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Bibliography on: Microbiome Project(s)

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Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 21 Jun 2024 at 01:52 Created: 

Microbiome Project(s)

For many multicellular organisms, a microscopic study shows that microbial cells outnumber host cells by perhaps ten to one. Until recently, these abundant communities of host-associated microbes were largely unstudied, often for lack of analytical tools or conceptual frameworks. The advent of new tools is rendering visible this previously ignored biosphere and the results have been startling. Many facets of host biology have proven to be profoundly affected by the associated microbiomes. As a result, several large-scale projects — such as the Human Microbiome Project — have been undertaken to jump start an understanding of this critical component of the biosphere.

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2024-06-15
CmpDate: 2024-06-15

Jawanda IK, Soni T, Kumari S, et al (2024)

The evolving facets of vaginal microbiota transplantation: reinvigorating the unexplored frontier amid complex challenges.

Archives of microbiology, 206(7):306.

In an age of cutting-edge sequencing methods and worldwide endeavors such as The Human Microbiome Project and MetaHIT, the human microbiome stands as a complex and diverse community of microorganisms. A central theme in current scientific inquiry revolves around reinstating a balanced microbial composition, referred to as "eubiosis," as a targeted approach for treating vast array of diseases. Vaginal Microbiota Transplantation (VMT), inspired by the success of fecal microbiota transplantation, emerges as an innovative therapy addressing vaginal dysbacteriosis by transferring the complete microbiota from a healthy donor. Antibiotics, while effective, pose challenges with adverse effects, high recurrence rates, and potential harm to beneficial Lactobacillus strains. Continued antibiotic usage also sparks worries regarding the development of resistant strains. Probiotics, though showing promise, exhibit inconsistency in treating multifactorial diseases, and concerns linger about their suitability for diverse genetic backgrounds. Given the recurrent challenges associated with antibiotic and probiotic treatments, VMT emerges as an imperative alternative, offering a unique and promising avenue for efficiently and reliably managing vaginal dysbiosis among a majority of women. This review critically evaluates findings from both animal and human studies, offering nuanced insights into the efficacy and challenges of VMT. An extensive analysis of clinical trials, provides a current overview of ongoing and completed trials, shedding light on the evolving clinical landscape and therapeutic potential of VMT. Delving into the origins, mechanisms, and optimized protocols of VMT, the review underscores the imperative for sustained research efforts to advance this groundbreaking gynecological therapy.

RevDate: 2024-06-10

Huang Y, Kang Z, He Y, et al (2024)

Association between gut microbiota and common overlapping gastrointestinal disorders: a bidirectional two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1343564.

BACKGROUND: The main functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) include functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which often present overlapping symptoms with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), posing a challenge for clinical diagnosis and treatment. The gut microbiota is closely associated with FGIDs and GERD, although the causal relationship has not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the potential causal relationship using bidirectional two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The genetic data of the 211 gut microbiota were obtained from the MiBioGen consortium (N = 14,306, from phylum to genus level) and species level of gut microbiota were acquired from the Dutch Microbiome Project (N = 7,738). For FD and IBS, we utilized the FinnGen consortium, whereas, for GERD data analysis, we obtained the IEU OpenGWAS project. The inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method was used as the primary method to calculate causal effect values. Sensitivity analyses were also performed to confirm the robustness of the primary findings of the MR analyses. Moreover, a reverse MR analysis was conducted to assess the likelihood of reverse causality.

RESULTS: Combining the results of the preliminary and sensitivity analyses, we identified that 8 gut microbial taxa were associated with FD. Genus Lachnospiraceae NK4A136 group (p = 3.63 × 10[-3]) and genus Terrisporobacter (p = 1.13 × 10[-3]) were strongly associated with FD. At the same time, we found that 8 gut microbial taxa were associated with IBS. Family Prevotellaceae (p = 2.44 × 10[-3]) and species Clostridium leptum (p = 7.68 × 10[-3]) display a robust correlation with IBS. In addition, 5 gut microbial taxa were associated with GERD using the IVW approach. In the reverse MR analysis, 2 gut microbial taxa were found to be associated with FD, 5 gut microbial taxa were found to be associated with IBS, and 21 gut microbial taxa were found to be associated with GERD.

CONCLUSION: The study reveals the potential causal effects of specific microbial taxa on FD, IBS, and GERD and may offer novel insights into the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

RevDate: 2024-06-07
CmpDate: 2024-06-08

Ornish D, Madison C, Kivipelto M, et al (2024)

Effects of intensive lifestyle changes on the progression of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia due to Alzheimer's disease: a randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Alzheimer's research & therapy, 16(1):122.

BACKGROUND: Evidence links lifestyle factors with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We report the first randomized, controlled clinical trial to determine if intensive lifestyle changes may beneficially affect the progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early dementia due to AD.

METHODS: A 1:1 multicenter randomized controlled phase 2 trial, ages 45-90 with MCI or early dementia due to AD and a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) score of 18 or higher. The primary outcome measures were changes in cognition and function tests: Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC), Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-Cog), Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB), and Clinical Dementia Rating Global (CDR-G) after 20 weeks of an intensive multidomain lifestyle intervention compared to a wait-list usual care control group. ADAS-Cog, CDR-SB, and CDR-Global scales were compared using a Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and CGIC was compared using Fisher's exact test. Secondary outcomes included plasma Aβ42/40 ratio, other biomarkers, and correlating lifestyle with the degree of change in these measures.

RESULTS: Fifty-one AD patients enrolled, mean age 73.5. No significant differences in any measures at baseline. Only two patients withdrew. All patients had plasma Aβ42/40 ratios <0.0672 at baseline, strongly supporting AD diagnosis. After 20 weeks, significant between-group differences in the CGIC (p= 0.001), CDR-SB (p= 0.032), and CDR Global (p= 0.037) tests and borderline significance in the ADAS-Cog test (p= 0.053). CGIC, CDR Global, and ADAS-Cog showed improvement in cognition and function and CDR-SB showed significantly less progression, compared to the control group which worsened in all four measures. Aβ42/40 ratio increased in the intervention group and decreased in the control group (p = 0.003). There was a significant correlation between lifestyle and both cognitive function and the plasma Aβ42/40 ratio. The microbiome improved only in the intervention group (p <0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Comprehensive lifestyle changes may significantly improve cognition and function after 20 weeks in many patients with MCI or early dementia due to AD.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Approved by Western Institutional Review Board on 12/31/2017 (#20172897) and by Institutional Review Boards of all sites. This study was registered retrospectively with clinicaltrials.gov on October 8, 2020 (NCT04606420, ID: 20172897).

RevDate: 2024-05-25

Koo H, CD Morrow (2024)

Bacteroidales-Specific Antimicrobial Genes Can Influence the Selection of the Dominant Fecal Strain of Bacteroides vulgatus and Bacteroides uniformis from the Gastrointestinal Tract Microbial Community.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 14(5): pii:life14050555.

Bacteroides vulgatus and Bacteroides uniformis are known to be abundant in the human fecal microbial community. Although these strains typically remain stable over time in humans, disruption of this microbial community following antibiotics resulted in the transient change to new strains suggesting that a complex, dynamic strain community exists in humans. To further study the selection of dominant fecal microbial strains from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) community, we analyzed three longitudinal metagenomic sequencing data sets using BLAST+ to identify genes encoding Bacteroidales-specific antimicrobial proteins (BSAP) that have known functions to restrict species-specific replication of B. uniformis (BSAP-2) or B. vulgatus (BSAP-3) and have been postulated to provide a competitive advantage in microbial communities. In the HMP (Human Microbiome Project) data set, we found fecal samples from individuals had B. vulgatus or B. uniformis with either complete or deleted BSAP genes that did not change over time. We also examined fecal samples from two separate longitudinal data sets of individuals who had been given either single or multiple antibiotics. The BSAP gene pattern from most individuals given either single or multiple antibiotics recovered to be the same as the pre-antibiotic strain. However, in a few individuals, we found incomplete BSAP-3 genes at early times during the recovery that were replaced by B. vulgatus with the complete BSAP-3 gene, consistent with the function of the BSAP to specifically restrict Bacteroides spp. The results of these studies provide insights into the fluxes that occur in the Bacteroides spp. GIT community following perturbation and the dynamics of the selection of a dominant fecal strain of Bacteroides spp.

RevDate: 2024-05-20

Chen Z, Wang Z, Ma H, et al (2024)

Immune cells mediated the causal relationship between the gut microbiota and lung cancer: a Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1390722.

INTRODUCTION: The gut microbiota (GM) influences the occurrence and progression of lung cancer (LC), with potential involvement of immune cells (IC). We aimed to investigate the causal impact of GM on LC and identify potential immune cell mediators.

METHODS: The utilized data for the Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) were summarized as follows: gut microbiota data from the Dutch Microbiome Project (DMP) (N = 7,738), lung cancer data from the Transdisciplinary Research in Cancer of the Lung (TRICL) and International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO) (Ncase = 29,266, Ncontrol = 56,450) included four types of cancer: NSCLC, LUAD, LUSC, and SCLC, and immune cell data from European populations (N = 3,757). We employed bi-directional two-sample univariable Mendelian randomization (UVMR), multivariable Mendelian randomization (MVMR), and mediation analysis to assess the causal relationship between GM and LC and potential immune cell mediators.

RESULTS: Bi-directional UVMR analysis revealed that 24 gut microbiota species can affect LC, while LC can affect the abundance of 17 gut microbiota species. Mediation analysis demonstrated that six immune cells mediated the causal relationships of seven gut microbiota species on LC: "CCR7 on naive CD8+ T cell" mediated the causal relationship between s_Alistipes_putredinis and LUAD, with a mediation proportion of 9.5% and P = 0.018; "IgD- CD27- B cell %lymphocyte" mediated the causal relationships between g_Gordonibacter and s_Gordonibacter_pamelaeae with LUSC, with mediation proportions of 11.8% and 11.9%, respectively and P = 0.029; "CD20- CD38- B cell %lymphocyte" mediated the causal relationship between s_Bacteroides_clarus and SCLC, with a mediation proportion of 13.8% and P = 0.005; "CD20 on IgD+ CD38- unswitched memory B cell" mediated the causal relationship between s_Streptococcus_thermophilus and SCLC, with a mediation proportion of 14.1% and P = 0.023; "HLA DR on CD14- CD16+ monocyte" mediated the causal relationship between s_Bifidobacterium_bifidum and SCLC, with a mediation proportion of 8.7% and P = 0.012; "CD45 on Granulocytic Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells" mediated the causal relationship between f_Lactobacillaceae and SCLC, with a mediation proportion of 4.0% and P = 0.021.

CONCLUSION: This Mendelian randomization study identified several specific gut microbiotas that exhibit causal relationships with lung cancer and potentially mediate immune cells.

RevDate: 2024-05-14
CmpDate: 2024-05-15

Liu Y, Yu J, Yang Y, et al (2024)

Investigating the causal relationship of gut microbiota with GERD and BE: a bidirectional mendelian randomization.

BMC genomics, 25(1):471.

BACKGROUND: Gut microbiota(GM) have been proven associated with lots of gastrointestinal diseases, but its causal relationship with Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) and Barrett's esophagus(BE) hasn't been explored. We aimed to uncover the causal relation between GM and GERD/BE and potential mediators by utilizing Mendelian Randomization(MR) analysis.

METHODS: Summary statistics of GM(comprising 301 bacteria taxa and 205 metabolism pathways) were extracted from MiBioGen Consortium(N = 18,340) and Dutch Microbiome Project(N = 7,738), GERD and BE from a multitrait meta-analysis(NGERD=602,604, NBE=56,429). Bidirectional two-sample MR analysis and linkage disequilibrium score regression(LDSC) were used to explore the genetic correlation between GM and GERD/BE. Mediation MR analysis was performed for the risk factors of GERD/BE, including Body mass index(BMI), weight, type 2 diabetes, major depressive disorder(MDD), smoking initiation, alcohol consumption, and dietary intake(including carbohydrate, sugar, fat, protein intake), to detect the potential mediators between GM and GERD/BE.

RESULTS: 11 bacterial taxa and 13 metabolism pathways were found associated with GERD, and 18 taxa and 5 pathways exhibited causal relationship with BE. Mediation MR analysis suggested weight and BMI played a crucial role in these relationships. LDSC identified 1 taxon and 4 metabolism pathways related to GERD, and 1 taxon related to BE. Specie Faecalibacterium prausnitzii had a suggestive impact on both GERD(OR = 1.087, 95%CI = 1.01-1.17) and BE(OR = 1.388, 95%CI = 1.03-1.86) and LDSC had determined their correlation. Reverse MR indicated that BE impacted 10 taxa and 4 pathways.

CONCLUSIONS: This study established a causal link between gut microbiota and GERD/BE, and identified the probable mediators. It offers new insights into the role of gut microbiota in the development and progression of GERD and BE in the host.

RevDate: 2024-05-13

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2024-05-13

Chen J, Wang X, Yang J, et al (2024)

Association between gut microbiota and central retinal artery occlusion: A two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

Indian journal of ophthalmology pii:02223307-990000000-00177 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: The gut microbiota might be closely related to central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), but the causality has not been well defined. Two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) study was used to reveal the potential causal effect between the gut microbiota and CRAO.

METHODS: Data for gut microbiota were obtained from the genome-wide association studies of the Dutch Microbiome Project (DMP) (n = 7738) and the MiBioGen consortium (n = 18,340), and data on CRAO were obtained from samples of FinnGen project (546 cases and 344,569 controls). Causalities of exposures and outcomes were explored mainly using the inverse variance weighted method. In addition, multiple sensitivity analyses including MR-Egger, weighted median (WM), simple mode, weighted mode, and MR Pleiotropy RESidual Sum and Outlier were simultaneously applied to validate the final results.

