune disease. An increasing number of molecular mimics are being identified amongst the anaerobic microbiota which structurally resemble endogenous components and, in some cases, for example the human ubiquitin mimic of Bacteroides fragilis and DNA methyltransferase of Roseburia intestinalis, have been associated with promoting antibody profiles characteristic of autoimmune diseases. The persistent exposure of molecular mimics from the microbiota to the human immune system is likely to be involved in autoantibody production that contributes to the pathologies associated with immune-mediated inflammatory disorders. Here-in, examples of molecular mimics that have been identified among resident members of the human microbiome and their ability to induce autoimmune disease through cross-reactive autoantibody production are discussed. Improved awareness of the molecular mimics that exist among human colonisers will help elucidate the mechanisms involved in the breakdown of immune tolerance that ultimately lead to chronic inflammation and downstream disease.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Puschhof J, E Elinav (2023)

Human microbiome research: Growing pains and future promises.

PLoS biology, 21(3):e3002053 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-23-00408 [Epub ahead of print].

Human microbiome research is evolving from describing associations to understanding the impact of bioactive strains on humans. Despite challenges, progress is being made to apply data-driven microbiome diagnostics and interventions, potentially leading to precision medicine breakthroughs in the next decade.

RevDate: 2023-03-16

Kazarina A, Kuzmicka J, Bortkevica S, et al (2023)

Oral microbiome variations related to ageing: possible implications beyond oral health.

Archives of microbiology, 205(4):116.

The global population is getting older due to a combination of longer life expectancy and declining birth rates. Growing evidence suggests that the oral microbiota composition and distribution may have a profound effect on how well we age. The purpose of this study was to investigate age-related oral microbiome variations of supragingival plaque and buccal mucosa samples in the general population in Latvia. Our results indicated significant difference between supragingival plaque bacterial profiles of three age groups (20-40; 40-60; 60 + years). Within supragingival plaque samples, age group 20-40 showed the highest bacterial diversity with a decline during the 40-60 age period and uprise again after the age of 60. Among other differences, the important oral commensal Neisseria had declined after the age of 40. Additionally, prevalence of two well-documented opportunistic pathogens Streptococcus anginosus and Gemella sanguinis gradually rose with age within our samples. Furthermore, supragingival plaque and buccal mucosa samples significantly differed in overall bacterial composition.

RevDate: 2023-03-14

Kapoor B, Gulati M, Gupta R, et al (2023)

Microbiota dysbiosis and myasthenia gravis: Do all roads lead to Rome?.

Autoimmunity reviews pii:S1568-9972(23)00047-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Dysregulated immune system with a failure to recognize self from non-self-antigens is one of the common pathogeneses seen in autoimmune diseases. The complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors is important for the occurrence and development of the disease. Among the environmental factors, disturbed gut microbiota (gut dysbiosis) has recently attracted particular attention, especially with advancement in human microbiome research. Although the alterations in microbiota have been seen in various autoimmune diseases, including those of nervous system, there is paucity of information on neuromuscular system diseases. Myasthenia gravis (MG) is one such rare autoimmune disease of neuromuscular junction, and is caused by generation of pathogenic autoantibodies to components of the postsynaptic muscle endplate. In the recent years, accumulating evidences have endorsed the key role of host microbiota, particularly those of gut, in the pathogenesis of MG. Differential microbiota composition, characterized by increased abundance of Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria, and decreased abundance of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes, has been seen in MG patients in comparison to healthy subjects. Disturbance of microbiota composition, particularly reduced ratio of Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes, alter the gut permeability, subsequently triggering the immunological response. Resultant reduction in levels of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) is another factor contributing to the immunological response in MG patients. Modulation of gut microbiota via intervention of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics (metabiotics), and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is considered to be the futuristic approach for the management of MG. This review summarizes the role of gut microbiota and their metabolites (postbiotics) in the progression of MG. Also, various bacteriotherapeutic approaches involving gut microbiota are discussed for the prevention of MG progression.

RevDate: 2023-03-14

Du Q, Xu Q, Pan F, et al (2023)

Association between Intestinal Colonization and Extraintestinal Infection with Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in Children.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) has become a critical public health threat. However, the association between intestinal colonization and parenteral infection among pediatric patients has not been elucidated. We collected 8 fecal CRKP strains and 10 corresponding CRKP strains responsible for extraintestinal infection from eight patients who did not manifest infection upon admission to the hospital. Paired isolates showed identical resistance to antimicrobials and identical virulence in vitro and in vivo. wzi capsule typing, multilocus sequence typing, and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) indicated high similarity between paired colonizing and infecting isolates. Mutations between colonizing and infecting isolate pairs found by WGS had a distinctive molecular signature of a high proportion of complex structural variants. The mutated genes were involved in pathways associated with infection-related physiological and pathogenic functions, including antibiotic resistance, virulence, and response to the extracellular environment. The latter is important for bacterial infection of environmental niches. Various mutations related to antibiotic resistance, virulence, and colonization that were not associated with any particular mutational hot spot correlated with an increased risk of extraintestinal infection. Notably, novel subclone carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (CR-hvKP) KL19-ST15 exhibited hypervirulence in experimental assays that reflected the severe clinical symptoms of two patients infected with the clonal strains. Taken together, our findings indicate the association between CRKP intestinal colonization and extraintestinal infection, suggesting that active screening for colonization on admission could decrease infection risk in children. IMPORTANCE Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) causes an increasing number of nosocomial infections, which can be life-threatening, as carbapenems are last-resort antibiotics. K. pneumoniae is part of the healthy human microbiome, and this provides a potential advantage for infection. This study demonstrated that CRKP intestinal colonization is strongly linked to extraintestinal infection, based on the evidence given by whole-genome sequencing data and phenotypic assays of antimicrobial resistance and virulence. Apart from these findings, our in-depth analysis of point mutations and chromosome structural variants in patient-specific infecting isolates compared with colonizing isolates may contribute insights into bacterial adaptation underlying CRKP infection. In addition, a novel subclone of carbapenem-resistant hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (CR-hvKP) was observed in the study. This finding highlights the importance of CRKP active surveillance among children, targeting in particular the novel high-risk CR-hvKP clone.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Liu Y, Xu MM, Zhang Y, et al (2022)

Application Value and Research Progress of Human Microbiome in Sexual Assault Cases.

Fa yi xue za zhi, 38(6):774-782.

In recent years, sexual assault cases have been on the rise, seriously infringing the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, causing widespread concern in society. DNA evidence has become the key evidence to prove the facts in sexual assault cases, but lack of DNA evidence or only DNA evidence in some sexual assault cases leads to unclear facts and insufficient evidence. With the emergence of high-throughput sequencing technology and the development of bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, new progress has been made in the study of human microbiome. Researchers have begun to use human microbiome for difficult sexual assault cases indentification. This paper reviews the characteristics of human microbiome, and its application value in the inferences of the body fluid stain origin, the sexual assault method, the crime time, etc. In addition, the challenges faced by the application of the human microbiome in practical case handling, the solutions and future development potential are analyzed and prospected.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Meng Y, Mao Y, Tang Z, et al (2023)

Crosstalk between the lung microbiome and lung cancer.

Microbial pathogenesis pii:S0882-4010(23)00095-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome is a complex ecosystem that mediates interaction between the human host and the environment. All of the human body is colonized by microorganisms. The lung as an organ used to be considered sterile. Recently, however, there has been a growing number of reports with evidence that the lungs are also in a state of carrying bacteria. The pulmonary microbiome is associated with many lung diseases and is increasingly reported in current studies. These include; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, acute chronic respiratory infections, and cancers. These lung diseases are associated with reduced diversity and dysbiosis. It directly or indirectly affects the occurrence and development of lung cancer. Very few microbes directly cause cancer, while many are complicit in cancer growth, usually working through the host's immune system. This review focuses on the correlation between lung microbiota and lung cancer, and investigates the mechanism of action of lung microorganisms on lung cancer, which will provide new and reliable treatments and diagnosis of lung cancer in the future.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Mero S, Lääveri T, Ursing J, et al (2023)

Seasonal variation of diarrhoeal pathogens among Guinea-Bissauan children under five years of age.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 17(3):e0011179 pii:PNTD-D-22-01082 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Diarrhoea remains a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in low-income countries (LICs). The frequency of diarrhoeal episodes may vary by season, yet few prospective cohort studies have examined seasonal variation among various diarrhoeal pathogens using multiplex qPCR to analyse bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens.