RESULTS: We identified three microbial pathways (two risk factors/one protective factor) and seven microbial taxa (two risk factors/five protective factors) associated with CRAO in the DMP study. Based on the data from the MiBioGen consortium, we identified seven microbial taxa (two risk factors/five protective factors) associated with CRAO, including the Eubacterium genus, which was consistently identified as a risk factor in both the DMP and the MiBioGen consortium MR analyses.

CONCLUSION: Our study implicates the potential causal effects of specific microbial taxa and pathways on CRAO, potentially providing new insights into the prevention and treatment of CRAO through specific gut microbial taxa and pathway. Since our conclusion is a hypothesis derived from secondary genome-wide association studies (GWAS) data analysis, further research is needed for confirmation.

RevDate: 2024-05-09
CmpDate: 2024-05-09

Zhou J, Zhu D, Xu Y, et al (2024)

Genetically predicted gut microbiota mediate the association between plasma lipidomics and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

BMC gastroenterology, 24(1):158.

BACKGROUND: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a complex disease with pathogenic mechanisms that remain to be elucidated. Previous observational studies with small sample sizes have reported associations between PSC, dyslipidemia, and gut microbiota dysbiosis. However, the causality of these associations is uncertain, and there has been no systematic analysis to date.

METHODS: The datasets comprise data on PSC, 179 lipid species, and 412 gut microbiota species. PSC data (n = 14,890) were sourced from the International PSC Study Group, while the dataset pertaining to plasma lipidomics originated from a study involving 7174 Finnish individuals. Data on gut microbiota species were derived from the Dutch Microbiome Project study, which conducted a genome-wide association study involving 7738 participants. Furthermore, we employed a two-step Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis to quantify the proportion of the effect of gut microbiota-mediated lipidomics on PSC.

RESULTS: Following a rigorous screening process, our MR analysis revealed a causal relationship between higher levels of gene-predicted Phosphatidylcholine (O-16:1_18:1) (PC O-16:1_18:1) and an increased risk of developing PSC (inverse variance-weighted method, odds ratio (OR) 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.63). There is insufficient evidence to suggest that gene-predicted PSC impacts the levels of PC O-16:1_18:1 (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.98-1.05). When incorporating gut microbiota data into the analysis, we found that Eubacterium rectale-mediated genetic prediction explains 17.59% of the variance in PC O-16:1_18:1 levels.

CONCLUSION: Our study revealed a causal association between PC O-16:1_18:1 levels and PSC, with a minor portion of the effect mediated by Eubacterium rectale. This study aims to further explore the pathogenesis of PSC and identify promising therapeutic targets. For patients with PSC who lack effective treatment options, the results are encouraging.

RevDate: 2024-05-02

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1382332.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2024-04-27

Isokpehi RD, Kim Y, Krejci SE, et al (2024)

Ecological Trait-Based Digital Categorization of Microbial Genomes for Denitrification Potential.

Microorganisms, 12(4): pii:microorganisms12040791.

Microorganisms encode proteins that function in the transformations of useful and harmful nitrogenous compounds in the global nitrogen cycle. The major transformations in the nitrogen cycle are nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and ammonification. The focus of this report is the complex biogeochemical process of denitrification, which, in the complete form, consists of a series of four enzyme-catalyzed reduction reactions that transforms nitrate to nitrogen gas. Denitrification is a microbial strain-level ecological trait (characteristic), and denitrification potential (functional performance) can be inferred from trait rules that rely on the presence or absence of genes for denitrifying enzymes in microbial genomes. Despite the global significance of denitrification and associated large-scale genomic and scholarly data sources, there is lack of datasets and interactive computational tools for investigating microbial genomes according to denitrification trait rules. Therefore, our goal is to categorize archaeal and bacterial genomes by denitrification potential based on denitrification traits defined by rules of enzyme involvement in the denitrification reduction steps. We report the integration of datasets on genome, taxonomic lineage, ecosystem, and denitrifying enzymes to provide data investigations context for the denitrification potential of microbial strains. We constructed an ecosystem and taxonomic annotated denitrification potential dataset of 62,624 microbial genomes (866 archaea and 61,758 bacteria) that encode at least one of the twelve denitrifying enzymes in the four-step canonical denitrification pathway. Our four-digit binary-coding scheme categorized the microbial genomes to one of sixteen denitrification traits including complete denitrification traits assigned to 3280 genomes from 260 bacteria genera. The bacterial strains with complete denitrification potential pattern included Arcobacteraceae strains isolated or detected in diverse ecosystems including aquatic, human, plant, and Mollusca (shellfish). The dataset on microbial denitrification potential and associated interactive data investigations tools can serve as research resources for understanding the biochemical, molecular, and physiological aspects of microbial denitrification, among others. The microbial denitrification data resources produced in our research can also be useful for identifying microbial strains for synthetic denitrifying communities.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Zhang H, Ma L, Peng W, et al (2024)

Association between gut microbiota and onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 14:1327032.

AIM: Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis has been used in the exploration of the role of gut microbiota (GM) in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); however, it was limited to the genus level. This study herein aims to investigate the relationship of GM, especially at the species level, with T2DM in order to provide some evidence for further exploration of more specific GM taxa and pathway abundance in T2DM.

METHODS: This two-sample MR study was based on the summary statistics of GM from the available genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis conducted by the MiBioGen consortium as well as the Dutch Microbiome Project (DMP), whereas the summary statistics of T2DM were obtained from the FinnGen consortium released data. Inverse variance weighted (IVW), MR-Egger, strength test (F), and weighted median methods were used to examine the causal association between GM and the onset of T2DM. Cochran's Q statistics was employed to quantify the heterogeneity of instrumental variables. Bonferroni's correction was conducted to correct the bias of multiple testing. We also performed reverse causality analysis.

RESULTS: The corrected IVW estimates suggested the increased relative abundance of family Oxalobacteraceae (OR = 1.0704) and genus Oxalobacter (OR = 1.0874), respectively, were associated with higher odds of T2DM, while that of species faecis (OR = 0.9460) had a negative relationship with T2DM. The relationships of class Betaproteobacteria, family Lactobacillaceae, species finegoldii, and species longum with T2DM were also significant according to the IVW results (all P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: GM had a potential causal association with T2DM, especially species faecis, finegoldii, and longum. Further studies are still needed to clarify certain results that are contradictory with previous findings.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Ho PY, KC Huang (2024)

Challenges in quantifying functional redundancy and selection in microbial communities.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.26.586891.

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

RevDate: 2024-04-05

Salvadori M, G Rosso (2024)

Update on the gut microbiome in health and diseases.

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

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

RevDate: 2024-04-02

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

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

Gut microbes, 16(1):2336877.

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

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Dilmore AH, Kuplicki R, McDonald D, et al (2024)

Medication Use is Associated with Distinct Microbial Features in Anxiety and Depression.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.19.585820.

This study investigated the relationship between gut microbiota and neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs), specifically anxiety disorder (ANXD) and/or major depressive disorder (MDD), as defined by DSM-IV or V criteria. The study also examined the influence of medication use, particularly antidepressants and/or anxiolytics, classified through the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System, on the gut microbiota. Both 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and shallow shotgun sequencing were performed on DNA extracted from 666 fecal samples from the Tulsa-1000 and NeuroMAP CoBRE cohorts. The results highlight the significant influence of medication use; antidepressant use is associated with significant differences in gut microbiota beta diversity and has a larger effect size than NPD diagnosis. Next, specific microbes were associated with ANXD and MDD, highlighting their potential for non-pharmacological intervention. Finally, the study demonstrated the capability of Random Forest classifiers to predict diagnoses of NPD and medication use from microbial profiles, suggesting a promising direction for the use of gut microbiota as biomarkers for NPD. The findings suggest that future research on the gut microbiota's role in NPD and its interactions with pharmacological treatments are needed.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Maghini DG, Oduaran OH, Wirbel J, et al (2024)

Expanding the human gut microbiome atlas of Africa.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.13.584859.

Population studies are crucial in understanding the complex interplay between the gut microbiome and geographical, lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors. However, populations from low- and middle-income countries, which represent ∼84% of the world population, have been excluded from large-scale gut microbiome research. Here, we present the AWI-Gen 2 Microbiome Project, a cross-sectional gut microbiome study sampling 1,803 women from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. By intensively engaging with communities that range from rural and horticultural to urban informal settlements and post-industrial, we capture population diversity that represents a far greater breadth of the world's population. Using shotgun metagenomic sequencing, we find that study site explains substantially more microbial variation than disease status. We identify taxa with strong geographic and lifestyle associations, including loss of Treponema and Cryptobacteroides species and gain of Bifidobacterium species in urban populations. We uncover a wealth of prokaryotic and viral novelty, including 1,005 new bacterial metagenome-assembled genomes, and identify phylogeography signatures in Treponema succinifaciens . Finally, we find a microbiome signature of HIV infection that is defined by several taxa not previously associated with HIV, including Dysosmobacter welbionis and Enterocloster sp. This study represents the largest population-representative survey of gut metagenomes of African individuals to date, and paired with extensive clinical biomarkers, demographic data, and lifestyle information, provides extensive opportunity for microbiome-related discovery and research.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Ma ZS (2024)

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

BMC bioinformatics, 25(1):137.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2024-03-29

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

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

Environmental microbiome, 19(1):19.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2024-03-20

Li J, Zheng G, Jiang D, et al (2024)

Mendelian randomization analysis reveals a causal effect of Streptococcus salivarius on diabetic retinopathy through regulating host fasting glucose.

Journal of cellular and molecular medicine, 28(7):e18200.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of leading causes of vision loss in adults with increasing prevalence worldwide. Increasing evidence has emphasized the importance of gut microbiome in the aetiology and development of DR. However, the causal relationship between gut microbes and DR remains largely unknown. To investigate the causal associations of DR with gut microbes and DR risk factors, we employed two-sample Mendelian Randomization (MR) analyses to estimate the causal effects of 207 gut microbes on DR outcomes. Inputs for MR included Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) summary statistics of 207 taxa of gut microbes (the Dutch Microbiome Project) and 21 risk factors for DR. The GWAS summary statistics data of DR was from the FinnGen Research Project. Data analysis was performed in May 2023. We identified eight bacterial taxa that exhibited significant causal associations with DR (FDR < 0.05). Among them, genus Collinsella and species Collinsella aerofaciens were associated with increased risk of DR, while the species Bacteroides faecis, Burkholderiales bacterium_1_1_47, Ruminococcus torques, Streptococcus salivarius, genus Burkholderiales_noname and family Burkholderiales_noname showed protective effects against DR. Notably, we found that the causal effect of species Streptococcus salivarius on DR was mediated through the level of host fasting glucose, a well-established risk factor for DR. Our results reveal that specific gut microbes may be causally linked to DR via mediating host metabolic risk factors, highlighting potential novel therapeutic or preventive targets for DR.

RevDate: 2024-03-18

Singh A, RJ Luallen (2024)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2024-03-16

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

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

BMC biotechnology, 24(1):14.

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

RevDate: 2024-03-15

Xiao QA, Qin L, Yu J, et al (2024)

The causality between gut microbiome and chronic regional pain: a Mendelian randomization analysis.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1329521.

BACKGROUND: Numerous investigations have underscored the causal effect between chronic pain (CP) and gut microbiota, jointly contributing to the onset and development of widespread CP. Nonetheless, there was still uncertainty about the causal effect between gut microbiota and chronic regional pain (CRP).

METHODS: Genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary data of gut microbial taxa (MiBioGen Consortium: 211 microbiotas and the Dutch Microbiome Project: 207 microbiotas) and eight types of CRP were used to reveal the causal effect between persistent pain in a specific region of the body and gut microbiota. A two-sample bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) design was used. In order to ensure the accuracy of the results, multiple sensitivity analyses were employed.

RESULTS: This study uncovered significant causal associations between six gut microbial taxa and three types of CRP (forward: Genus Parabacteroides for general pain; Class Bacteroidia, Order Bacteroidales, and Phylum Bacteroidetes for back pain. Reverse: knee pain for Genus Howardella and Order Coriobacteriales) by forward and reverse MR analysis. These findings had been verified by a rigorous Bonferroni correction. Furthermore, this research identified 19 microbial taxa that exhibited potential correlations with four types of CRP. There are no significant or potential gut microbiotas that were associated with other types of CRP, including fascial pain, stomach or abdominal pain, and hip pain.

CONCLUSION: This two-sample bidirectional MR analysis unveiled the causality between gut microbial taxa and eight CRP conditions. The findings reveal the interplay between CRP and 6 gut microbiotas while also delineating 19 potential specific microbial taxa corresponding to diverse locations of persistent pain.

RevDate: 2024-03-14

Wang J, Teng M, Feng R, et al (2024)

Large-scale causal analysis of gut microbiota and six common complications of diabetes: a mendelian randomization study.

Diabetology & metabolic syndrome, 16(1):66.

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to reveal the association between the gut microbiota (GM) and six diabetic complications: diabetic hypoglycemia; ketoacidosis; nephropathy; neuropathy; retinopathy; and Charcot's foot.

METHODS: GM data were obtained from the MiBioGen consortium and Dutch Microbiome Project while data on the six diabetic complications were obtained from the FinnGen consortium. Two-sample Mendelian randomization (TSMR) was performed to explore the association between GM and the common diabetic complications. Inverse MR analysis was conducted to examine the effect of diabetic complications on the identified GM. Sensitivity tests were conducted to validate the stability of the results. Finally, multivariate MR (MVMR) was performed to determine whether GM had a direct influence on the diabetic complications.