METHODS: We combined our recent qPCR data of diarrhoeal pathogens (nine bacterial, five viral and four parasitic) among Guinea-Bissauan children under five years old with individual background data, dividing by season. The associations of season (dry winter and rainy summer) and the various pathogens were explored among infants (0-11 months) and young children (12-59 months) and those with and without diarrhoea.

RESULTS: Many bacterial pathogens, especially EAEC, ETEC and Campylobacter, and parasitic Cryptosporidium, prevailed in the rainy season, whereas many viruses, particularly the adenovirus, astrovirus and rotavirus proved common in the dry season. Noroviruses were found constantly throughout the year. Seasonal variation was observed in both age groups.

CONCLUSION: In childhood diarrhoea in a West African LIC, seasonal variation appears to favour EAEC, ETEC, and Cryptosporidium in the rainy and viral pathogens in the dry season.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Carson MD, Warner AJ, Geiser VL, et al (2023)

Prolonged antibiotic exposure during adolescence dysregulates liver metabolism and promotes adiposity in mice.

The American journal of pathology pii:S0002-9440(23)00083-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibiotic administration during early life has been shown to have lasting effects on the gut microbiota, which have been linked to sustained alterations in liver metabolism and adiposity. Recent investigations have discerned that the gut microbiota continues to develop towards an adult-like profile during adolescence. However, the impact of antibiotic exposure during adolescence on metabolism and adiposity is unclear. We performed a retrospective analysis of Medicaid claims data, which revealed tetracycline class antibiotics are commonly prescribed for the systemic treatment of adolescent acne. Study purpose was to discern the impact of a prolonged tetracycline antibiotic exposure during adolescence on the gut microbiota, liver metabolism, and adiposity. Male C57BL/6T specific-pathogen-free mice were administered a tetracycline antibiotic during the pubertal/postpubertal adolescent growth phase. Groups were euthanized at timepoints to assess immediate and sustained antibiotic treatment effects. Antibiotic exposure during adolescence caused lasting genera-level shifts in the intestinal bacteriome and persistent dysregulation of metabolic pathways in the liver. Dysregulated hepatic metabolism was linked to sustained disruption of the intestinal FXR-FGF15 axis, a gut-liver endocrine axis that supports metabolic homeostasis. Antibiotics exposure during adolescence increased subcutaneous, visceral, and marrow adiposity, which intriguingly manifested following antibiotic therapy. This preclinical work highlights that prolonged antibiotic courses for the clinical treatment of adolescent acne may have unintended deleterious effects on liver metabolism and adiposity.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Rodrigues A, Gonçalves A, Morais J, et al (2023)

Diet-Induced Microbiome's Impact on Heart Failure: A Double-Edged Sword.

Nutrients, 15(5): pii:nu15051223.

Heart failure (HF) is a debilitating disease with a significant clinical and economic impact worldwide. Multiple factors seem to increase the risk of developing HF, such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes. Since chronic inflammation plays a significant role in HF pathophysiology and gut dysbiosis is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation, the risk of cardiovascular diseases is likely modulated by the gut microbiome (GM). Considerable progress has been made in HF management. However, there is a need to find new strategies to reduce mortality and increase the quality of life, mainly of HFpEF patients, since its prevalence continues to rise. Recent studies validate that lifestyle changes, such as diet modulation, represent a potential therapeutic approach to improve several cardiometabolic diseases, although their effects on the GM and its indirect cardiac impact still warrant further research. Hence, in this paper, we aim to clarify the link between HF and the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Luu M, Schütz B, Lauth M, et al (2023)

The Impact of Gut Microbiota-Derived Metabolites on the Tumor Immune Microenvironment.

Cancers, 15(5): pii:cancers15051588.

Prevention of the effectiveness of anti-tumor immune responses is one of the canonical cancer hallmarks. The competition for crucial nutrients within the tumor microenvironment (TME) between cancer cells and immune cells creates a complex interplay characterized by metabolic deprivation. Extensive efforts have recently been made to understand better the dynamic interactions between cancer cells and surrounding immune cells. Paradoxically, both cancer cells and activated T cells are metabolically dependent on glycolysis, even in the presence of oxygen, a metabolic process known as the Warburg effect. The intestinal microbial community delivers various types of small molecules that can potentially augment the functional capabilities of the host immune system. Currently, several studies are trying to explore the complex functional relationship between the metabolites secreted by the human microbiome and anti-tumor immunity. Recently, it has been shown that a diverse array of commensal bacteria synthetizes bioactive molecules that enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment and adoptive cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. In this review, we highlight the importance of commensal bacteria, particularly of the gut microbiota-derived metabolites that are capable of shaping metabolic, transcriptional and epigenetic processes within the TME in a therapeutically meaningful way.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

Farmer N, Baginski A, Alkhatib J, et al (2023)

Neighbourhood environment as a risk factor for adverse health outcomes through association with the microbiome: protocol for a scoping review.

BMJ open, 13(3):e066913 pii:bmjopen-2022-066913.

INTRODUCTION: The connection of the microbiome to human health intersects with the physical environment of humans. Each microbiome location can be influenced by environmental conditions that relate to specific geographical locations, which in turn are influenced by social determinants of health such as a neighbourhood. The objective of this scoping review is to explore the current evidence on the relationships between microbiome and neighbourhood to explain microbiome-related health outcomes.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Arksey and O'Malley's literature review framework will be employed throughout the process, as well as Page, et al's 2020 Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis updated workflow to process search results. The literature search will be completed using PubMed/Medline (NLM), Embase (Elsevier), Web of Science, Core Collection (Clarivate Analytics), Scopus (Elsevier), medRxiv preprint server and Open Science Framework server. The search will be conducted using a list of pre-identified Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms relating to neighbourhood, microbiome and individual characteristics. There will be no date or language restrictions used in the search. In order to be included in the study, a piece must include an evaluation of the relationship between microbiome diversity and neighbourhood (including at least one measurement of the neighbourhood and at least one human microbiome site). Excluded from the review will be those works that do not include all of these measures, literature reviews based on secondary sources and postmortem populations with no report of premortem health factors. The review itself will be an iterative process completed by two reviewers, with a third individual identified to break ties. Documents will be undergoing a risk assessment of bias in order for the authors to comment on the quality of the literature in this area. Finally, results will be discussed with identified stakeholders, including individuals connected to neighbourhoods facing structural inequity and experts in the topics of study through a community advisory board, for their feedback and knowledge transfer.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review does not require ethical approval. Results of this search will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications. Furthermore, this work is completed in conjunction with a community advisory board so as to ensure dissemination to multiple stakeholders.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

Fekete EE, Figeys D, X Zhang (2023)

Microbiota-directed biotherapeutics: considerations for quality and functional assessment.

Gut microbes, 15(1):2186671.

Mounting evidence points to causative or correlative roles of gut microbiome in the development of a myriad of diseases ranging from gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic diseases to neurological disorders and cancers. Consequently, efforts have been made to develop and apply therapeutics targeting the human microbiome, in particular the gut microbiota, for treating diseases and maintaining wellness. Here we summarize the current development of gut microbiota-directed therapeutics with a focus on novel biotherapeutics, elaborate the need of advanced -omics approaches for evaluating the microbiota-type biotherapeutics, and discuss the clinical and regulatory challenges. We also discuss the development and potential application of ex vivo microbiome assays and in vitro intestinal cellular models in this context. Altogether, this review aims to provide a broad view of promises and challenges of the emerging field of microbiome-directed human healthcare.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

Jeong J, Ahn K, Mun S, et al (2023)

Understanding the bacterial compositional network associations between oral and gut microbiome within healthy Koreans.

Journal of oral microbiology, 15(1):2186591.

Oral microbial ecosystem could influence intestinal diseases, but there have been insufficient studies demonstrating the association of microbial composition between the oral cavity and the intestinal system. Thus, we aimed to investigate the compositional network within the oral microbiome related to gut enterotype from saliva and stool samples collected from 112 healthy Korean subjects. Here, we performed bacterial 16S amplicon sequencing from clinical samples. Then, we determined oral microbiome type related to individual's gut enterotype for healthy Korean. The co-occurrence analysis was performed to interactivity prediction of microbiome within saliva samples. As a result, it could be classified into two Korean oral microbiome types (KO) and four oral-gut-associated microbiome types (KOGA) according to distribution and significant differences of oral microflora. The co-occurrence analysis showed various bacterial compositional networks linked around Streptococcus and Haemophilus within healthy subjects. The present study was first approach in healthy Koreans to identify the oral microbiome types related to the gut microbiome and investigate their characteristics. Hence, we suggest that our results could be potential healthy control data for identifying differences in microbial composition between healthy people and oral disease patients and studying microbial association with the gut microbial environment (oral-gut microbiome axis).