RESULTS: After multiple corrections, the inverse variance weighted (IVW) results predicted 61 suggestive markers between GM and six diabetic complications. In particular, the IVW results revealed that the Bacteroidia class and Bacteroidales order were positively associated with diabetic hypoglycemia while the Verrucomicrobiae class and Verrucomicrobiales order were positively associated with diabetic nephropathy. Based on the replication analysis, these results were identified to be stable. MVMR showed that the results remained stable after accounting for traditional risk factors.

CONCLUSION: Extensive causal associations were found between GM and diabetic complications, which may provide new insights into the mechanisms of microbiome-mediated complications of diabetes.

RevDate: 2024-03-13

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

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

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(5): pii:ijms25052966.

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

RevDate: 2024-03-12

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

Integrated annotation prioritizes metabolites with bioactivity in inflammatory bowel disease.

Molecular systems biology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Osborne C, Gilbert-Parkes S, Spiers G, et al (2024)

Global Patterns of Metal and Other Element Enrichment in Bog and Fen Peatlands.

Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

Peatlands are found on all continents, covering 3% of the global land area. However, the spatial extent and causes of metal enrichment in peatlands is understudied and no attempt has been made to evaluate global patterns of metal enrichment in bog and fen peatlands, despite that certain metals and rare earth elements (REE) arise from anthropogenic sources. We analyzed 368 peat cores sampled in 16 countries across five continents and measured metal and other element concentrations at three depths down to 70 cm as well as estimated cumulative atmospheric S deposition (1850-2009) for each site. Sites were assigned to one of three distinct broadly recognized peatland categories (bog, poor fen, and intermediate-to-moderately rich fen) that varied primarily along a pH gradient. Metal concentrations differed among peatland types, with intermediate-to-moderately rich fens demonstrating the highest concentrations of most metals. Median enrichment factors (EFs; a metric comparing natural and anthropogenic metal deposition) for individual metals were similar among bogs and fens (all groups), with metals likely to be influenced by anthropogenic sources (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Sb) demonstrating median enrichment factors (EFs) > 1.5. Additionally, mean EFs were substantially higher than median values, and the positive correlation (< 0.40) with estimated cumulative atmospheric S deposition, confirmed some level of anthropogenic influence of all pollutant metals except for Hg that was unrelated to S deposition. Contrary to expectations, high EFs were not restricted to pollutant metals, with Mn, K and Rb all exhibiting elevated median EFs that were in the same range as pollutant metals likely due to peatland biogeochemical processes leading to enrichment of these nutrients in surface soil horizons. The global patterns of metal enrichment in bogs and fens identified in this study underscore the importance of these peatlands as environmental archives of metal deposition, but also illustrates that biogeochemical processes can enrich metals in surface peat and EFs alone do not necessarily indicate atmospheric contamination.

RevDate: 2024-01-29

Fang M, Liu W, Wang Z, et al (2024)

Causal associations between gut microbiota with intervertebral disk degeneration, low back pain, and sciatica: a Mendelian randomization study.

European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Although studies have suggested that gut microbiota may be associated with intervertebral disk disease, their causal relationship is unclear. This study aimed to investigate the causal relationship between the gut microbiota and its metabolic pathways with the risk of intervertebral disk degeneration (IVDD), low back pain (LBP), and sciatica.

METHODS: Genetic variation data for 211 gut microbiota taxa at the phylum to genus level were obtained from the MiBioGen consortium. Genetic variation data for 105 taxa at the species level and 205 metabolic pathways were obtained from the Dutch Microbiome Project. Genetic variation data for disease outcomes were obtained from the FinnGen consortium. The causal relationships between the gut microbiota and its metabolic pathways and the risk of IVDD, LBP, and sciatica were evaluated via Mendelian randomization (MR). The robustness of the results was assessed through sensitivity analysis.

RESULTS: Inverse variance weighting identified 46 taxa and 33 metabolic pathways that were causally related to IVDD, LBP, and sciatica. After correction by weighted median and MR-PRESSO, 15 taxa and nine pathways remained stable. After FDR correction, only the effect of the genus_Eubacterium coprostanoligenes group on IVDD remained stable. Sensitivity analyses showed no evidence of horizontal pleiotropy, heterogeneity, or reverse causation.

CONCLUSION: Some microbial taxa and their metabolic pathways are causally related to IVDD, LBP, and sciatica and may serve as potential intervention targets. This study provides new insights into the mechanisms of gut microbiota-mediated development of intervertebral disk disease.

RevDate: 2024-02-01
CmpDate: 2024-01-30

Hayer SS, Conrin M, French JA, et al (2024)

Antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis elicits gut-brain axis relevant multi-omic signatures and behavioral and neuroendocrine changes in a nonhuman primate model.

Gut microbes, 16(1):2305476.

Emerging evidence indicates that antibiotic-induced dysbiosis can play an etiological role in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, most of this evidence comes from rodent models. The objective of this study was to evaluate if antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis can elicit changes in gut metabolites and behavior indicative of gut-brain axis disruption in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) - a nonhuman primate model often used to study sociability and stress. We were able to successfully induce dysbiosis in marmosets using a custom antibiotic cocktail (vancomycin, enrofloxacin and neomycin) administered orally for 28 days. This gut dysbiosis altered gut metabolite profiles, behavior, and stress reactivity. Increase in gut Fusobacterium spp. post-antibiotic administration was a novel dysbiotic response and has not been observed in any rodent or human studies to date. There were significant changes in concentrations of several gut metabolites which are either neurotransmitters (e.g., GABA and serotonin) or have been found to be moderators of gut-brain axis communication in rodent models (e.g., short-chain fatty acids and bile acids). There was an increase in affiliative behavior and sociability in antibiotic-administered marmosets, which might be a coping mechanism in response to gut dysbiosis-induced stress. Increase in urinary cortisol levels after multiple stressors provides more definitive proof that this model of dysbiosis may cause disrupted communication between gut and brain in common marmosets. This study is a first attempt to establish common marmosets as a novel model to study the impact of severe gut dysbiosis on gut-brain axis cross-talk and behavior.

RevDate: 2024-02-02
CmpDate: 2024-01-19

Chopra A, Franco-Duarte R, Rajagopal A, et al (2024)

Exploring the presence of oral bacteria in non-oral sites of patients with cardiovascular diseases using whole metagenomic data.

Scientific reports, 14(1):1476.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) encompass various conditions affecting the heart and its blood vessels and are often linked with oral microbes. Our data analysis aimed to identify oral bacteria from other non-oral sites (i.e., gut, arterial plaque and cultured blood) that could be linked with CVDs. Taxonomic profiling identified bacteria to the species level and compared with the Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD). The oral bacteria in the gut, cultured blood and arterial plaque samples were catalogued, with their average frequency calculated for each sample. Additionally, data were filtered by comparison with the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) database. We identified 17,243 microbial species, of which 410 were present in the HOMD database and further denominated as "oral", and were found in at least one gut sample, but only 221 and 169 species were identified in the cultured blood and plaque samples, respectively. Of the 410 species, 153 were present solely in oral-associated environments after comparison with the HMP database, irrespective of their presence in other body sites. Our results suggest a potential connection between the presence of specific species of oral bacterial and occurrence of CVDs. Detecting these oral bacterial species in non-oral sites of patients with CVDs could help uncover the link between oral health and general health, including cardiovascular conditions via bacterial translocation.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Liu R, Wang Y, D Cheng (2023)

Micro-DeMix: A mixture beta-multinomial model for investigating the fecal microbiome compositions.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology.

Extensive research has uncovered the involvement of the human gut microbiome in various facets of human health, including metabolism, nutrition, physiology, and immune function. Researchers often study fecal microbiota as a proxy for understanding the gut microbiome. However, it has been demonstrated that this approach may not suffice to yield a comprehensive understanding of the entire gut microbial community. Emerging research is revealing the heterogeneity of the gut microbiome across different gastrointestinal (GI) locations in both composition and functions. While spatial metagenomics approach has been developed to address these variations in mice, limitations arise when applying it to human-subject research, primarily due to its invasive nature. With these restrictions, we introduce Micro-DeMix, a mixture beta-multinomial model that decomposes the fecal microbiome at compositional level to understand the heterogeneity of the gut microbiome across various GI locations and extract meaningful insights about the biodiversity of the gut microbiome. Moreover, Micro-DeMix facilitates the discovery of differentially abundant microbes between GI regions through a hypothesis testing framework. We utilize the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) data from the NIH Integrative Human Microbiome Project to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed Micro-DeMix.

RevDate: 2024-02-02
CmpDate: 2024-01-24

Hoisington AJ, Stearns-Yoder KA, Stamper CE, et al (2024)

Association of homelessness and diet on the gut microbiome: a United States-Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP) study.

mSystems, 9(1):e0102123.

Military veterans account for 8% of homeless individuals living in the United States. To highlight associations between history of homelessness and the gut microbiome, we compared the gut microbiome of veterans who reported having a previous experience of homelessness to those from individuals who reported never having experienced a period of homelessness. Moreover, we examined the impact of the cumulative exposure of prior and current homelessness to understand possible associations between these experiences and the gut microbiome. Microbiome samples underwent genomic sequencing and were analyzed based on alpha diversity, beta diversity, and taxonomic differences. Additionally, demographic information, dietary data, and mental health history were collected. A lifetime history of homelessness was found to be associated with alcohol use disorder, substance use disorder, and healthy eating index compared to those without such a history. In terms of differences in gut microbiota, beta diversity was significantly different between veterans who had experienced homelessness and veterans who had never been homeless (P = 0.047, weighted UniFrac), while alpha diversity was similar. The microbial community differences were, in part, driven by a lower relative abundance of Akkermansia in veterans who had experienced homelessness (mean; range [in percentages], 1.07; 0-33.9) compared to veterans who had never been homeless (2.02; 0-36.8) (P = 0.014, ancom-bc2). Additional research is required to facilitate understanding regarding the complex associations between homelessness, the gut microbiome, and mental and physical health conditions, with a focus on increasing understanding regarding the longitudinal impact of housing instability throughout the lifespan.IMPORTANCEAlthough there are known stressors related to homelessness as well as chronic health conditions experienced by those without stable housing, there has been limited work evaluating the associations between microbial community composition and homelessness. We analyzed, for the first time, bacterial gut microbiome associations among those with experiences of homelessness on alpha diversity, beta diversity, and taxonomic differences. Additionally, we characterized the influences of diet, demographic characteristics, military service history, and mental health conditions on the microbiome of veterans with and without any lifetime history of homelessness. Future longitudinal research to evaluate the complex relationships between homelessness, the gut microbiome, and mental health outcomes is recommended. Ultimately, differences in the gut microbiome of individuals experiencing and not experiencing homelessness could assist in identification of treatment targets to improve health outcomes.

RevDate: 2023-12-25
CmpDate: 2023-12-25

L'Heureux JE, van der Giezen M, Winyard PG, et al (2023)

Localisation of nitrate-reducing and highly abundant microbial communities in the oral cavity.

PloS one, 18(12):e0295058.

The nitrate (NO3-) reducing bacteria resident in the oral cavity have been implicated as key mediators of nitric oxide (NO) homeostasis and human health. NO3--reducing oral bacteria reduce inorganic dietary NO3- to nitrite (NO2-) via the NO3--NO2--NO pathway. Studies of oral NO3--reducing bacteria have typically sampled from either the tongue surface or saliva. The aim of this study was to assess whether other areas in the mouth could contain a physiologically relevant abundance of NO3- reducing bacteria, which may be important for sampling in clinical studies. The bacterial composition of seven oral sample types from 300 individuals were compared using a meta-analysis of the Human Microbiome Project data. This analysis revealed significant differences in the proportions of 20 well-established oral bacteria and highly abundant NO3--reducing bacteria across each oral site. The genera included Actinomyces, Brevibacillus, Campylobacter, Capnocytophaga, Corynebacterium, Eikenella, Fusobacterium, Granulicatella, Haemophilus, Leptotrichia, Microbacterium, Neisseria, Porphyromonas, Prevotella, Propionibacterium, Rothia, Selenomonas, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and Veillonella. The highest proportion of NO3--reducing bacteria was observed in saliva, where eight of the bacterial genera were found in higher proportion than on the tongue dorsum, whilst the lowest proportions were found in the hard oral surfaces. Saliva also demonstrated higher intra-individual variability and bacterial diversity. This study provides new information on where samples should be taken in the oral cavity to assess the abundance of NO3--reducing bacteria. Taking saliva samples may benefit physiological studies, as saliva contained the highest abundance of NO3- reducing bacteria and is less invasive than other sampling methods. These results inform future studies coupling oral NO3--reducing bacteria research with physiological outcomes affecting human health.

RevDate: 2024-01-31
CmpDate: 2024-01-24

Arehart CH, Sterrett JD, Garris RL, et al (2024)

Poly-omic risk scores predict inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis.

mSystems, 9(1):e0067723.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by complex etiology and a disrupted colonic ecosystem. We provide a framework for the analysis of multi-omic data, which we apply to study the gut ecosystem in IBD. Specifically, we train and validate models using data on the metagenome, metatranscriptome, virome, and metabolome from the Human Microbiome Project 2 IBD multi-omic database, with 1,785 repeated samples from 130 individuals (103 cases and 27 controls). After splitting the participants into training and testing groups, we used mixed-effects least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression to select features for each omic. These features, with demographic covariates, were used to generate separate single-omic prediction scores. All four single-omic scores were then combined into a final regression to assess the relative importance of the individual omics and the predictive benefits when considered together. We identified several species, pathways, and metabolites known to be associated with IBD risk, and we explored the connections between data sets. Individually, metabolomic and viromic scores were more predictive than metagenomics or metatranscriptomics, and when all four scores were combined, we predicted disease diagnosis with a Nagelkerke's R[2] of 0.46 and an area under the curve of 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.63, 0.98). Our work supports that some single-omic models for complex traits are more predictive than others, that incorporating multiple omic data sets may improve prediction, and that each omic data type provides a combination of unique and redundant information. This modeling framework can be extended to other complex traits and multi-omic data sets.IMPORTANCEComplex traits are characterized by many biological and environmental factors, such that multi-omic data sets are well-positioned to help us understand their underlying etiologies. We applied a prediction framework across multiple omics (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics, and viromics) from the gut ecosystem to predict inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diagnosis. The predicted scores from our models highlighted key features and allowed us to compare the relative utility of each omic data set in single-omic versus multi-omic models. Our results emphasized the importance of metabolomics and viromics over metagenomics and metatranscriptomics for predicting IBD status. The greater predictive capability of metabolomics and viromics is likely because these omics serve as markers of lifestyle factors such as diet. This study provides a modeling framework for multi-omic data, and our results show the utility of combining multiple omic data types to disentangle complex disease etiologies and biological signatures.

RevDate: 2023-12-14

Luo Y, Zhou Y, Huang P, et al (2023)

Causal relationship between gut Prevotellaceae and risk of sepsis: a two-sample Mendelian randomization and clinical retrospective study in the framework of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine.

The EPMA journal, 14(4):697-711.

OBJECTIVE: Gut microbiota is closely related to sepsis. Recent studies have suggested that Prevotellaceae could be associated with intestinal inflammation; however, the causal relationship between Prevotellaceae and sepsis remains uncertain. From the perspective of predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine (PPPM), exploring the causal relationship between gut Prevotellaceae and sepsis could provide opportunity for targeted prevention and personalized treatment.

METHODS: The genome-wide association study (GWAS) summary-level data of Prevotellaceae (N = 7738) and sepsis were obtained from the Dutch Microbiome Project and the UK Biobank (sepsis, 1380 cases; 429,985 controls). MR analysis was conducted to estimate the associations between Prevotellaceae and sepsis risk. The 16S rRNA sequencing analysis was conducted to calculate the relative abundance of Prevotellaceae in sepsis patients to explore the relationship between Prevotellaceae relative abundance and the 28-day mortality.

RESULTS: Genetic liability to f__Prevotellaceae (OR, 1.91; CI, 1.35-2.71; p = 0.0003) was associated with a high risk of sepsis with inverse-variance weighted (IVW). The median Prevotellaceae relative abundance in non-survivors was significantly higher than in survivors (2.34% vs 0.17%, p < 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that Prevotellaceae relative abundance (OR, 1.10; CI, 1.03-1.22; p = 0.027) was an independent factor of 28-day mortality in sepsis patients. ROC curve analysis indicated that Prevotellaceae relative abundance (AUC: 0.787, 95% CI: 0.671-0.902, p = 0.0003) could predict the prognosis of sepsis patients.

CONCLUSION: Our results revealed that Prevotellaceae was causally associated with sepsis and affected the prognosis of sepsis patients. These findings may provide insights to clinicians on developing improved sepsis PPPM strategies.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13167-023-00340-6.

RevDate: 2023-12-18

Schweickart A, Batra R, Neth BJ, et al (2023)

A Modified Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet mitigates modifiable risk factors of Alzheimer's Disease: a serum and CSF-based metabolic analysis.

medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is influenced by a variety of modifiable risk factors, including a person's dietary habits. While the ketogenic diet (KD) holds promise in reducing metabolic risks and potentially affecting AD progression, only a few studies have explored KD's metabolic impact, especially on blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Our study involved participants at risk for AD, either cognitively normal or with mild cognitive impairment. The participants consumed both a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet (MMKD) and the American Heart Association diet (AHAD) for 6 weeks each, separated by a 6-week washout period. We employed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics to profile serum and CSF and metagenomics profiling on fecal samples. While the AHAD induced no notable metabolic changes, MMKD led to significant alterations in both serum and CSF. These changes included improved modifiable risk factors, like increased HDL-C and reduced BMI, reversed serum metabolic disturbances linked to AD such as a microbiome-mediated increase in valine levels, and a reduction in systemic inflammation. Additionally, the MMKD was linked to increased amino acid levels in the CSF, a breakdown of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and decreased valine levels. Importantly, we observed a strong correlation between metabolic changes in the CSF and serum, suggesting a systemic regulation of metabolism. Our findings highlight that MMKD can improve AD-related risk factors, reverse some metabolic disturbances associated with AD, and align metabolic changes across the blood-CSF barrier.

RevDate: 2024-01-03
CmpDate: 2023-12-25

Hou T, Wang Q, Dai H, et al (2023)

Interactive Association Between Gut Microbiota and Thyroid Cancer.

Endocrinology, 165(1):.

CONTEXT: The association between the gut microbiota and thyroid cancer remains controversial.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to systematically investigate the interactive causal relationships between the abundance and metabolism pathways of gut microbiota and thyroid cancer.

METHODS: We leveraged genome-wide association studies for the abundance of 211 microbiota taxa from the MiBioGen study (N = 18 340), 205 microbiota metabolism pathways from the Dutch Microbiome Project (N = 7738), and thyroid cancer from the Global Biobank Meta-analysis Initiative (N cases = 6699 and N participants = 1 620 354). We performed a bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) to investigate the causality from microbiota taxa and metabolism pathways to thyroid cancer and vice versa. We performed a systematic review of previous observational studies and compared MR results with observational findings.

RESULTS: Eight taxa and 12 metabolism pathways had causal effects on thyroid cancer, where RuminococcaceaeUCG004 genus (P = .001), Streptococcaceae family (P = .016), Olsenella genus (P = .029), ketogluconate metabolism pathway (P = .003), pentose phosphate pathway (P = .016), and L-arginine degradation II in the AST pathway (P = .0007) were supported by sensitivity analyses. Conversely, thyroid cancer had causal effects on 3 taxa and 2 metabolism pathways, where the Holdemanella genus (P = .015) was supported by sensitivity analyses. The Proteobacteria phylum, Streptococcaceae family, Ruminococcus2 genus, and Holdemanella genus were significantly associated with thyroid cancer in both the systematic review and MR, whereas the other 121 significant taxa in observational results were not supported by MR.

DISCUSSIONS: These findings implicated the potential role of host-microbiota crosstalk in thyroid cancer, while the discrepancy among observational studies calls for further investigations.

RevDate: 2024-01-22
CmpDate: 2023-12-05

Fu P, Wu Y, Zhang Z, et al (2023)

VIGA: a one-stop tool for eukaryotic virus identification and genome assembly from next-generation-sequencing data.

Briefings in bioinformatics, 25(1):.

Identification of viruses and further assembly of viral genomes from the next-generation-sequencing data are essential steps in virome studies. This study presented a one-stop tool named VIGA (available at https://github.com/viralInformatics/VIGA) for eukaryotic virus identification and genome assembly from NGS data. It was composed of four modules, namely, identification, taxonomic annotation, assembly and novel virus discovery, which integrated several third-party tools such as BLAST, Trinity, MetaCompass and RagTag. Evaluation on multiple simulated and real virome datasets showed that VIGA assembled more complete virus genomes than its competitors on both the metatranscriptomic and metagenomic data and performed well in assembling virus genomes at the strain level. Finally, VIGA was used to investigate the virome in metatranscriptomic data from the Human Microbiome Project and revealed different composition and positive rate of viromes in diseases of prediabetes, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Overall, VIGA would help much in identification and characterization of viromes, especially the known viruses, in future studies.

RevDate: 2023-12-05

Candeliere F, Musmeci E, Amaretti A, et al (2023)

Profiling of the intestinal community of Clostridia: taxonomy and evolutionary analysis.

Microbiome research reports, 2(2):13.

Aim: Clostridia are relevant commensals of the human gut due to their major presence and correlations to the host. In this study, we investigated intestinal Clostridia of 51 healthy subjects and reconstructed their taxonomy and phylogeny. The relatively small number of intestinal Clostridia allowed a systematic whole genome approach based on average amino acid identity (AAI) and core genome with the aim of revising the current classification into genera and determining evolutionary relationships. Methods: 51 healthy subjects' metagenomes were retrieved from public databases. After the dataset's validation through comparison with Human Microbiome Project (HMP) samples, the metagenomes were profiled using MetaPhlAn3 to identify the population ascribed to the class Clostridia. Intestinal Clostridia genomes were retrieved and subjected to AAI analysis and core genome identification. Phylogeny investigation was conducted with RAxML and Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean (UPGMA) algorithms, and SplitsTree for split decomposition. Results: 225 out of 406 bacterial taxonomic units were ascribed to Bacillota [Firmicutes], among which 124 were assigned to the class Clostridia. 77 out of the 124 taxonomic units were referred to a species, altogether covering 87.7% of Clostridia abundance. According to the lowest AAI genus boundary set at 55%, 15 putative genera encompassing more than one species (G1 to G15) were identified, while 19 species did not cluster with any other one and each appeared to belong to a diverse genus. Phylogenetic investigations highlighted that most of the species clustered into three main evolutive clades. Conclusion: This study shed light on the species of Clostridia colonizing the gut of healthy adults and pinpointed several gaps in knowledge regarding the taxonomy and the phylogeny of Clostridia.

RevDate: 2023-12-05

Brüssow H (2023)

The human microbiome project at ten years - some critical comments and reflections on "our third genome", the human virome.

Microbiome research reports, 2(1):7.

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) has raised great expectations claiming the far-reaching influence of the microbiome on human health and disease ranging from obesity and malnutrition to effects going well beyond the gut. So far, with the notable exception of fecal microbiota transplantation in Clostridioides difficile infection, practical application of microbiome intervention has only achieved modest clinical effects. It is argued here that we need criteria for the link between microbiome and disease modelled on the links between pathogens and infectious disease in Koch's postulates. The most important question is whether the microbiome change is a cause of the given disease or a consequence of a pathology leading to disease where the microbiome change is only a parallel event without a causal connection to the disease - in philosophical parlance, an epiphenomenon. Also discussed here is whether human virome research is a necessary complement to the microbiome project with a high potential for practical applications.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Xie Q, B Hu (2023)

Effects of gut microbiota on prostatic cancer: a two-sample Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1250369.

AIM: Recent observational and small-sample case-control studies have shown a relationship between gut microbiota composition and prostatic cancer (PCa). Nevertheless, the causal association between gut microbiota and PCa is still unclear. Herein, we used the Mendelian randomization (MR) method to explore the potential causal relationship between gut microbiota and PCa.

METHODS: In this two-sample MR study, data were extracted from the summary statistics of gut microbiota from the largest available genome-wide association study meta-analysis conducted by the MiBioGen consortium (n = 14,306) and the Dutch Microbiome Project (n = 8,208). Summary statistics for PCa were obtained from the FinnGen consortium release data (n = 95,213). Inverse variance weighted (IVW), MR-Egger, strength test (F), and MR-PRESSO were used to examine the potential causal association between gut microbiota and PCa. Cochran's Q statistics were used to quantify the heterogeneity of instrumental variables.

RESULTS: IVW estimates suggested that the relative abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila (odds ratio [OR] = 0.7926, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.6655-0.9440) and Bacteroides salyersiae (OR = 0.9023, 95% CI: 0.8262-0.9853) were negatively associated with the odds of PCa, while that of Eubacterium biforme (OR = 1.1629, 95% CI: 1.0110-1.3376) was positively associated with the odds of PCa. In addition, we explored these relationships among patients without other cancers and similarly found that the relative abundance of Akkermansia muciniphila, Bacteroides salyersiae, and Eubacterium biforme were linked to PCa (all P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Gut microbiota potentially influenced the occurrence of PCa. Our findings may provide some new ideas for researching the methods of PCa prevention. In addition, further studies are needed to explore the causal association and specific underlying mechanisms between gut microbiota and PCa.

RevDate: 2023-12-04
CmpDate: 2023-12-01

King AM, Zhang Z, Glassey E, et al (2023)

Systematic mining of the human microbiome identifies antimicrobial peptides with diverse activity spectra.

Nature microbiology, 8(12):2420-2434.

Human-associated bacteria secrete modified peptides to control host physiology and remodel the microbiota species composition. Here we scanned 2,229 Human Microbiome Project genomes of species colonizing skin, gastrointestinal tract, urogenital tract, mouth and trachea for gene clusters encoding RiPPs (ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides). We found 218 lanthipeptides and 25 lasso peptides, 70 of which were synthesized and expressed in E. coli and 23 could be purified and functionally characterized. They were tested for activity against bacteria associated with healthy human flora and pathogens. New antibiotics were identified against strains implicated in skin, nasal and vaginal dysbiosis as well as from oral strains selectively targeting those in the gut. Extended- and narrow-spectrum antibiotics were found against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci. Mining natural products produced by human-associated microbes will enable the elucidation of ecological relationships and may be a rich resource for antimicrobial discovery.

RevDate: 2023-11-13
CmpDate: 2023-11-10

Dai H, Hou T, Wang Q, et al (2023)

Roles of gut microbiota in atrial fibrillation: insights from Mendelian randomization analysis and genetic data from over 430,000 cohort study participants.

Cardiovascular diabetology, 22(1):306.

BACKGROUND: Gut microbiota imbalances have been suggested as a contributing factor to atrial fibrillation (AF), but the causal relationship is not fully understood.

OBJECTIVES: To explore the causal relationships between the gut microbiota and AF using Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis.

METHODS: Summary statistics were from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 207 gut microbial taxa (5 phyla, 10 classes, 13 orders, 26 families, 48 genera, and 105 species) (the Dutch Microbiome Project) and two large meta-GWASs of AF. The significant results were validated in FinnGen cohort and over 430,000 UK Biobank participants. Mediation MR analyses were conducted for AF risk factors, including type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), body mass index (BMI), blood lipids, blood pressure, and obstructive sleep apnea, to explore the potential mediation effect of these risk factors in between the gut microbiota and AF.