RevDate: 2023-03-08

Pasinetti GM, Turroni S, Palmieri J, et al (2023)

Human microbiome collection.

Scientific reports, 13(1):3807.

RevDate: 2023-03-08

Shanahan F, Ghosh TS, PW O'Toole (2023)

Human microbiome variance is underestimated.

Current opinion in microbiology, 73:102288 pii:S1369-5274(23)00025-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Most of the variance in the human microbiome remains unexplained. Although an extensive list of individual lifestyles shaping the microbiome has been identified, important gaps in knowledge persist. Most human microbiome data are from individuals living in socioeconomically developed countries. This may have skewed the interpretation of microbiome variance and its relationship to health and disease. Moreover, striking under-representation of minority groups in microbiome studies is a missed opportunity to assess context, history and the changing nature of the microbiome in relation to the risk of disease. Therefore, we focus here on areas of recent progress - ageing and ethnicity - both of which contribute to microbiome variance with particular lessons for the promise of microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics.

RevDate: 2023-03-05

Moran GP, Zgaga L, Daly B, et al (2023)

Does fluoride exposure impact on the human microbiome?.

Toxicology letters pii:S0378-4274(23)00098-X [Epub ahead of print].

Fluoride is added to drinking water in some countries to prevent tooth decay (caries). There is no conclusive evidence that community water fluoridation (CWF) at WHO recommended concentrations for caries prevention has any harmful effects. However, research is ongoing regarding potential effects of ingested fluoride on human neurodevelopment and endocrine dysfunction. Simultaneously, research has emerged highlighting the significance of the human microbiome in gastrointestinal and immune health. In this review we evaluate the literature examining the effect of fluoride exposure on the human microbiome. Unfortunately, none of the studies retrieved examined the effects of ingested fluoridated water on the human microbiome. Animal studies generally examined acute fluoride toxicity following ingestion of fluoridated food and water and conclude that fluoride exposure can detrimentally perturb the normal microbiome. These data are difficult to extrapolate to physiologically relevant human exposure dose ranges and the significance to humans living in areas with CWF requires further investigation. Conversely, evidence suggests that the use of fluoride containing oral hygiene products may have beneficial effects on the oral microbiome regarding caries prevention. Overall, while fluoride exposure does appear to impact the human and animal microbiome, the long-term consequences of this requires further study.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Li J, Jing Q, Li J, et al (2023)

Assessment of microbiota in the gut and upper respiratory tract associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Microbiome, 11(1):38.

BACKGROUND: The human microbiome plays an important role in modulating the host metabolism and immune system. Connections and interactions have been found between the microbiome of the gut and oral pharynx in the context of SARS-CoV-2 and other viral infections; hence, to broaden our understanding of host-viral responses in general and to deepen our knowledge of COVID-19, we performed a large-scale, systematic evaluation of the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on human microbiota in patients with varying disease severity.

RESULTS: We processed 521 samples from 203 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity and 94 samples from 31 healthy donors, consisting of 213 pharyngeal swabs, 250 sputa, and 152 fecal samples, and obtained meta-transcriptomes as well as SARS-CoV-2 sequences from each sample. Detailed assessment of these samples revealed altered microbial composition and function in the upper respiratory tract (URT) and gut of COVID-19 patients, and these changes are significantly associated with disease severity. Moreover, URT and gut microbiota show different patterns of alteration, where gut microbiome seems to be more variable and in direct correlation with viral load; and microbial community in the upper respiratory tract renders a high risk of antibiotic resistance. Longitudinally, the microbial composition remains relatively stable during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study has revealed different trends and the relative sensitivity of microbiome in different body sites to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, while the use of antibiotics is often essential for the prevention and treatment of secondary infections, our results indicate a need to evaluate potential antibiotic resistance in the management of COVID-19 patients in the ongoing pandemic. Moreover, a longitudinal follow-up to monitor the restoration of the microbiome could enhance our understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Bukavina L, Isali I, Ginwala R, et al (2023)

Global Meta-analysis of Urine Microbiome: Colonization of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-degrading Bacteria Among Bladder Cancer Patients.

European urology oncology pii:S2588-9311(23)00036-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The application of next-generation sequencing techniques has enabled characterization of urinary tract microbiome. Although many studies have demonstrated associations between the human microbiome and bladder cancer (BC), these have not always reported consistent results, thereby necessitating cross-study comparisons. Thus, the fundamental questions remain how we can utilize this knowledge.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to examine the disease-associated changes in urine microbiome communities globally utilizing a machine learning algorithm.

Raw FASTQ files were downloaded for the three published studies in urinary microbiome in BC patients, in addition to our own prospectively collected cohort.

Demultiplexing and classification were performed using the QIIME 2020.8 platform. De novo operational taxonomic units were clustered using the uCLUST algorithm and defined by 97% sequence similarity and classified at the phylum level against the Silva RNA sequence database. The metadata available from the three studies included were used to evaluate the differential abundance between BC patients and controls via a random-effect meta-analysis using the metagen R function. A machine learning analysis was performed using the SIAMCAT R package.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Our study includes 129 BC urine and 60 healthy control samples across four different countries. We identified a total of 97/548 genera to be differentially abundant in the BC urine microbiome compared with that of healthy patients. Overall, while the differences in diversity metrics were clustered around the country of origin (Kruskal-Wallis, p < 0.001), collection methodology was a driver of microbiome composition. When assessing dataset from China, Hungary, and Croatia, data demonstrated no discrimination capacity to distinguish between BC patients and healthy adults (area under the curve [AUC] 0.577). However, inclusion of samples with catheterized urine improved the diagnostic accuracy of prediction for BC to AUC 0.995, with precision-recall AUC = 0.994. Through elimination of contaminants associated with the collection methodology among all cohorts, our study identified increased abundance of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria Sphingomonas, Acinetobacter, Micrococcus, Pseudomonas, and Ralstonia to be consistently present in BC patients.

CONCLUSIONS: The microbiota of the BC population may be a reflection of PAH exposure from smoking, environmental pollutants, and ingestion. Presence of PAHs in the urine of BC patients may allow for a unique metabolic niche and provide necessary metabolic resources where other bacteria are not able to flourish. Furthermore, we found that while compositional differences are associated with geography more than with disease, many are driven by the collection methodology.

PATIENT SUMMARY: The goal of our study was to compare the urine microbiome of bladder cancer patients with that of healthy controls and evaluate any potential bacteria that may be more likely to be found in patients with bladder cancer. Our study is unique as it evaluates this across multiple countries, to find a common pattern. After we removed some of the contamination, we were able to localize several key bacteria that are more likely to be found in the urine of bladder cancer patients. These bacteria all share their ability to break down tobacco carcinogens.

RevDate: 2023-03-02

Meslé MM, Gray CR, Dlakić M, et al (2023)

Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a Model Gastrointestinal Tract Species, Prefers Heme as an Iron Source, Yields Protoporphyrin IX as a Product, and Acts as a Heme Reservoir.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Members of the phylum Bacteroidetes are abundant in healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract flora. Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is a commensal heme auxotroph and representative of this group. Bacteroidetes are sensitive to host dietary iron restriction but proliferate in heme-rich environments that are also associated with colon cancer. We hypothesized that B. thetaiotaomicron may act as a host reservoir for iron and/or heme. In this study, we defined growth-promoting quantities of iron for B. thetaiotaomicron. B. thetaiotaomicron preferentially consumed and hyperaccumulated iron in the form of heme when presented both heme and nonheme iron sources in excess of its growth needs, leading to an estimated 3.6 to 8.4 mg iron in a model GI tract microbiome consisting solely of B. thetaiotaomicron. Protoporphyrin IX was identified as an organic coproduct of heme metabolism, consistent with anaerobic removal of iron from the heme leaving the intact tetrapyrrole as the observed product. Notably, no predicted or discernible pathway for protoporphyrin IX generation exists in B. thetaiotaomicron. Heme metabolism in congeners of B. thetaiotaomicron has previously been associated with the 6-gene hmu operon, based on genetic studies. A bioinformatics survey demonstrated that the intact operon is widespread in but confined to members of the Bacteroidetes phylum and ubiquitous in healthy human GI tract flora. Anaerobic heme metabolism by commensal Bacteroidetes via hmu is likely a major contributor to human host metabolism of the heme from dietary red meat and a driver for the selective growth of these species in the GI tract consortium. IMPORTANCE Research on bacterial iron metabolism has historically focused on the host-pathogen relationship, where the host suppresses pathogen growth by cutting off access to iron. Less is known about how host iron is shared with bacterial species that live commensally in the anaerobic human GI tract, typified by members of phylum Bacteroidetes. While many facultative pathogens avidly produce and consume heme iron, most GI tract anaerobes are heme auxotrophs whose metabolic preferences we aimed to describe. Understanding iron metabolism by model microbiome species like Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron is essential for modeling the ecology of the GI tract, which serves the long-term biomedical goals of manipulating the microbiome to facilitate host metabolism of iron and remediate dysbiosis and associated pathologies (e.g., inflammation and cancer).