RESULTS: Two microbial taxa causally associated with AF: species Eubacterium ramulus (odds ratio [OR] 1.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.12, P = 0.0001, false discovery rate (FDR) adjusted p-value = 0.023) and genus Holdemania (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.07-1.25, P = 0.0004, FDR adjusted p-value = 0.042). Genus Holdemania was associated with incident AF risk in the UK Biobank. The proportion of mediation effect of species Eubacterium ramulus via CAD was 8.05% (95% CI 1.73% - 14.95%, P = 0.008), while the proportion of genus Holdemania on AF via BMI was 12.01% (95% CI 5.17% - 19.39%, P = 0.0005).

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided genetic evidence to support a potential causal mechanism between gut microbiota and AF and suggested the mediation role of AF risk factors.

RevDate: 2023-10-24

Li J, Yang Z, Yuan W, et al (2023)

Heme metabolism mediates the effects of smoking on gut microbiome.

Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco pii:7329327 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The number of smokers worldwide increased greatly during the past decades and reached 1.14 billion in 2019, becoming a leading risk factor for human health. Tobacco smoking has wide effects on human genetics, epigenetics, transcriptome, and gut microbiome. Although many studies have revealed effects of smoking on host transcriptome, research on the relationship among smoking, host gene expression, and the gut microbiome is limited.

METHODS: We first explored transcriptome and metagenome profile differences between smokers and non-smokers. To evaluate the relationship between host gene expression and gut microbiome, we then applied bi-directional mediation analysis to infer causal relationships between smoking, gene expression, and gut microbes.

RESULTS: Metagenome and transcriptome analyses revealed 71 differential species and 324 differential expressed genes between smokers and non-smokers. With smoking as an exposure variable, we identified 272 significant causal relationships between gene expression and gut microbes, among which there were 247 genes that mediate the effect of smoking on gut microbes. Pathway-based enrichment analysis showed that these genes were significantly enriched in heme metabolic pathway, which mainly mediated the changes of Bacteroides finegoldii and Lachnospiraceae bacterium 9_1_43BFAA. Additionally, by performing metabolome data analysis in the Integrated Human Microbiome project (iHMP) database, we verified the correlation between the intermediate products of the heme metabolism pathway (porphobilinogen, bilirubin, and biliverdin) and gut microbiome.

CONCLUSIONS: By investigating the bi-directional interaction between smoking-related host gene expression and gut microbes, this study provided evidence for the mediation of smoking on gut microbes through co-involvement or interaction of heme metabolism.

IMPLICATIONS: By comparing the metagenome and transcriptome sequencing profiles between 34 smokers and 33 age- and gender-matched non-smokers, we are the first to reveal causal relationships among tobacco smoking, host gene expression and gut microbes. These findings offer insight into how smoking affects gut microbes through host gene expression and metabolism, which highlights the importance of heme metabolism in modulating the effects of smoking on gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-12-23
CmpDate: 2023-12-22

Brostow DP, Donovan M, Penzenik M, et al (2023)

Food desert residence has limited impact on veteran fecal microbiome composition: a U.S. Veteran Microbiome Project study.

mSystems, 8(6):e0071723.

Social and economic inequities can have a profound impact on human health. The inequities could result in alterations to the gut microbiome, an important factor that may have profound abilities to alter health outcomes. Moreover, the strong correlations between social and economic inequities have been long understood. However, to date, limited research regarding the microbiome and mental health within the context of socioeconomic inequities exists. One particular inequity that may influence both mental health and the gut microbiome is living in a food desert. Persons living in food deserts may lack access to sufficient and/or nutritious food and often experience other inequities, such as increased exposure to air pollution and poor access to healthcare. Together, these factors may confer a unique risk for microbial perturbation. Indeed, external factors beyond a food desert might compound over time to have a lasting effect on an individual's gut microbiome. Therefore, adoption of a life-course approach is expected to increase the ecological validity of research related to social inequities, the gut microbiome, and physical and mental health.

RevDate: 2023-11-06
CmpDate: 2023-11-01

Ochoa-Sánchez M, Acuña Gomez EP, Ramírez-Fenández L, et al (2023)

Current knowledge of the Southern Hemisphere marine microbiome in eukaryotic hosts and the Strait of Magellan surface microbiome project.

PeerJ, 11:e15978.

Host-microbe interactions are ubiquitous and play important roles in host biology, ecology, and evolution. Yet, host-microbe research has focused on inland species, whereas marine hosts and their associated microbes remain largely unexplored, especially in developing countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, we review the current knowledge of marine host microbiomes in the Southern Hemisphere. Our results revealed important biases in marine host species sampling for studies conducted in the Southern Hemisphere, where sponges and marine mammals have received the greatest attention. Sponge-associated microbes vary greatly across geographic regions and species. Nevertheless, besides taxonomic heterogeneity, sponge microbiomes have functional consistency, whereas geography and aging are important drivers of marine mammal microbiomes. Seabird and macroalgal microbiomes in the Southern Hemisphere were also common. Most seabird microbiome has focused on feces, whereas macroalgal microbiome has focused on the epibiotic community. Important drivers of seabird fecal microbiome are aging, sex, and species-specific factors. In contrast, host-derived deterministic factors drive the macroalgal epibiotic microbiome, in a process known as "microbial gardening". In turn, marine invertebrates (especially crustaceans) and fish microbiomes have received less attention in the Southern Hemisphere. In general, the predominant approach to study host marine microbiomes has been the sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Interestingly, there are some marine holobiont studies (i.e., studies that simultaneously analyze host (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics) and microbiome (e.g., 16S rRNA gene, metagenome) traits), but only in some marine invertebrates and macroalgae from Africa and Australia. Finally, we introduce an ongoing project on the surface microbiome of key species in the Strait of Magellan. This is an international project that will provide novel microbiome information of several species in the Strait of Magellan. In the short-term, the project will improve our knowledge about microbial diversity in the region, while long-term potential benefits include the use of these data to assess host-microbial responses to the Anthropocene derived climate change.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Jansen R, Milaneschi Y, Schranner D, et al (2023)

The Metabolome-Wide Signature of Major Depressive Disorder.

Research square.

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is an often-chronic condition with substantial molecular alterations and pathway dysregulations involved. Single metabolite, pathway and targeted metabolomics platforms have indeed revealed several metabolic alterations in depression including energy metabolism, neurotransmission and lipid metabolism. More comprehensive coverage of the metabolome is needed to further specify metabolic dysregulation in depression and reveal previously untargeted mechanisms. Here we measured 820 metabolites using the metabolome-wide Metabolon platform in 2770 subjects from a large Dutch clinical cohort with extensive depression clinical phenotyping (1101 current MDD, 868 remitted MDD, 801 healthy controls) at baseline and 1805 subjects at 6-year follow up (327 current MDD, 1045 remitted MDD, 433 healthy controls). MDD diagnosis was based on DSM-IV psychiatric interviews. Depression severity was measured with the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology self-report. Associations between metabolites and MDD status and depression severity were assessed at baseline and at the 6-year follow-up. Metabolites consistently associated with MDD status or depression severity on both occasions were examined in Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis using metabolite (N=14,000) and MDD (N=800,000) GWAS results. At baseline, 139 and 126 metabolites were associated with current MDD status and depression severity, respectively, with 79 overlapping metabolites. Six years later, 34 out of the 79 metabolite associations were subsequently replicated. Downregulated metabolites were enriched with long-chain monounsaturated (P=6.7e-07) and saturated (P=3.2e-05) fatty acids and upregulated metabolites with lysophospholipids (P=3.4e-4). Adding BMI to the models changed results only marginally. MR analyses showed that genetically-predicted higher levels of the lysophospholipid 1-linoleoyl-GPE (18:2) were associated with greater risk of depression. The identified metabolome-wide profile of depression (severity) indicated altered lipid metabolism with downregulation of long-chain fatty acids and upregulation of lysophospholipids, for which causal involvement was suggested using genetic tools. This metabolomics signature offers a window on depression pathophysiology and a potential access point for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.

RevDate: 2023-10-20

Duan Z, Fu J, Zhang F, et al (2023)

The association between BMI and serum uric acid is partially mediated by gut microbiota.

Microbiology spectrum, 11(5):e0114023 [Epub ahead of print].

Obesity is a risk factor for the development of hyperuricemia, both of which were related to gut microbiota. However, whether alterations in the gut microbiota lie in the pathways mediating obesity's effects on hyperuricemia is less clear. Body mass index (BMI) and serum uric acid (SUA) were separately important indicators of obesity and hyperuricemia. Our study aims to investigate whether BMI-related gut microbiota characteristics would mediate the association between BMI and SUA levels. A total of 6,280 participants from Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project were included in this study. Stool samples were collected for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The results revealed that BMI was significantly and positively associated with SUA. Meanwhile, BMI was significantly associated with the abundance of 102 gut microbial genera, 16 of which were also significantly associated with SUA. The mediation analysis revealed that the association between BMI and SUA was partially mediated by the abundance of Proteobacteria (proportion mediated: 0.94%, P < 0.05). At the genus level, 25 bacterial genera, including Ralstonia, Oscillospira, Faecalibacterium, etc., could also partially mediate the association of BMI with SUA (the highest proportion is mediated by Ralstonia, proportion mediated: 2.76%, P < 0.05). This study provided evidence for the associations among BMI, gut microbiota, and SUA, and the mediation analysis suggested that the association of BMI with SUA was partially mediated by the gut microbiota. IMPORTANCE Using 16S rRNA sequencing analysis, local interpretable machine learning technique analysis and mediation analysis were used to explore the association between BMI with SUA, and the mediating effects of gut microbial dysbiosis in the association were investigated.

RevDate: 2024-02-10

Hayer SS, Hwang S, JB Clayton (2023)

Antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes in rodents: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Frontiers in neuroscience, 17:1237177.

There are previous epidemiological studies reporting associations between antibiotic use and psychiatric symptoms. Antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis and alteration of microbiota-gut-brain axis communication has been proposed to play a role in this association. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we reviewed published articles that have presented results on changes in cognition, emotion, and behavior in rodents (rats and mice) after antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis. We searched three databases-PubMed, Web of Science, and SCOPUS to identify such articles using dedicated search strings and extracted data from 48 articles. Increase in anxiety and depression-like behavior was reported in 32.7 and 40.7 percent of the study-populations, respectively. Decrease in sociability, social novelty preference, recognition memory and spatial cognition was found in 18.1, 35.3, 26.1, and 62.5 percent of the study-populations, respectively. Only one bacterial taxon (increase in gut Proteobacteria) showed statistically significant association with behavioral changes (increase in anxiety). There were no consistent findings with statistical significance for the potential biomarkers [Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus, serum corticosterone and circulating IL-6 and IL-1β levels]. Results of the meta-analysis revealed a significant association between symptoms of negative valence system (including anxiety and depression) and cognitive system (decreased spatial cognition) with antibiotic intake (p < 0.05). However, between-study heterogeneity and publication bias were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Risk of bias was evaluated to be high in the majority of the studies. We identified and discussed several reasons that could contribute to the heterogeneity between the results of the studies examined. The results of the meta-analysis provide promising evidence that there is indeed an association between antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis and psychopathologies. However, inconsistencies in the implemented methodologies make generalizing these results difficult. Gut microbiota depletion using antibiotics may be a useful strategy to evaluate if and how gut microbes influence cognition, emotion, and behavior, but the heterogeneity in methodologies used precludes any definitive interpretations for a translational impact on clinical practice.

RevDate: 2024-02-06
CmpDate: 2023-11-15

Corewyn LC, Kelaita MA, Nollman J, et al (2023)

Hematology and blood biochemistry in a declining population of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata palliata) at La Pacifica, Costa Rica.

Journal of medical primatology, 52(6):353-360.

BACKGROUND: Alouatta palliata palliata are an ecologically flexible howler monkey subspecies that has recently been relisted as Endangered. Populations are declining through much of the subspecies' range, including at our study site at La Pacifica, Costa Rica. Our objectives were to screen blood hematology and biochemistry samples collected from this wild population to elucidate their baseline health.

METHODS: We collected blood samples from 38 adult individuals from across the study site and analyzed 13 hematology and 14 biochemistry parameters.

RESULTS: Most hematology and blood biochemistry parameter values were similar between males and females. However, mean hemoglobin was significantly lower, and mean white blood cell count was significantly higher in females; and mean calcium and mean creatinine were significantly lower in females compared to males.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the La Pacifica population appeared healthy based on the blood parameters analyzed from sampled individuals. Our results were also largely consistent with published data available from other populations of A. p. palliata, and with reference values for captive Alouatta caraya.

RevDate: 2023-11-21
CmpDate: 2023-08-31

Koo H, CD Morrow (2023)

Identification of donor Bacteroides vulgatus genes encoding proteins that correlate with early colonization following fecal transplant of patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile.

Scientific reports, 13(1):14112.

Due to suppressive antibiotics, patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile have gut microbial communities that are devoid of most commensal microbes. Studies have shown that most of the failures using fecal microbe transplantation (FMT) for recurrent C. difficile occur during the first 4 weeks following transplantation. To identify features of donor Bacteroides vulgatus that lead to early colonization, we used two data sets that collected fecal samples from recipients at early times points post FMT. The first analysis used the shotgun metagenomic DNA sequencing data set from Aggarwala et al. consisting of 7 FMT donors and 13 patients with recurrent C. difficile with fecal samples taken as early as 24 h post FMT. We identified 2 FMT donors in which colonization of recipients by donor B. vulgatus was detected as early as 24 h post FMT. We examined a second data set from Hourigan et al. that collected fecal samples from C. difficile infected children and identified 1 of 3 FMT that also had early colonization of the donor B. vulgatus. We found 19 genes out of 4911 encoding proteins were unique to the 3 donors that had early colonization. A gene encoding a putative chitobiase was identified that was in a gene complex that had been previously identified to enhance colonization in mice. A gene encoding a unique fimbrillin (i.e., pili) family protein and 17 genes encoding hypothetical proteins were also specific for early colonizing donors. Most of the genes encoding hypothetical proteins had neighboring genes that encoded proteins involved in mobilization or transposition. Finally, analysis of 42 paired fecal samples from the human microbiome project (HMP) found no individuals had all 19 genes while 2 individuals had none of the 19 genes. Based on the results from our study, consideration should be given to the screening of FMT donors for these B. vulgatus genes found to enhance early colonization that would be of benefit to promote colonization following FMT.

RevDate: 2023-12-16
CmpDate: 2023-12-16

Farmer N, Maki KA, Barb JJ, et al (2023)

Geographic social vulnerability is associated with the alpha diversity of the human microbiome.

mSystems, 8(5):e0130822.

As a risk factor for conditions related to the microbiome, understanding the role of SVI on microbiome diversity may assist in identifying public health implications for microbiome research. Here we found, using a sub-sample of the Human Microbiome Project phase 1 cohort, that SVI was linked to microbiome diversity across body sites and that SVI may influence race/ethnicity-based differences in diversity. Our findings, build on the current knowledge regarding the role of human geography in microbiome research, suggest that measures of geographic social vulnerability be considered as additional contextual factors when exploring microbiome alpha diversity.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Li W, Mirone J, Prasad A, et al (2023)

Orthogonal outlier detection and dimension estimation for improved MDS embedding of biological datasets.

Frontiers in bioinformatics, 3:1211819.

Conventional dimensionality reduction methods like Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) are sensitive to the presence of orthogonal outliers, leading to significant defects in the embedding. We introduce a robust MDS method, called DeCOr-MDS (Detection and Correction of Orthogonal outliers using MDS), based on the geometry and statistics of simplices formed by data points, that allows to detect orthogonal outliers and subsequently reduce dimensionality. We validate our methods using synthetic datasets, and further show how it can be applied to a variety of large real biological datasets, including cancer image cell data, human microbiome project data and single cell RNA sequencing data, to address the task of data cleaning and visualization.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Gois MFB, Fernández-Pato A, Huss A, et al (2023)

Impact of occupational pesticide exposure on the human gut microbiome.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1223120.

The rising use of pesticides in modern agriculture has led to a shift in disease burden in which exposure to these chemicals plays an increasingly important role. The human gut microbiome, which is partially responsible for the biotransformation of xenobiotics, is also known to promote biotransformation of environmental pollutants. Understanding the effects of occupational pesticide exposure on the gut microbiome can thus provide valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying the impact of pesticide exposure on health. Here we investigate the impact of occupational pesticide exposure on human gut microbiome composition in 7198 participants from the Dutch Microbiome Project of the Lifelines Study. We used job-exposure matrices in combination with occupational codes to retrieve categorical and cumulative estimates of occupational exposures to general pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Approximately 4% of our cohort was occupationally exposed to at least one class of pesticides, with predominant exposure to multiple pesticide classes. Most participants reported long-term employment, suggesting a cumulative profile of exposure. We demonstrate that contact with insecticides, fungicides and a general "all pesticides" class was consistently associated with changes in the gut microbiome, showing significant associations with decreased alpha diversity and a differing beta diversity. We also report changes in the abundance of 39 different bacterial taxa upon exposure to the different pesticide classes included in this study. Together, the extent of statistically relevant associations between gut microbial changes and pesticide exposure in our findings highlights the impact of these compounds on the human gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2023-08-29

Zhang F, Zhang X, Fu J, et al (2023)

Sex- and Age-Dependent Associations between Parabacteroides and Obesity: Evidence from Two Population Cohort.

Microorganisms, 11(8):.

Parabacteroides levels are reported to be low in obese individuals, and this genus has shown an anti-obesity capacity in animal studies. Nevertheless, the relationship between Parabacteroides and obesity in different subpopulations, e.g., with respect to age and sex, and its association with subsequent weight change have rarely been explored. The cross-sectional associations of Parabacteroides genus- and species-level OTU abundance with obesity were explored in the Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project (GGMP), which included 5843 adults, and replicated in the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study (GNSH), which included 1637 individuals. Furthermore, we assessed the prospective associations of Parabacteroides and its main OTUs' abundance with the subsequent changes in body mass index (BMI) in the GNSH. We found that Parabacteroides was inversely associated with obesity among females and participants aged 40-69 years in the GGMP and the replicated cohort in the GNSH. After a 3-year follow-up, there was no significant correlation between Parabacteroides and the subsequent changes in BMI. However, Seq4172 (P. johnsonii) showed a negative correlation with subsequent BMI changes in the female and middle-aged (40-69 years) subpopulations. Overall, our results indicate that Parabacteroides have an inverse relationship with obesity and that Seq4172 (P. johnsonii) have a negative association with subsequent changes in BMI among females and middle-aged populations in perspective analyses.

RevDate: 2023-11-23
CmpDate: 2023-08-28

Singh S, Singh S, Lukas SB, et al (2023)

Long-term agro-management strategies shape soil bacterial community structure in dryland wheat systems.

Scientific reports, 13(1):13929.

Soil microbes play a crucial role in soil organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling and are influenced by management practices. Therefore, quantifying the impacts of various agricultural management practices on soil microbiomes and their activity is crucial for making informed management decisions. This study aimed to assess the impact of various management systems on soil bacterial abundance and diversity, soil enzyme activities and carbon mineralization potential in wheat-based systems. To accomplish this, soil samples from 0 to 15 cm depth were collected from ongoing long-term field trials in eastern Oregon region under wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-fallow (WF), WF with different tillage (WT), wheat-pea (Pisum sativum L.) (WP), WF under different crop residue management (CR) and natural undisturbed/unmanaged grassland pasture (GP). These trials consisted of an array of treatments like tillage intensities, nitrogen rates, organic amendments, and seasonal residue burning. This study was a part of the Soil Health Institute's North American Project to Evaluate Soil Health measurements (NAPESHM). Bacterial community structure was determined using amplicon sequencing of the V4 region of 16SrRNA genes and followed the protocols of the Earth Microbiome Project. In addition, extracellular enzyme activities, and carbon mineralization potential (1d-CO2) were measured. Among different trials, 1d-CO2 in WT, WP, and CR studies averaged 53%, 51% and 87% lower than GP systems, respectively. Enzyme activities were significantly greater in GP compared to the other managements and followed similar trend as respiration. We observed higher evenness in GP and higher richness in spring residue burning treatment of CR study. Our results indicated that species evenness is perhaps a better indicator of soil health in comparison to other indices in dryland wheat systems.

RevDate: 2023-10-12

Golovko G, Khanipov K, Reyes V, et al (2023)

Identification of multivariable Boolean patterns in microbiome and microbial gene composition data.

Bio Systems, 233:105007.

Virtually every biological system is governed by complex relations among its components. Identifying such relations requires a rigorous or heuristics-based search for patterns among variables/features of a system. Various algorithms have been developed to identify two-dimensional (involving two variables) patterns employing correlation, covariation, mutual information, etc. It seems obvious, however, that comprehensive descriptions of complex biological systems need also to include more complicated multivariable relations, which can only be described using patterns that simultaneously embrace 3, 4, and more variables. The goal of this manuscript is to (a) introduce a novel type of associations (multivariable Boolean patterns) that can be manifested between features of complex systems but cannot be identified (described) by traditional pair-vise metrics; (b) propose patterns classification method, and (c) provide a novel definition of the pattern's strength (pattern's score) able to accommodate heterogeneous multi-omics data. To demonstrate the presence of such patterns, we performed a search for all possible 2-, 3-, and 4-dimensional patterns in historical data from the Human Microbiome Project (15 body sites) and collection of H. pylori genomes associated with gastric ulcers, gastritis, and duodenal ulcers. In all datasets under consideration, we were able to identify hundreds of statistically significant multivariable patterns. These results suggest that such patterns can be common in microbial genomics/microbiomics systems.

RevDate: 2023-08-14

Dong H, D Ming (2023)

A Comprehensive Self-Resistance Gene Database for Natural-Product Discovery with an Application to Marine Bacterial Genome Mining.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(15):.

In the world of microorganisms, the biosynthesis of natural products in secondary metabolism and the self-resistance of the host always occur together and complement each other. Identifying resistance genes from biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) helps us understand the self-defense mechanism and predict the biological activity of natural products synthesized by microorganisms. However, a comprehensive database of resistance genes is still lacking, which hinders natural product annotation studies in large-scale genome mining. In this study, we compiled a resistance gene database (RGDB) by scanning the four available databases: CARD, MIBiG, NCBIAMR, and UniProt. Every resistance gene in the database was annotated with resistance mechanisms and possibly involved chemical compounds, using manual annotation and transformation from the resource databases. The RGDB was applied to analyze resistance genes in 7432 BGCs in 1390 genomes from a marine microbiome project. Our calculation showed that the RGDB successfully identified resistance genes for more than half of the BGCs, suggesting that the database helps prioritize BGCs that produce biologically active natural products.

RevDate: 2023-08-04

Su Q, Jin C, Bo Z, et al (2023)

Association between gut microbiota and gastrointestinal cancer: a two-sample bi-directional Mendelian randomization study.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1181328.

BACKGROUND: The gut microbiome is closely related to gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, but the causality of gut microbiome with GI cancer has yet to be fully established. We conducted this two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) study to reveal the potential causal effect of gut microbiota on GI cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Summary-level genetic data of gut microbiome were derived from the MiBioGen consortium and the Dutch Microbiome Project. Summary statistics of six GI cancers were drawn from United Kingdom Biobank. Inverse-variance-weighted (IVW), MR-robust adjusted profile score (MR-RAPS), and weighted-median (WM) methods were used to evaluate the potential causal link between gut microbiota and GI cancer. In addition, we performed sensitivity analyses and reverse MR analyses.

RESULTS: We identified potential causal associations between 21 bacterial taxa and GI cancers (values of p < 0.05 in all three MR methods). Among them, phylum Verrucomicrobia (OR: 0.17, 95% CI: 0.05-0.59, p = 0.005) retained a strong negative association with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma after the Bonferroni correction, whereas order Bacillales (OR: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.23-2.26, p = 0.001) retained a strong positive association with pancreatic cancer. Reverse MR analyses indicated that GI cancer was associated with 17 microbial taxa in all three MR methods, among them, a strong inverse association between colorectal cancer and family Clostridiaceae1 (OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.86-0.96, p = 0.001) was identified by Bonferroni correction.

CONCLUSION: Our study implicates the potential causal effects of specific microbial taxa on GI cancer, potentially providing new insights into the prevention and treatment of GI cancer through specific gut bacteria.

RevDate: 2023-07-02
CmpDate: 2023-06-30

Seabourn PS, Weber DE, Spafford H, et al (2023)

Aedes albopictus microbiome derives from environmental sources and partitions across distinct host tissues.

MicrobiologyOpen, 12(3):e1364.

The mosquito microbiome consists of a consortium of interacting microorganisms that reside on and within culicid hosts. Mosquitoes acquire most of their microbial diversity from the environment over their life cycle. Once present within the mosquito host, the microbes colonize distinct tissues, and these symbiotic relationships are maintained by immune-related mechanisms, environmental filtering, and trait selection. The processes that govern how environmental microbes assemble across the tissues within mosquitoes remain poorly resolved. We use ecological network analyses to examine how environmental bacteria assemble to form bacteriomes among Aedes albopictus host tissues. Mosquitoes, water, soil, and plant nectar were collected from 20 sites in the Mānoa Valley, Oahu. DNA was extracted and associated bacteriomes were inventoried using Earth Microbiome Project protocols. We find that the bacteriomes of A. albopictus tissues were compositional taxonomic subsets of environmental bacteriomes and suggest that the environmental microbiome serves as a source pool that supports mosquito microbiome diversity. Within the mosquito, the microbiomes of the crop, midgut, Malpighian tubules, and ovaries differed in composition. This microbial diversity partitioned among host tissues formed two specialized modules: one in the crop and midgut, and another in the Malpighian tubules and ovaries. The specialized modules may form based on microbe niche preferences and/or selection of mosquito tissues for specific microbes that aid unique biological functions of the tissue types. A strong niche-driven assembly of tissue-specific microbiotas from the environmental species pool suggests that each tissue has specialized associations with microbes, which derive from host-mediated microbe selection.

RevDate: 2023-10-03
CmpDate: 2023-07-31

Adelfio M, Bonzanni M, Callen GE, et al (2023)

A physiologically relevant culture platform for long-term studies of in vitro gingival tissue.

Acta biomaterialia, 167:321-334.

There is a clinical need to understand the etiologies of periodontitis, considering the growing socio-economic impact of the disease. Despite recent advances in oral tissue engineering, experimental approaches have failed to develop a physiologically relevant gingival model that combines tissue organization with salivary flow dynamics and stimulation of the shedding and non-shedding oral surfaces. Herein, we develop a dynamic gingival tissue model composed of a silk scaffold, replicating the cyto-architecture and oxygen profile of the human gingiva, along with a saliva-mimicking medium that reflected the ionic composition, viscosity, and non-Newtonian behavior of human saliva. The construct was cultured in a custom designed bioreactor, in which force profiles on the gingival epithelium were modulated through analysis of inlet position, velocity and vorticity to replicate the physiological shear stress of salivary flow. The gingival bioreactor supported the long-term in vivo features of the gingiva and improved the integrity of the epithelial barrier, critical against the invasion of pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, the challenge of the gingival tissue with P. gingivalis lipopolysaccharide, as an in vitro surrogate for microbial interactions, indicated a greater stability of the dynamic model in maintaining tissue homeostasis and, thus, its applicability in long-term studies. The model will be integrated into future studies with the human subgingival microbiome to investigate host-pathogen and host-commensal interactions. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: The major societal impact of human microbiome had reverberated up to the establishment of the Common Fund's Human Microbiome Project, that has the intent of studying the role of microbial communities in human health and diseases, including periodontitis, atopic dermatitis, or asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, these chronic diseases are emergent drivers of global socioeconomic status. Not only common oral diseases have been shown to be directly correlated with several systemic conditions, but they are differentially impacting some racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups. To address this growing social disparity, the development of in vitro gingival model would provide a time and cost-effective experimental platform, able to mimic the spectrum of periodontal disease presentation, for the identification of predictive biomarkers for early-stage diagnosis.