RevDate: 2023-03-02

Plotnikov E, Pukhnyarskaya D, A Chernova (2023)

Lithium and microorganisms: biological effects and mechanisms.

Current pharmaceutical biotechnology pii:CPB-EPUB-129973 [Epub ahead of print].

This review covers the lithium effects on microorganisms, including gut and soil bacteria. Available studies of the biological effects of lithium salts have revealed a wide range of different effects of lithium cations on various microorganisms, but so far, the study of this direction has not been summarized enough. Here we consider the confirmed and various plausible mechanisms of lithium action on microorganisms. Special emphasis is placed on assessing the effect of lithium ions under oxidative stress and adverse environmental conditions. The impact of lithium on the human microbiome is also being reviewed and discussed. Controversial effects of lithium have been shown, including the inhibitory and stimulating effects of lithium on bacterial growth. In general, the use of lithium salts allows in some cases leads to a protective and stimulating effect, which makes it a promising agent not only in medicine, but also in biotechnological science, food production, and industrial microbiology.

RevDate: 2023-02-26

Stockdale SR, Shkoporov AN, Khokhlova EV, et al (2023)

Interpersonal variability of the human gut virome confounds disease signal detection in IBD.

Communications biology, 6(1):221.

Viruses are increasingly recognised as important components of the human microbiome, fulfilling numerous ecological roles including bacterial predation, immune stimulation, genetic diversification, horizontal gene transfer, microbial interactions, and augmentation of metabolic functions. However, our current view of the human gut virome is tainted by previous sequencing requirements that necessitated the amplification of starting nucleic acids. In this study, we performed an original longitudinal analysis of 40 healthy control, 19 Crohn's disease, and 20 ulcerative colitis viromes over three time points without an amplification bias, which revealed and highlighted the interpersonal individuality of the human gut virome. In contrast to a 16 S rRNA gene analysis of matched samples, we show that α- and β-diversity metrics of unamplified viromes are not as efficient at discerning controls from patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Additionally, we explored the intrinsic properties of unamplified gut viromes and show there is considerable interpersonal variability in viral taxa, infrequent longitudinal persistence of intrapersonal viruses, and vast fluctuations in the abundance of temporal viruses. Together, these properties of unamplified faecal viromes confound the ability to discern disease associations but significantly advance toward an unbiased and accurate representation of the human gut virome.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Wang Q, Liu Z, Ma A, et al (2023)

Computational methods and challenges in analyzing intratumoral microbiome data.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(23)00030-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The human microbiome is intimately related to cancer biology and plays a vital role in the efficacy of cancer treatments, including immunotherapy. Extraordinary evidence has revealed that several microbes influence tumor development through interaction with the host immune system, that is, immuno-oncology-microbiome (IOM). This review focuses on the intratumoral microbiome in IOM and describes the available data and computational methods for discovering biological insights of microbial profiling from host bulk, single-cell, and spatial sequencing data. Critical challenges in data analysis and integration are discussed. Specifically, the microorganisms associated with cancer and cancer treatment in the context of IOM are collected and integrated from the literature. Lastly, we provide our perspectives for future directions in IOM research.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Wright JT (2023)

The human microbiome: The mouth and beyond.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Tierney BT, Van den Abbeele P, Al-Ghalith GA, et al (2023)

Capacity of a Microbial Synbiotic To Rescue the In Vitro Metabolic Activity of the Gut Microbiome following Perturbation with Alcohol or Antibiotics.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The human gut microbiome contributes crucial bioactive metabolites that support human health and is sensitive to perturbations from the ingestion of alcohol and antibiotics. We interrogated the response and recovery of human gut microbes after acute alcohol or broad-spectrum antibiotic administration in a gut model simulating the luminal and mucosal colonic environment with an inoculated human microbiome. Both alcohol and antibiotic treatments reduced the production of major short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) (acetate, propionate, and butyrate), which are established modulators of human health. Treatment with a microbial synbiotic restored and enhanced gut function. Butyrate and acetate production increased by up to 29.7% and 18.6%, respectively, relative to untreated, dysbiotic samples. In parallel, treatment led to increases in the relative abundances of beneficial commensal organisms not found in the synbiotic (e.g., Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the urolithin-producing organism Gordonibacter pamelaeae) as well as species present in the synbiotic (e.g., Bifidobacterium infantis), suggesting synergistic interactions between supplemented and native microorganisms. These results lead us to conclude that functional shifts in the microbiome, evaluated by both metabolite production and specific taxonomic compositional changes, are an appropriate metric to assess microbiome "recovery" following a dysbiosis-inducing disruption. Overall, these findings support the execution of randomized clinical studies to determine whether a microbial synbiotic can help restore microbiome function after a disruption. IMPORTANCE The human gut microbiome is sensitive to disruptions by common stressors such as alcohol consumption and antibiotic treatment. In this study, we used an in vitro system modeling the gut microbiome to investigate whether treatment with a microbial synbiotic can help restore microbiome function after stress. We find that a complex gut community treated with alcohol or antibiotics showed reduced levels of production of short-chain fatty acids, which are critical beneficial molecules produced by a healthy gut microbiota. Treatment of stressed communities with a microbial synbiotic resulted in the recovery of SCFA production as well as an increase in the abundance of beneficial commensal organisms. Our results suggest that treatment with a microbial synbiotic has the potential to restore healthy gut microbiome function after stress and merits further investigation in clinical studies.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Moraes MM, Mendes TT, Borges L, et al (2023)

A 7-Week Summer Camp in Antarctica Induces Fluctuations on Human Oral Microbiome, Pro-Inflammatory Markers and Metabolic Hormones Profile.

Microorganisms, 11(2): pii:microorganisms11020339.

Antarctic camps pose psychophysiological challenges related to isolated, confined, and extreme (ICE) conditions, including meals composed of sealed food. ICE conditions can influence the microbiome and inflammatory responses. Seven expeditioners took part in a 7-week Antarctic summer camp (Nelson Island) and were evaluated at Pre-Camp (i.e., at the beginning of the ship travel), Camp-Initial (i.e., 4th and 5th day in camp), Camp-Middle (i.e., 19th-20th, and 33rd-34th days), Camp-Final (i.e., 45th-46th day), and at the Post-Camp (on the ship). At the Pre-Camp, Camp-Initial, and Camp-Final, we assessed microbiome and inflammatory markers. Catecholamines were accessed Pre- and Post-Camp. Heart rate variability (HRV), leptin, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and thyroxine (T4) were accessed at all time points. Students' t-tests or repeated-measures analysis of variance (one or two-way ANOVA) followed by Student-Newman-Keuls (post hoc) were used for parametric analysis. Kruskal-Wallis test was applied for non-parametric analysis. Microbiome analysis showed a predominance of Pseudomonadota (34.01%), Bacillota (29.82%), and Bacteroidota (18.54%), followed by Actinomycetota (5.85%), and Fusobacteria (5.74%). Staying in a long-term Antarctic camp resulted in microbiome fluctuations with a reduction in Pseudomonadota-a "microbial signature" of disease. However, the pro-inflammatory marker leptin and IL-8 tended to increase, and the angiogenic factor VEGF was reduced during camp. These results suggest that distinct Antarctic natural environments and behavioral factors modulate oral microbiome and inflammation.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Morrison AG, Sarkar S, Umar S, et al (2023)

The Contribution of the Human Oral Microbiome to Oral Disease: A Review.

Microorganisms, 11(2): pii:microorganisms11020318.

The oral microbiome is an emerging field that has been a topic of discussion since the development of next generation sequencing and the implementation of the human microbiome project. This article reviews the current literature surrounding the oral microbiome, briefly highlighting most recent methods of microbiome characterization including cutting edge omics, databases for the microbiome, and areas with current gaps in knowledge. This article also describes reports on microorganisms contained in the oral microbiome which include viruses, archaea, fungi, and bacteria, and provides an in-depth analysis of their significant roles in tissue homeostasis. Finally, we detail key bacteria involved in oral disease, including oral cancer, and the current research surrounding their role in stimulation of inflammatory cytokines, the role of gingival crevicular fluid in periodontal disease, the creation of a network of interactions between microorganisms, the influence of the planktonic microbiome and cospecies biofilms, and the implications of antibiotic resistance. This paper provides a comprehensive literature analysis while also identifying gaps in knowledge to enable future studies to be conducted.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Iavarone I, Greco PF, La Verde M, et al (2023)

Correlations between Gut Microbial Composition, Pathophysiological and Surgical Aspects in Endometriosis: A Review of the Literature.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 59(2): pii:medicina59020347.

Background and Objectives: Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent, inflammatory, gynecological disorder represented by the migration of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. It can manifest through gynecological and gastrointestinal (GI) signs. Given the hormonal imbalances in endometriosis and the effect of microbiota on immune dysfunction, it has been thought that the human microbiome may play a role in its pathogenesis, acting differently before and after laparotomy. The aim of this review is to establish whether there is an interaction between endometriosis and gut microbial composition. Materials and Methods: We aimed to review available literature by systematically searching five databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane Library, and ScienceDirect. We included records describing gut microbiota in the context of endometriosis-observing PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines-to recognize the presence of disease by the expression of bacterial taxa-based on 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing analysis. Results: Among 10 studies selected, there were four review articles and six clinical trials. The latter identified significant differences at a genus level in increased Prevotella, Blautia, and Bifidobacterium and decreased Paraprevotella, Ruminococcus, and Lachnospira (p < 0.05). In patients undergoing abdominal hysterectomy, Proteobacteria phylum increased from 34.36% before surgery to 54.04% after surgery (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Although scientific literature reports different characterizations of intestinal microbiota in endometriotic patients, further evidence is needed to develop new diagnostic-therapeutic strategies, for example, administration with probiotics before surgery.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Candel S, Tyrkalska SD, Pérez-Sanz F, et al (2023)

Analysis of 16S rRNA Gene Sequence of Nasopharyngeal Exudate Reveals Changes in Key Microbial Communities Associated with Aging.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(4): pii:ijms24044127.

Functional or compositional perturbations of the microbiome can occur at different sites, of the body and this dysbiosis has been linked to various diseases. Changes in the nasopharyngeal microbiome are associated to patient's susceptibility to multiple viral infections, supporting the idea that the nasopharynx may be playing an important role in health and disease. Most studies on the nasopharyngeal microbiome have focused on a specific period in the lifespan, such as infancy or the old age, or have other limitations such as low sample size. Therefore, detailed studies analyzing the age- and sex-associated changes in the nasopharyngeal microbiome of healthy people across their whole life are essential to understand the relevance of the nasopharynx in the pathogenesis of multiple diseases, particularly viral infections. One hundred twenty nasopharyngeal samples from healthy subjects of all ages and both sexes were analyzed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Nasopharyngeal bacterial alpha diversity did not vary in any case between age or sex groups. Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were the predominant phyla in all the age groups, with several sex-associated. Acinetobacter, Brevundimonas, Dolosigranulum, Finegoldia, Haemophilus, Leptotrichia, Moraxella, Peptoniphilus, Pseudomonas, Rothia, and Staphylococcus were the only 11 bacterial genera that presented significant age-associated differences. Other bacterial genera such as Anaerococcus, Burkholderia, Campylobacter, Delftia, Prevotella, Neisseria, Propionibacterium, Streptococcus, Ralstonia, Sphingomonas, and Corynebacterium appeared in the population with a very high frequency, suggesting that their presence might be biologically relevant. Therefore, in contrast to other anatomical areas such as the gut, bacterial diversity in the nasopharynx of healthy subjects remains stable and resistant to perturbations throughout the whole life and in both sexes. Age-associated abundance changes were observed at phylum, family, and genus levels, as well as several sex-associated changes probably due to the different levels of sex hormones present in both sexes at certain ages. Our results provide a complete and valuable dataset that will be useful for future research aiming for studying the relationship between changes in the nasopharyngeal microbiome and susceptibility to or severity of multiple diseases.

RevDate: 2023-02-25

Brogna C, Costanzo V, Brogna B, et al (2023)

Analysis of Bacteriophage Behavior of a Human RNA Virus, SARS-CoV-2, through the Integrated Approach of Immunofluorescence Microscopy, Proteomics and D-Amino Acid Quantification.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(4): pii:ijms24043929.

SARS-CoV-2, one of the human RNA viruses, is widely studied around the world. Significant efforts have been made to understand its molecular mechanisms of action and how it interacts with epithelial cells and the human microbiome since it has also been observed in gut microbiome bacteria. Many studies emphasize the importance of surface immunity and also that the mucosal system is critical in the interaction of the pathogen with the cells of the oral, nasal, pharyngeal, and intestinal epithelium. Recent studies have shown how bacteria in the human gut microbiome produce toxins capable of altering the classical mechanisms of interaction of viruses with surface cells. This paper presents a simple approach to highlight the initial behavior of a novel pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, on the human microbiome. The immunofluorescence microscopy technique can be combined with spectral counting performed at mass spectrometry of viral peptides in bacterial cultures, along with identification of the presence of D-amino acids within viral peptides in bacterial cultures and in patients' blood. This approach makes it possible to establish the possible expression or increase of viral RNA viruses in general and SARS-CoV-2, as discussed in this study, and to determine whether or not the microbiome is involved in the pathogenetic mechanisms of the viruses. This novel combined approach can provide information more rapidly, avoiding the biases of virological diagnosis and identifying whether a virus can interact with, bind to, and infect bacteria and epithelial cells. Understanding whether some viruses have bacteriophagic behavior allows vaccine therapies to be focused either toward certain toxins produced by bacteria in the microbiome or toward finding inert or symbiotic viral mutations with the human microbiome. This new knowledge opens a scenario on a possible future vaccine: the probiotics vaccine, engineered with the right resistance to viruses that attach to both the epithelium human surface and gut microbiome bacteria.

RevDate: 2023-02-23

Sun Y, Wen M, Liu Y, et al (2023)

The human microbiome: A promising target for lung cancer treatment.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1091165.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and insights into its underlying mechanisms as well as potential therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. The microbiome plays an important role in human health, and is also responsible for the initiation and progression of lung cancer through its induction of inflammatory responses and participation in immune regulation, as well as for its role in the generation of metabolic disorders and genotoxicity. Here, the distribution of human microflora along with its biological functions, the relationship between the microbiome and clinical characteristics, and the role of the microbiome in clinical treatment of lung cancer were comprehensively reviewed. This review provides a basis for the current understanding of lung cancer mechanisms with a focus on the microbiome, and contributes to future decisions on treatment management.

RevDate: 2023-02-22

Mancini VO, Brook J, Hernandez C, et al (2023)

Associations between the human immune system and gut microbiome with neurodevelopment in the first 5 years of life: A systematic scoping review.

Developmental psychobiology, 65(2):e22360.

The aim of this review was to map the literature assessing associations between maternal or infant immune or gut microbiome biomarkers and child neurodevelopmental outcomes within the first 5 years of life. We conducted a PRISMA-ScR compliant review of peer-reviewed, English-language journal articles. Studies reporting gut microbiome or immune system biomarkers and child neurodevelopmental outcomes prior to 5 years were eligible. Sixty-nine of 23,495 retrieved studies were included. Of these, 18 reported on the maternal immune system, 40 on the infant immune system, and 13 on the infant gut microbiome. No studies examined the maternal microbiome, and only one study examined biomarkers from both the immune system and the gut microbiome. Additionally, only one study included both maternal and infant biomarkers. Neurodevelopmental outcomes were assessed from 6 days to 5 years. Associations between biomarkers and neurodevelopmental outcomes were largely nonsignificant and small in effect size. While the immune system and gut microbiome are thought to have interactive impacts on the developing brain, there remains a paucity of published studies that report biomarkers from both systems and associations with child development outcomes. Heterogeneity of research designs and methodologies may also contribute to inconsistent findings. Future studies should integrate data across biological systems to generate novel insights into the biological underpinnings of early development.

RevDate: 2023-02-21

Wastyk HC, Perelman D, Topf M, et al (2023)

Randomized controlled trial demonstrates response to a probiotic intervention for metabolic syndrome that may correspond to diet.

Gut microbes, 15(1):2178794.

An individual's immune and metabolic status is coupled to their microbiome. Probiotics offer a promising, safe route to influence host health, possibly via the microbiome. Here, we report an 18-week, randomized prospective study that explores the effects of a probiotic vs. placebo supplement on 39 adults with elevated parameters of metabolic syndrome. We performed longitudinal sampling of stool and blood to profile the human microbiome and immune system. While we did not see changes in metabolic syndrome markers in response to the probiotic across the entire cohort, there were significant improvements in triglycerides and diastolic blood pressure in a subset of probiotic arm participants. Conversely, the non-responders had increased blood glucose and insulin levels over time. The responders had a distinct microbiome profile at the end of the intervention relative to the non-responders and placebo arm. Importantly, diet was a key differentiating factor between responders and non-responders. Our results show participant-specific effects of a probiotic supplement on improving parameters of metabolic syndrome and suggest that dietary factors may enhance stability and efficacy of the supplement.