RevDate: 2023-06-17

Bar K, Litera-Bar M, B Sozańska (2023)

Bacterial Microbiota of Asthmatic Children and Preschool Wheezers' Airways-What Do We Know?.

Microorganisms, 11(5):.

Asthma is the most chronic pulmonary disease in pediatric population, and its etiopathology still remains unclear. Both viruses and bacteria are suspected factors of disease development and are responsible for its exacerbation. Since the launch of The Human Microbiome Project, there has been an explosion of research on microbiota and its connection with various diseases. In our review, we have collected recent data about both upper- and lower-airway bacterial microbiota of asthmatic children. We have also included studies regarding preschool wheezers, since asthma diagnosis in children under 5 years of age remains challenging due to the lack of an objective tool. This paper indicates the need for further studies of microbiome and asthma, as in today's knowledge, there is no particular bacterium that discriminates the asthmatics from the healthy peers and can be used as a potential biological factor in the disease prevalence and treatment.

RevDate: 2023-06-02

Addison S, Armstrong C, Wigley K, et al (2023)

What matters most? Assessment of within-canopy factors influencing the needle microbiome of the model conifer, Pinus radiata.

Environmental microbiome, 18(1):45.

The assembly and function of the phyllosphere microbiome is important to the overall fitness of plants and, thereby, the ecosystems they inhabit. Presently, model systems for tree phyllosphere microbiome studies are lacking, yet forests resilient to pests, diseases, and climate change are important to support a myriad of ecosystem services impacting from local to global levels. In this study, we extend the development of model microbiome systems for trees species, particularly coniferous gymnosperms, by undertaking a structured approach assessing the phyllosphere microbiome of Pinus radiata. Canopy sampling height was the single most important factor influencing both alpha- and beta-diversity of bacterial and fungal communities (p < 0.005). Bacterial and fungal phyllosphere microbiome richness was lowest in samples from the top of the canopy, subsequently increasing in the middle and then bottom canopy samples. These differences maybe driven by either by (1) exchange of microbiomes with the forest floor and soil with the lower foliage, (2) strong ecological filtering in the upper canopy via environmental exposure (e.g., UV), (3) canopy density, (4) or combinations of factors. Most taxa present in the top canopy were also present lower in tree; as such, sampling strategies focussing on lower canopy sampling should provide good overall phyllosphere microbiome coverage for the tree. The dominant phyllosphere bacteria were Alpha-proteobacteria (Rhizobiales and Sphingomonas) along with Acidobacteria Gp1. However, the P. radiata phyllosphere microbiome samples were fungal dominated. From the top canopy samples, Arthoniomycetes and Dothideomycetes were highly represented, with abundances of Arthoniomycetes then reducing in lower canopy samples whilst abundances of Ascomycota increased. The most abundant fungal taxa were Phaeococcomyces (14.4% of total reads) and Phaeotheca spp. (10.38%). A second-order effect of canopy sampling direction was evident in bacterial community composition (p = 0.01); these directional influences were not evident for fungal communities. However, sterilisation of needles did impact fungal community composition (p = 0.025), indicating potential for community differences in the endosphere versus leaf surface compartments. Needle age was only important in relation to bacterial communities, but was canopy height dependant (interaction p = 0.008). By building an understanding of the primary and secondary factors related to intra-canopy phyllosphere microbiome variation, we provide a sampling framework to either explicitly minimise or capture variation in needle collection to enable ongoing ecological studies targeted at inter-canopy or other experimental levels.

RevDate: 2023-06-29
CmpDate: 2023-06-16

Chow EWL, Pang LM, Y Wang (2023)

Impact of the host microbiota on fungal infections: New possibilities for intervention?.

Advanced drug delivery reviews, 198:114896.

Many human fungal pathogens are opportunistic. They are primarily benign residents of the human body and only become infectious when the host's immunity and microbiome are compromised. Bacteria dominate the human microbiome, playing an essential role in keeping fungi harmless and acting as the first line of defense against fungal infection. The Human Microbiome Project, launched by NIH in 2007, has stimulated extensive investigation and significantly advanced our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing the interaction between bacteria and fungi, providing valuable insights for developing future antifungal strategies by exploiting the interaction. This review summarizes recent progress in this field and discusses new possibilities and challenges. We must seize the opportunities presented by researching bacterial-fungal interplay in the human microbiome to address the global spread of drug-resistant fungal pathogens and the drying pipelines of effective antifungal drugs.

RevDate: 2023-09-11
CmpDate: 2023-09-07

Dai H, Hou T, Wang Q, et al (2023)

Causal relationships between the gut microbiome, blood lipids, and heart failure: a Mendelian randomization analysis.

European journal of preventive cardiology, 30(12):1274-1282.

AIMS: Studies have linked gut microbiome and heart failure (HF). However, their causal relationships and potential mediating factors have not been well defined. To investigate the causal relationships between the gut microbiome and HF and the mediating effect of potential blood lipids by using genetics.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a bidirectional and mediation Mendelian randomization (MR) study using summary statistics from the genome-wide association studies of gut microbial taxa (Dutch Microbiome Project, n = 7738), blood lipids (UK Biobank, n = 115 078), and a meta-analysis of HF (115 150 cases and 1550 331 controls). We applied the inverse-variance weighted estimation method as the primary method, with several other estimators as complementary methods. The multivariable MR approach based on Bayesian model averaging (MR-BMA) was used to prioritize the most likely causal lipids. Six microbial taxa are suggestively associated with HF causally. The most significant taxon was the species Bacteroides dorei [odds ratio = 1.059, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.022-1.097, P-value = 0.0017]. The MR-BMA analysis showed that apolipoprotein B (ApoB) was the most likely causal lipid for HF (the marginal inclusion probability = 0.717, P-value = 0.005). The mediation MR analysis showed that ApoB mediated the causal effects of species B. dorei on HF (proportion mediated = 10.1%, 95% CI = 0.2-21.6%, P-value = 0.031).

CONCLUSION: The study suggested a causal relationship between specific gut microbial taxa and HF and that ApoB might mediate this relationship as the primary lipid determinant of HF.

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-07-03

Wang J, Pan Z, Yu J, et al (2023)

Global assembly of microbial communities.

mSystems, 8(3):e0128922.

Different habitats harbor different microbial communities with elusive assembly mechanisms. This study comprehensively investigated the global assembly mechanisms of microbial communities and effects of community-internal influencing factors using the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) data set. We found that deterministic and stochastic processes contribute approximately equally to global microbial community assembly, and, specifically, deterministic processes generally play a major role in free-living and plant-associated (but not plant corpus) environments, while stochastic processes are the major contributor in animal-associated environments. In contrast with the assembly of microorganisms, the assembly of functional genes, predicted from PICRUSt, is mainly attributed to deterministic processes in all microbial communities. The sink and source microbial communities are normally assembled using similar mechanisms, and the core microorganisms are specific to different environment types. On a global scale, deterministic processes are positively related to the community alpha diversity, microbial interaction degree and bacterial predatory-specific gene abundance. Our analysis provides a panoramic picture and regularities of global and environment-typical microbial community assemblies. IMPORTANCE With the development of sequencing technologies, the research topic of microbial ecology has evolved from the analysis of community composition to community assembly, including the relative contribution of deterministic and stochastic processes for the formation and maintenance of community diversity. Many studies have reported the microbial assembly mechanisms in various habitats, but the assembly regularities of global microbial communities remain unknown. In this study, we analyzed the EMP data set using a combined pipeline to explore the assembly mechanisms of global microbial communities, microbial sources to construct communities, core microbes in different environment types, and community-internal factors influencing assembly. The results provide a panoramic picture and rules of global and environment-typical microbial community assemblies, which enhances our understandings of the mechanisms globally controlling community diversity and species coexistence.

RevDate: 2023-04-24
CmpDate: 2023-04-18

Hou T, Dai H, Wang Q, et al (2023)

Dissecting the causal effect between gut microbiota, DHA, and urate metabolism: A large-scale bidirectional Mendelian randomization.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1148591.

OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to investigate the interactive causal effects between gut microbiota and host urate metabolism and explore the underlying mechanism using genetic methods.

METHODS: We extracted summary statistics from the abundance of 211 microbiota taxa from the MiBioGen (N =18,340), 205 microbiota metabolism pathways from the Dutch Microbiome Project (N =7738), gout from the Global Biobank Meta-analysis Initiative (N =1,448,128), urate from CKDGen (N =288,649), and replication datasets from the Global Urate Genetics Consortium (N gout =69,374; N urate =110,347). We used linkage disequilibrium score regression and bidirectional Mendelian randomization (MR) to detect genetic causality between microbiota and gout/urate. Mediation MR and colocalization were performed to investigate potential mediators in the association between microbiota and urate metabolism.

RESULTS: Two taxa had a common causal effect on both gout and urate, whereas the Victivallaceae family was replicable. Six taxa were commonly affected by both gout and urate, whereas the Ruminococcus gnavus group genus was replicable. Genetic correlation supported significant results in MR. Two microbiota metabolic pathways were commonly affected by gout and urate. Mediation analysis indicated that the Bifidobacteriales order and Bifidobacteriaceae family had protective effects on urate mediated by increasing docosahexaenoic acid. These two bacteria shared a common causal variant rs182549 with both docosahexaenoic acid and urate, which was located within MCM6/LCT locus.

CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbiota and host urate metabolism had a bidirectional causal association, implicating the critical role of host-microbiota crosstalk in hyperuricemic patients. Changes in gut microbiota can not only ameliorate host urate metabolism but also become a foreboding indicator of urate metabolic diseases.

RevDate: 2023-12-08
CmpDate: 2023-11-16

Dilmore AH, Martino C, Neth BJ, et al (2023)

Effects of a ketogenic and low-fat diet on the human metabolome, microbiome, and foodome in adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 19(11):4805-4816.

INTRODUCTION: The ketogenic diet (KD) is an intriguing therapeutic candidate for Alzheimer's disease (AD) given its protective effects against metabolic dysregulation and seizures. Gut microbiota are essential for KD-mediated neuroprotection against seizures as well as modulation of bile acids, which play a major role in cholesterol metabolism. These relationships motivated our analysis of gut microbiota and metabolites related to cognitive status following a controlled KD intervention compared with a low-fat-diet intervention.

METHODS: Prediabetic adults, either with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or cognitively normal (CN), were placed on either a low-fat American Heart Association diet or high-fat modified Mediterranean KD (MMKD) for 6 weeks; then, after a 6-week washout period, they crossed over to the alternate diet. We collected stool samples for shotgun metagenomics and untargeted metabolomics at five time points to investigate individuals' microbiome and metabolome throughout the dietary interventions.

RESULTS: Participants with MCI on the MMKD had lower levels of GABA-producing microbes Alistipes sp. CAG:514 and GABA, and higher levels of GABA-regulating microbes Akkermansia muciniphila. MCI individuals with curcumin in their diet had lower levels of bile salt hydrolase-containing microbes and an altered bile acid pool, suggesting reduced gut motility.

DISCUSSION: Our results suggest that the MMKD may benefit adults with MCI through modulation of GABA levels and gut-transit time.

RevDate: 2023-04-13
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Zhang Y, Wang Y, Tang M, et al (2023)

The microbial dark matter and "wanted list" in worldwide wastewater treatment plants.

Microbiome, 11(1):59.

BACKGROUND: Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are one of the largest biotechnology applications in the world and are of critical importance to modern urban societies. An accurate evaluation of the microbial dark matter (MDM, microorganisms whose genomes remain uncharacterized) proportions in WWTPs is of great value, while there is no such research yet. This study conducted a global meta-analysis of MDM in WWTPs with 317,542 prokaryotic genomes from the Genome Taxonomy Database and proposed a "wanted list" for priority targets in further investigations of activated sludge.

RESULTS: Compared with the Earth Microbiome Project data, WWTPs had relatively lower genome-sequenced proportions of prokaryotes than other ecosystems, such as the animal related environments. Analysis showed that the median proportions of the genome-sequenced cells and taxa (100% identity and 100% coverage in 16S rRNA gene region) in WWTPs reached 56.3% and 34.5% for activated sludge, 48.6% and 28.5% for aerobic biofilm, and 48.3% and 28.5% for anaerobic digestion sludge, respectively. This result meant MDM had high proportions in WWTPs. Besides, all of the samples were occupied by a few predominant taxa, and the majority of the sequenced genomes were from pure cultures. The global-scale "wanted list" for activated sludge contained four phyla that have few representatives and 71 operational taxonomic units with the majority of them having no genome or isolate yet. Finally, several genome mining methods were verified to successfully recover genomes from activated sludge such as hybrid assembly of the second- and third-generation sequencing.

CONCLUSIONS: This work elucidated the proportion of MDM in WWTPs, defined the "wanted list" of activated sludge for future investigations, and certified potential genome recovery methods. The proposed methodology of this study can be applied to other ecosystems and improve understanding of ecosystem structure across diverse habitats. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-04-07
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

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: 2023-04-15

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, 11(2):e0333022 [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: 2023-03-30
CmpDate: 2023-03-30

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: 2023-04-16
CmpDate: 2023-04-04

Seymour CO, Palmer M, Becraft ED, et al (2023)

Hyperactive nanobacteria with host-dependent traits pervade Omnitrophota.