RevDate: 2023-02-21

Zangl I, Beyer R, Gattesco A, et al (2023)

Limosilactobacillus fermentum Limits Candida glabrata Growth by Ergosterol Depletion.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Candida glabrata is a human-associated opportunistic fungal pathogen. It shares its niche with Lactobacillus spp. in the gastrointestinal and vaginal tract. In fact, Lactobacillus species are thought to competitively prevent Candida overgrowth. We investigated the molecular aspects of this antifungal effect by analyzing the interaction of C. glabrata strains with Limosilactobacillus fermentum. From a collection of clinical C. glabrata isolates, we identified strains with different sensitivities to L. fermentum in coculture. We analyzed the variation of their expression pattern to isolate the specific response to L. fermentum. C. glabrata-L. fermentum coculture induced genes associated with ergosterol biosynthesis, weak acid stress, and drug/chemical stress. L. fermentum coculture depleted C. glabrata ergosterol. The reduction of ergosterol was dependent on the Lactobacillus species, even in coculture with different Candida species. We found a similar ergosterol-depleting effect with other lactobacillus strains (Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus rhamosus) on Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei. The addition of ergosterol improved C. glabrata growth in the coculture. Blocking ergosterol synthesis with fluconazole increased the susceptibility against L. fermentum, which was again mitigated by the addition of ergosterol. In accordance, a C. glabrata Δerg11 mutant, defective in ergosterol biosynthesis, was highly sensitive to L. fermentum. In conclusion, our analysis indicates an unexpected direct function of ergosterol for C. glabrata proliferation in coculture with L. fermentum. IMPORTANCE The yeast Candida glabrata, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, and the bacterium Limosilactobacillus fermentum both inhabit the human gastrointestinal and vaginal tract. Lactobacillus species, belonging to the healthy human microbiome, are thought to prevent C. glabrata infections. We investigated the antifungal effect of Limosilactobacillus fermentum on C. glabrata strains quantitively in vitro. The interaction between C. glabrata and L. fermentum evokes an upregulation of genes required for the synthesis of ergosterol, a sterol constituent of the fungal plasma membrane. We found a dramatic reduction of ergosterol in C. glabrata when it was exposed to L. fermentum. This effect extended to other Candida species and other Lactobacillus species. Furthermore, fungal growth was efficiently suppressed by a combination of L. fermentum and fluconazole, an antifungal drug which inhibits ergosterol synthesis. Thus, fungal ergosterol is a key metabolite for the suppression of C. glabrata by L. fermentum.

RevDate: 2023-02-17

Xing Y, Clark JR, Chang JD, et al (2023)

Broad protective vaccination against systemic Escherichia coli with autotransporter antigens.

PLoS pathogens, 19(2):e1011082 pii:PPATHOGENS-D-22-00765.

Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) is the leading cause of adult life-threatening sepsis and urinary tract infections (UTI). The emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant (MDR) ExPEC strains result in a considerable amount of treatment failure and hospitalization costs, and contribute to the spread of drug resistance amongst the human microbiome. Thus, an effective vaccine against ExPEC would reduce morbidity and mortality and possibly decrease carriage in healthy or diseased populations. A comparative genomic analysis demonstrated a gene encoding an invasin-like protein, termed sinH, annotated as an autotransporter protein, shows high prevalence in various invasive ExPEC phylogroups, especially those associated with systemic bacteremia and UTI. Here, we evaluated the protective efficacy and immunogenicity of a recombinant SinH-based vaccine consisting of either domain-3 or domains-1,2, and 3 of the putative extracellular region of surface-localized SinH. Immunization of a murine host with SinH-based antigens elicited significant protection against various strains of the pandemic ExPEC sequence type 131 (ST131) as well as multiple sequence types in two distinct models of infection (colonization and bacteremia). SinH immunization also provided significant protection against ExPEC colonization in the bladder in an acute UTI model. Immunized cohorts produced significantly higher levels of vaccine-specific serum IgG and urinary IgG and IgA, findings consistent with mucosal protection. Collectively, these results demonstrate that autotransporter antigens such as SinH may constitute promising ExPEC phylogroup-specific and sequence-type effective vaccine targets that reduce E. coli colonization and virulence.

RevDate: 2023-02-17

Hall B, Levy S, Dufault-Thompson K, et al (2023)

Discovery of the gut microbial enzyme responsible for bilirubin reduction to urobilinogen.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.02.07.527579.

The degradation of heme and the interplay of its catabolic derivative, bilirubin, between humans and their gut microbiota is an essential facet of human health. However, the hypothesized bacterial enzyme that reduces bilirubin to urobilinogen, a key step that produces the excretable waste products of this pathway, has remained unidentified. In this study, we used a combination of biochemical analyses and comparative genomics to identify a novel enzyme, BilR, that can reduce bilirubin to urobilinogen. We delineated the BilR sequences from other members of the Old Yellow Enzyme family through the identification of key residues in the active site that are critical for bilirubin reduction and found that BilR is predominantly encoded by Firmicutes in the gut microbiome. Our analysis of human gut metagenomes showed that BilR is a common feature of a healthy adult human microbiome but has a decreased prevalence in neonates and IBD patients. This discovery sheds new light on the role of the gut microbiome in bilirubin metabolism and highlights the significance of the gut-liver axis in maintaining bilirubin homeostasis.

RevDate: 2023-02-16

Liu YY (2023)

Controlling the human microbiome.

Cell systems, 14(2):135-159.

We coexist with a vast number of microbes that live in and on our bodies. Those microbes and their genes are collectively known as the human microbiome, which plays important roles in human physiology and diseases. We have acquired extensive knowledge of the organismal compositions and metabolic functions of the human microbiome. However, the ultimate proof of our understanding of the human microbiome is reflected in our ability to manipulate it for health benefits. To facilitate the rational design of microbiome-based therapies, there are many fundamental questions to be addressed at the systems level. Indeed, we need a deep understanding of the ecological dynamics associated with such a complex ecosystem before we rationally design control strategies. In light of this, this review discusses progress from various fields, e.g., community ecology, network science, and control theory, that are helping us make progress toward the ultimate goal of controlling the human microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-02-16

Nami Y, Haghshenas B, Javanmard A, et al (2023)

A critical review of the recent concept of artificial mechanical uterus design in relation to the maternal microbiome: An Update to past researches.

Journal of reproductive immunology, 156:103828 pii:S0165-0378(23)00034-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The microbiome in the female reproductive tract plays an essential role in immune modulation and reproductive health. However, various microbes become established during pregnancy, the balance of which plays a crucial role in embryonic development and healthy births. The contribution of disturbances in the microbiome profile to embryo health is poorly understood. A better understanding of the relationship between reproductive outcomes and the vaginal microbiota is needed to optimize the chances of healthy births. In this regards, microbiome dysbiosis refers to conditions in which the pathways of communication and balance within the normal microbiome are imbalanced due to the intrusion of pathogenic microorganisms into the reproductive system. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on the natural human microbiome, with a focus on the natural uterine microbiome, mother-to-child transmission, dysbiosis, and the pattern of microbial change in pregnancy and parturition, and reviews the effects of artificial uterus probiotics during pregnancy. These effects can be studied in the sterile environment of an artificial uterus, and microbes with potential probiotic activity can be studied as a possible therapeutic approach. The artificial uterus is a technological device or biobag used as an incubator, allowing extracorporeal pregnancy. Establishing beneficial microbial communities within the artificial womb using probiotic species could modulate the immune system of both the fetus and the mother. The artificial womb could be used to select the best strains of probiotic species to fight infection with specific pathogens. Questions about the interactions and stability of the most appropriate probiotics, as well as dosage and duration of treatment, need to be answered before probiotics can be a clinical treatment in human pregnancy.

RevDate: 2023-02-15

Rayo E, Neukamm J, Tomoum N, et al (2022)

Metagenomic analysis of Ancient Egyptian canopic jars.

American journal of biological anthropology, 179(2):307-313.

UNLABELLED: Ancient Egyptian remains have been of interest for anthropological research for decades. Despite many investigations, the ritual vessels for the internal organs removed during body preparation-liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines, of Egyptian mummies are rarely used for palaeopathological or medical investigations. These artifacts, commonly referred to as canopic jars, are the perfect combination of cultural and biological material and present an untapped resource for both Egyptological and medical fields. Nevertheless, technical challenges associated with this archeological material have prevented the application of current ancient DNA techniques for both the characterization of human and pathogenic DNA. We present shotgun-sequenced metagenomic profiles and ancient DNA degradation patterns from multiple canopic jars sampled from several European museum collections and enumerate current limitations and possible solutions for the future analysis of similar material. This is the first-ever recorded evidence of ancient human DNA found in Ancient Egyptian canopic jars and the first associated metagenomic description of bacterial taxa in these funerary artifacts.

OBJECTIVES: In this study, our objectives were to characterize the metagenomic profile of the Ancient Egyptian funerary vessels known as canopic jars to retrieve endogenous ancient human DNA, reconstruct ancient microbial communities, and identify possible pathogens that could shed light on disease states of individuals from the past.

METHODS: We applied ancient DNA techniques on 140 canopic jars to extract DNA and generate whole-genome sequencing libraries for the analysis of both human and bacterial DNA. The samples were obtained from museum collections in Berlin (DE), Burgdorf (DE), Leiden (NE), Manchester (UK), Munich (DE), St. Gallen (CH), Turin (IT), and Zagreb (HR).

RESULTS: Here we describe the first isolated DNA from the Egyptian artifacts that hold human viscera. No previous work was ever conducted on such material, which led to the first characterization of human DNA from Ancient Egyptian canopic jars and the profiling of the complex bacterial composition of this highly degraded, challenging, organic material. However, the DNA recovered was not of enough quality to confidently characterize bacterial taxa associated with infectious diseases, nor exclusive bacterial members of the human microbiome.

DISCUSSION: In summary, we present the first genomic survey of the visceral content of Ancient Egyptian funerary artifacts and demonstrate the limitations of current molecular methods to analyze canopic jars, such as the incomplete history of the objects or the presence of uncharacterized compounds that can hamper the recovery of DNA. Our work highlights the main challenges and caveats when working with such complicated archeological material - and offers sampling recommendations for similarly complex future studies, such as incrementing the amount of starting material and sampling from the less exposed parts of the jar content. This is the first-ever recorded evidence of ancient human DNA found in Ancient Egyptian canopic jars, and our results open new avenues in the study of neglected archeological artifacts.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Zhu B, Serrano M, G Buck (2023)

The influence of maternal factors on the neonatal microbiome and health.

Research square pii:rs.3.rs-2485214.

The human microbiome plays an essential role in human health. However, the influence of maternal factors on the neonatal microbiome remains obscure. Herein, our observations suggest that the neonatal buccal microbiome is similar to the maternal buccal microbiome, but the neonatal gastrointestinal microbiome develops a unique composition at an early stage. The low complexity of the neonatal buccal microbiome is a hallmark of maternal and neonatal health, but that of the neonatal gastrointestinal microbiome is associated with maternal inflammation-related metabolites. Microbial infections in the maternal reproductive tract universally impact the complexity of the neonatal microbiomes, and the body site is most important in modulating the composition of the neonatal microbiomes. Additionally, maternal lipids attenuated the adverse influence of several maternal factors on the neonatal microbiomes. Finally, admission of neonates to the newborn intensive care unit is associated with sub-optimal states of the maternal buccal and rectal microbiomes and maternal health.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Wright ML, Podnar J, Longoria KD, et al (2023)

Comparison of commercial DNA extraction kits for whole metagenome sequencing of human oral, vaginal, and rectal microbiome samples.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.02.01.526597.

INTRODUCTION: Advancements in DNA extraction and sequencing technologies have been fundamental in deciphering the significance of the microbiome related to human health and pathology. Whole metagenome shotgun sequencing (WMS) is gaining popularity in use compared to its predecessor (i.e., amplicon-based approaches). However, like amplicon-based approaches, WMS is subject to bias from DNA extraction methods that can compromise the integrity of sequencing and subsequent findings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate systematic differences among four commercially available DNA extraction kits frequently used for WMS analysis of the microbiome.

METHODS: Oral, vaginal, and rectal swabs were collected in replicates of four by a healthcare provider from five participants and randomized to one of four DNA extraction kits. Two extraction blanks and three replicate mock community samples were also extracted using each extraction kit. WMS was completed with NovaSeq 6000 for all samples. Sequencing and microbial communities were analyzed using nonmetric multidimensional scaling and compositional bias analysis.

RESULTS: Extraction kits differentially biased the percentage of reads attributed to microbial taxa across samples and body sites. The PowerSoil Pro kit performed best in approximating expected proportions of mock communities. While HostZero was biased against gram-negative bacteria, the kit outperformed other kits in extracting fungal DNA. In clinical samples, HostZERO yielded a smaller fraction of reads assigned to Homo sapiens across sites and had a higher fraction of reads assigned to bacterial taxa compared to other kits. However, HostZERO appears to bias representation of microbial communities and demonstrated the most dispersion by site, particularly for vaginal and rectal samples.

CONCLUSIONS: Systematic differences exist among four frequently referenced DNA extraction kits when used for WMS analysis of the human microbiome. Consideration of such differences in study design and data interpretation is imperative to safeguard the integrity of microbiome research and reproducibility of results.

RevDate: 2023-02-13

Osborne N, Peterson CB, M Vannucci (2022)

Latent Network Estimation and Variable Selection for Compositional Data Via Variational EM.

Journal of computational and graphical statistics : a joint publication of American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Interface Foundation of North America, 31(1):163-175.

Network estimation and variable selection have been extensively studied in the statistical literature, but only recently have those two challenges been addressed simultaneously. In this article, we seek to develop a novel method to simultaneously estimate network interactions and associations to relevant covariates for count data, and specifically for compositional data, which have a fixed sum constraint. We use a hierarchical Bayesian model with latent layers and employ spike-and-slab priors for both edge and covariate selection. For posterior inference, we develop a novel variational inference scheme with an expectation-maximization step, to enable efficient estimation. Through simulation studies, we demonstrate that the proposed model outperforms existing methods in its accuracy of network recovery. We show the practical utility of our model via an application to microbiome data. The human microbiome has been shown to contribute too many of the functions of the human body, and also to be linked with a number of diseases. In our application, we seek to better understand the interaction between microbes and relevant covariates, as well as the interaction of microbes with each other. We call our algorithm simultaneous inference for networks and covariates and provide a Python implementation, which is available online.

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Cappello C, Acin-Albiac M, Pinto D, et al (2023)

Do nomadic lactobacilli fit as potential vaginal probiotics? The answer lies in a successful selective multi-step and scoring approach.

Microbial cell factories, 22(1):27.

BACKGROUND: The goal of this study was to create a multi-strain probiotic gel that would foster a lactobacilli-dominated vaginal microbiota in pregnant women and ensure appropriate eubiosis for the newborn. Nomadic lactobacilli (95 strains), mostly isolated from food sources, were preliminarily screened for functional traits before being characterized for their capability to inhibit the two vaginal pathogens Streptococcus agalactiae and Candida albicans, which may lead to adverse pregnancy-related outcomes. Eight best-performing strains were chosen and furtherly investigated for their ability to produce biofilm. Lastly, the two selected potential probiotic candidates were analyzed in vitro for their ability to reduce the inflammation caused by C. albicans infection on the reconstituted human vaginal epithelium (HVE).

RESULTS: Lactiplantibacillus plantarum produced both isomers of lactic acid, while Lacticaseibacillus paracasei produced only L-isomer. The production of hydrogen peroxide was strain-dependent, with the highest concentrations found within Lact. paracasei strains. The auto-aggregation capacity and hydrophobicity traits were species-independent. S. agalactiae 88II3 was strongly inhibited both at pH 7.0 and 4.0, whereas the inhibition of C. albicans UNIBZ54 was less frequent. Overall, L. plantarum strains had the highest pathogen inhibition and functional scoring. L. plantarum C5 and POM1, which were selected as potential probiotic candidates also based on their ability to form biofilms, were able to counteract the inflammation process caused by C. albicans infection in the HVE model.

CONCLUSIONS: Our multi-step and cumulative scoring-based approach was proven successful in mining and highlighting the probiotic potential of two nomadic lactobacilli strains (L. plantarum C5 and POM1), being applicable to preserve and improve human vaginal health.

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Zhang MN, Xie R, Wang HG, et al (2023)

Cepharanthine Alleviates DSS-Induced Ulcerative Colitis via Regulating Aconitate Decarboxylase 1 Expression and Macrophage Infiltration.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(3): pii:molecules28031060.

Cepharanthine (CEP), a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid from tubers of Stephania, protects against some inflammatory diseases. Aconitate decarboxylase 1 (ACOD1) is also known as immune-responsive gene 1 (IRG1), which plays an important immunometabolism role in inflammatory diseases by mediating the production of itaconic acid. ACOD1 exhibits abnormal expression in ulcerative colitis (UC). However, whether CEP can combat UC by affecting ACOD1 expression remains unanswered. This study was designed to explore the protective effects and mechanisms of CEP in treating colitis through in vitro and in vivo experiments. In vitro assays indicated that CEP inhibited LPS-induced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and ACOD1 expression in RAW264.7 macrophages. Additionally, in the mouse model of DSS-induced colitis, CEP decreased macrophage infiltration and ACOD1 expression in colon tissue. After treatment with antibiotics (Abx), the expression of ACOD1 changed with the composition of gut microbiota. Correlation analysis also revealed that Family-XIII-AD3011-group and Rumini-clostridium-6 were positively correlated with ACOD1 expression level. Additionally, data of the integrative Human Microbiome Project (iHMP) showed that ACOD1 was highly expressed in the colon tissue of UC patients and this expression was positively correlated with the severity of intestinal inflammation. Collectively, CEP can counter UC by modulating gut microbiota and inhibiting the expression of ACOD1. CEP may serve as a potential pharmaceutical candidate in the treatment of UC.

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Campisciano G, Zanotta N, Quadrifoglio M, et al (2023)

The Bacterial DNA Profiling of Chorionic Villi and Amniotic Fluids Reveals Overlaps with Maternal Oral, Vaginal, and Gut Microbiomes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(3): pii:ijms24032873.

The in utero microbiome hypothesis has been long debated. This hypothesis will change our comprehension of the pioneer human microbiome if proved correct. In 60 uncomplicated pregnancies, we profiled the microbiome of chorionic villi (CV) and amniotic fluids (AF) in relation to maternal saliva, rectum, and vagina and the soluble cytokines cascade in the vagina, CV and AF. In our series, 12/37 (32%) AF and 10/23 (44%) CV tested positive for bacterial DNA. CV and AF harbored bacterial DNA of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus, overlapping that of the matched oral and vaginal niches, which showed a dysbiotic microbiome. In these pregnant women, the immune profiling revealed an immune hyporesponsiveness in the vagina and a high intraamniotic concentration of inflammatory cytokines. To understand the eventual role of bacterial colonization of the CV and AF and the associated immune response in the pregnancy outcome, further appropriate studies are needed. In this context, further studies should highlight if the hematogenous route could justify the spread of bacterial DNA from the oral microbiome to the placenta and if vaginal dysbiosis could favor the likelihood of identifying CV and AF positive for bacterial DNA.

RevDate: 2023-02-11

Piao XM, Byun YJ, Zheng CM, et al (2023)

A New Treatment Landscape for RCC: Association of the Human Microbiome with Improved Outcomes in RCC.

Cancers, 15(3): pii:cancers15030935.

Microbes play different roles in metabolism, local or systemic inflammation, and immunity, and the human microbiome in tumor microenvironment (TME) is important for modulating the response to immunotherapy in cancer patients. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is an immunogenic tumor, and immunotherapy is the backbone of its treatment. Correlations between the microbiome and responsiveness to immune checkpoint inhibitors have been reported. This review summarizes the recent therapeutic strategies for RCC and the effects of TME on the systemic therapy of RCC. The current understanding and advances in microbiome research and the relationship between the microbiome and the response to immunotherapy for RCC are also discussed. Improving our understanding of the role of the microbiome in RCC treatment will facilitate the development of microbiome targeting therapies to modify the tumor microbiome and improve treatment outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-02-10

Schackart KE, Graham JB, Ponsero AJ, et al (2023)

Evaluation of computational phage detection tools for metagenomic datasets.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1078760.

INTRODUCTION: As new computational tools for detecting phage in metagenomes are being rapidly developed, a critical need has emerged to develop systematic benchmarks.

METHODS: In this study, we surveyed 19 metagenomic phage detection tools, 9 of which could be installed and run at scale. Those 9 tools were assessed on several benchmark challenges. Fragmented reference genomes are used to assess the effects of fragment length, low viral content, phage taxonomy, robustness to eukaryotic contamination, and computational resource usage. Simulated metagenomes are used to assess the effects of sequencing and assembly quality on the tool performances. Finally, real human gut metagenomes and viromes are used to assess the differences and similarities in the phage communities predicted by the tools.

RESULTS: We find that the various tools yield strikingly different results. Generally, tools that use a homology approach (VirSorter, MARVEL, viralVerify, VIBRANT, and VirSorter2) demonstrate low false positive rates and robustness to eukaryotic contamination. Conversely, tools that use a sequence composition approach (VirFinder, DeepVirFinder, Seeker), and MetaPhinder, have higher sensitivity, including to phages with less representation in reference databases. These differences led to widely differing predicted phage communities in human gut metagenomes, with nearly 80% of contigs being marked as phage by at least one tool and a maximum overlap of 38.8% between any two tools. While the results were more consistent among the tools on viromes, the differences in results were still significant, with a maximum overlap of 60.65%. Discussion: Importantly, the benchmark datasets developed in this study are publicly available and reusable to enable the future comparability of new tools developed.

RevDate: 2023-02-08

Wang Y, Wang L, Sun T, et al (2023)

Study of the inflammatory activating process in the early stage of Fusobacterium nucleatum infected PDLSCs.

International journal of oral science, 15(1):8 pii:10.1038/s41368-022-00213-0.

Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) is an early pathogenic colonizer in periodontitis, but the host response to infection with this pathogen remains unclear. In this study, we built an F. nucleatum infectious model with human periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) and showed that F. nucleatum could inhibit proliferation, and facilitate apoptosis, ferroptosis, and inflammatory cytokine production in a dose-dependent manner. The F. nucleatum adhesin FadA acted as a proinflammatory virulence factor and increased the expression of interleukin(IL)-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Further study showed that FadA could bind with PEBP1 to activate the Raf1-MAPK and IKK-NF-κB signaling pathways. Time-course RNA-sequencing analyses showed the cascade of gene activation process in PDLSCs with increasing durations of F. nucleatum infection. NFκB1 and NFκB2 upregulated after 3 h of F. nucleatum-infection, and the inflammatory-related genes in the NF-κB signaling pathway were serially elevated with time. Using computational drug repositioning analysis, we predicted and validated that two potential drugs (piperlongumine and fisetin) could attenuate the negative effects of F. nucleatum-infection. Collectively, this study unveils the potential pathogenic mechanisms of F. nucleatum and the host inflammatory response at the early stage of F. nucleatum infection.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

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

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

Journal of bacteriology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-02-06

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

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

PNAS nexus, 1(3):pgac055.

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

RevDate: 2023-02-03

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-02

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

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

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-02-02

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

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

Frontiers in public health, 10:1088590.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-01

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

"Integrated molecular approaches for fermented food microbiome research".

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

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

RevDate: 2023-02-01

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

Gut microbiota and COVID-19: A systematic review.

Health science reports, 6(2):e1080.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-31

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

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

Nature communications, 14(1):512.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-30

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

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

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.01.03.522677.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-26

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-25

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

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

Nature, 613(7945):639-649.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-25

Pang Z, Korpela R, H Vapaatalo (2022)

Intestinal aldosterone synthase activity and aldosterone synthesis in mouse.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Kim E, Yang SM, HY Kim (2023)

Weissella and the two Janus faces of the genus.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Maas E, Penders J, K Venema (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

He S, Chakraborty R, S Ranganathan (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Park DJ, AM Plantinga (2023)

Impact of Data and Study Characteristics on Microbiome Volatility Estimates.

Genes, 14(1): pii:genes14010218.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-21

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

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

Biomedicines, 11(1): pii:biomedicines11010087.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Brenes LR, Johnson AD, MB Lohse (2023)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-20

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

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

Journal of structural biology: X, 7:100084.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-19

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

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

Nature biotechnology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Shelin R, S Meenakshi (2023)

Rise of bacterial small proteins and peptides in therapeutic applications.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-18

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

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

Nature [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

Liu ZH, Zhou XD, LL Zhang (2023)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-17

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

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

iScience, 26(1):105870.

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

RevDate: 2023-01-16

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

Gut Enterobacteriaceae and uraemic toxins - Perpetrators for ageing.

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

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

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Huang X, Erickson DL, J Meng (2023)

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

mBio [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2023-01-16

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

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

Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology, 16:17562848221136328.

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

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

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

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

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

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


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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