Nature microbiology, 8(4):727-744.

Candidate bacterial phylum Omnitrophota has not been isolated and is poorly understood. We analysed 72 newly sequenced and 349 existing Omnitrophota genomes representing 6 classes and 276 species, along with Earth Microbiome Project data to evaluate habitat, metabolic traits and lifestyles. We applied fluorescence-activated cell sorting and differential size filtration, and showed that most Omnitrophota are ultra-small (~0.2 μm) cells that are found in water, sediments and soils. Omnitrophota genomes in 6 classes are reduced, but maintain major biosynthetic and energy conservation pathways, including acetogenesis (with or without the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway) and diverse respirations. At least 64% of Omnitrophota genomes encode gene clusters typical of bacterial symbionts, suggesting host-associated lifestyles. We repurposed quantitative stable-isotope probing data from soils dominated by andesite, basalt or granite weathering and identified 3 families with high isotope uptake consistent with obligate bacterial predators. We propose that most Omnitrophota inhabit various ecosystems as predators or parasites.

RevDate: 2023-03-14

Zhao J, Rodriguez J, W Martens-Habbena (2023)

Fine-scale evaluation of two standard 16S rRNA gene amplicon primer pairs for analysis of total prokaryotes and archaeal nitrifiers in differently managed soils.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1140487.

The advance of high-throughput molecular biology tools allows in-depth profiling of microbial communities in soils, which possess a high diversity of prokaryotic microorganisms. Amplicon-based sequencing of 16S rRNA genes is the most common approach to studying the richness and composition of soil prokaryotes. To reliably detect different taxonomic lineages of microorganisms in a single soil sample, an adequate pipeline including DNA isolation, primer selection, PCR amplification, library preparation, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatic post-processing is required. Besides DNA sequencing quality and depth, the selection of PCR primers and PCR amplification reactions arguably have the largest influence on the results. This study tested the performance and potential bias of two primer pairs, i.e., 515F (Parada)-806R (Apprill) and 515F (Parada)-926R (Quince) in the standard pipelines of 16S rRNA gene Illumina amplicon sequencing protocol developed by the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), against shotgun metagenome-based 16S rRNA gene reads. The evaluation was conducted using five differently managed soils. We observed a higher richness of soil total prokaryotes by using reverse primer 806R compared to 926R, contradicting to in silico evaluation results. Both primer pairs revealed various degrees of taxon-specific bias compared to metagenome-derived 16S rRNA gene reads. Nonetheless, we found consistent patterns of microbial community variation associated with different land uses, irrespective of primers used. Total microbial communities, as well as ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA), the predominant ammonia oxidizers in these soils, shifted along with increased soil pH due to agricultural management. In the unmanaged low pH plot abundance of AOA was dominated by the acid-tolerant NS-Gamma clade, whereas limed agricultural plots were dominated by neutral-alkaliphilic NS-Delta/NS-Alpha clades. This study stresses how primer selection influences community composition and highlights the importance of primer selection for comparative and integrative studies, and that conclusions must be drawn with caution if data from different sequencing pipelines are to be compared.

RevDate: 2024-02-14

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

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

Microorganisms, 11(2):.

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: 2023-02-14
CmpDate: 2023-02-14

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):.

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: 2023-02-01
CmpDate: 2023-01-24

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):.

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: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Sun H, Wang P, Y Li (2023)

An integrated microbiome project for charactering microbial diversity in classroom based on virtual simulation experiments.

Biochemistry and molecular biology education : a bimonthly publication of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 51(2):171-179.

Microbiome study requires both molecular techniques and bioinformatics skills, which are challenging for biologists to participate in this growing field. To introduce microbiome concepts and skills to students, a 6-week wet-lab and bioinformatics course for undergraduates was implemented through the project-based learning (PBL) approach. In the saliva microbiome project, students collected their saliva samples, performed DNA extraction and PCR amplification, followed by metagenomic analysis to compare the diversity and abundances of microbes among samples. First, students are required to practice molecular techniques and bioinformatics analysis skills in a virtual simulation lab. To our knowledge, our study is the first one to incorporate a virtual lab into microbiome experience. Then, students applied their recently acquired skills to produce and analyze their own 16S amplicon sequencing data and reported their results via a scientific report. The student learning outcomes show that the Virtual lab can improve students' laboratory techniques and research capabilities. Moreover, a simple pipeline to analyze 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing data is introduced in a step-by-step manner that helps students to develop analysis skills. This project can be modified as either a virtual course or a module within another course such as microbiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. Our study provides evidence on the positive impact of virtual labs on learning outcomes in undergraduate science education.

RevDate: 2023-03-13
CmpDate: 2023-01-10

Eggers S, Bixby M, Renzetti S, et al (2022)

Human Microbiome Mixture Analysis Using Weighted Quantile Sum Regression.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(1):.

Studies of the health effects of the microbiome often measure overall associations by using diversity metrics, and individual taxa associations in separate analyses, but do not consider the correlated relationships between taxa in the microbiome. In this study, we applied random subset weighted quantile sum regression with repeated holdouts (WQSRSRH), a mixture method successfully applied to 'omic data to account for relationships between many predictors, to processed amplicon sequencing data from the Human Microbiome Project. We simulated a binary variable associated with 20 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). WQSRSRH was used to test for the association between the microbiome and the simulated variable, adjusted for sex, and sensitivity and specificity were calculated. The WQSRSRH method was also compared to other standard methods for microbiome analysis. The method was further illustrated using real data from the Growth and Obesity Cohort in Chile to assess the association between the gut microbiome and body mass index. In the analysis with simulated data, WQSRSRH predicted the correct directionality of association between the microbiome and the simulated variable, with an average sensitivity and specificity of 75% and 70%, respectively, in identifying the 20 associated OTUs. WQSRSRH performed better than all other comparison methods. In the illustration analysis of the gut microbiome and obesity, the WQSRSRH analysis identified an inverse association between body mass index and the gut microbe mixture, identifying Bacteroides, Clostridium, Prevotella, and Ruminococcus as important genera in the negative association. The application of WQSRSRH to the microbiome allows for analysis of the mixture effect of all the taxa in the microbiome, while simultaneously identifying the most important to the mixture, and allowing for covariate adjustment. It outperformed other methods when using simulated data, and in analysis with real data found results consistent with other study findings.

RevDate: 2023-01-10
CmpDate: 2022-12-27

Dang T, Kumaishi K, Usui E, et al (2022)

Stochastic variational variable selection for high-dimensional microbiome data.

Microbiome, 10(1):236.

BACKGROUND: The rapid and accurate identification of a minimal-size core set of representative microbial species plays an important role in the clustering of microbial community data and interpretation of clustering results. However, the huge dimensionality of microbial metagenomics datasets is a major challenge for the existing methods such as Dirichlet multinomial mixture (DMM) models. In the approach of the existing methods, the computational burden of identifying a small number of representative species from a large number of observed species remains a challenge.

RESULTS: We propose a novel approach to improve the performance of the widely used DMM approach by combining three ideas: (i) we propose an indicator variable to identify representative operational taxonomic units that substantially contribute to the differentiation among clusters; (ii) to address the computational burden of high-dimensional microbiome data, we propose a stochastic variational inference, which approximates the posterior distribution using a controllable distribution called variational distribution, and stochastic optimization algorithms for fast computation; and (iii) we extend the finite DMM model to an infinite case by considering Dirichlet process mixtures and estimating the number of clusters as a variational parameter. Using the proposed method, stochastic variational variable selection (SVVS), we analyzed the root microbiome data collected in our soybean field experiment, the human gut microbiome data from three published datasets of large-scale case-control studies and the healthy human microbiome data from the Human Microbiome Project.

CONCLUSIONS: SVVS demonstrates a better performance and significantly faster computation than those of the existing methods in all cases of testing datasets. In particular, SVVS is the only method that can analyze massive high-dimensional microbial data with more than 50,000 microbial species and 1000 samples. Furthermore, a core set of representative microbial species is identified using SVVS that can improve the interpretability of Bayesian mixture models for a wide range of microbiome studies. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2023-07-31
CmpDate: 2023-07-31

Mishra K, Isali I, Sindhani M, et al (2023)

Characterization of Changes in Penile Microbiome Following Pediatric Circumcision.

European urology focus, 9(4):669-680.

BACKGROUND: While microbiome and host regulation contribute independently to many disease states, it is unclear how circumcision in pediatric population influences subsequent changes in penile microbiome.

OBJECTIVE: Our study aims to analyze jointly paired taxonomic profiles and assess pathways implicated in inflammation, barrier protection, and energy metabolism.

We analyzed 11 paired samples, periurethral collection, before and after circumcision, to generate microbiome and mycobiome profiling. Sample preparation of 16S ribosomal RNA and internal transcribed spacer sequencing was adapted from the methods developed by the National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project.

We obtained the predictive functional attributes of the microbial communities between samples using Silva-Tax4Fun and the Greengenes-Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) approach. The predictive functioning of the microbial communities was determined by linearly combining the normalized taxonomic abundances into the precomputed association matrix of Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes orthology reference profiles.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Several notable microbiome and mycobiome compositional differences were observed between pre- and postcircumcision patients. Pairwise comparisons across taxa revealed a significant decrease (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected) of microbiome organisms (Clostridiales, Bacteroidales, and Campylobacterales) and mycobiome (Saccharomycetales and Pleosporales) following circumcision. A total of 14 pathways were found to differ in abundance between the pre- and postcircumcision groups (p < 0.005, false discovery rate <0.1 and linear discriminant analysis score >3; five enriched and nine depleted). The pathways reduced after circumcision were mostly involved with amino acid and glucose metabolism, while pathways prior to circumcision were enriched in genetic information processing and transcription processes. As expected, enrichment in methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, an integral membrane protein involved in directed motility of microbes to chemical cues and environment, occurred prior to circumcision, while the filamentous hemagglutinin pathway (a strong immunogenic protein) was depleted after circumcision CONCLUSIONS: Our results offer greater insight into the host-microbiota relationship of penile circumcision and may serve to lay the groundwork for future studies focused on drivers of inflammation, infection, and oncogenesis.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Our study showed a significant reduction in bacteria and fungi after circumcision, particularly anaerobic bacteria, which are known to be potential inducers of inflammation and cancer. This is the first study of its kind showing the changes in microbiome after circumcision, and some of the changes that occur in healthy infants after circumcision that may explain the differences in cancer and inflammatory disorders in adulthood.

RevDate: 2022-12-26

Bruno A, Fumagalli S, Ghisleni G, et al (2022)

The Microbiome of the Built Environment: The Nexus for Urban Regeneration for the Cities of Tomorrow.

Microorganisms, 10(12):.

Built environments are, for most of us, our natural habitat. In the last 50 years, the built-up area has more than doubled, with a massive biodiversity loss. The undeniable benefits of a city providing all the basic needs to a growing population showed longer-term and less obvious costs to human health: autoimmune and non-communicable diseases, as well as antimicrobial resistance, have reached unprecedented and alarming levels. Humans coevolved with microbes, and this long-lasting alliance is affected by the loss of connection with natural environments, misuse of antibiotics, and highly sanitized environments. Our aim is to direct the focus onto the microbial communities harbored by the built environments we live in. They represent the nexus for urban regeneration, which starts from a healthy environment. Planning a city means considering, in a two-fold way, the ecosystem health and the multidimensional aspects of wellbeing, including social, cultural, and aesthetic values. The significance of this perspective is inspiring guidelines and strategies for the urban regeneration of the cities of tomorrow, exploiting the invaluable role of microbial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it could provide to create the robust scientific knowledge that is necessary for a bioinformed design of buildings and cities for healthy and sustainable living.

RevDate: 2023-03-20
CmpDate: 2022-12-21

Jesus HNR, Ramos JN, Rocha DJPG, et al (2022)

The pan-genome of the emerging multidrug-resistant pathogen Corynebacterium striatum.

Functional & integrative genomics, 23(1):5.

Corynebacterium striatum, a common constituent of the human skin microbiome, is now considered an emerging multidrug-resistant pathogen of immunocompromised and chronically ill patients. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms in the transition from colonization to the multidrug-resistant (MDR) invasive phenotype in clinical isolates. This study performed a comprehensive pan-genomic analysis of C. striatum, including isolates from "normal skin microbiome" and from MDR infections, to gain insights into genetic factors contributing to pathogenicity and multidrug resistance in this species. For this, three novel genome sequences were obtained from clinical isolates of C. striatum of patients from Brazil, and other 24 complete or draft C. striatum genomes were retrieved from GenBank, including the ATCC6940 isolate from the Human Microbiome Project. Analysis of C. striatum strains demonstrated the presence of an open pan-genome (α = 0.852803) containing 3816 gene families, including 15 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes and 32 putative virulence factors. The core and accessory genomes included 1297 and 1307 genes, respectively. The identified AMR genes are primarily associated with resistance to aminoglycosides and tetracyclines. Of these, 66.6% are present in genomic islands, and four AMR genes, including aac(6')-ib7, are located in a class 1-integron. In conclusion, our data indicated that C. striatum possesses genomic characteristics favorable to the invasive phenotype, with high genomic plasticity, a robust genetic arsenal for iron acquisition, and important virulence determinants and AMR genes present in mobile genetic elements.

RevDate: 2023-10-20
CmpDate: 2022-12-27

Zhang W, Han N, Zhang T, et al (2022)

The Spatial Features and Temporal Changes in the Gut Microbiota of a Healthy Chinese Population.

Microbiology spectrum, 10(6):e0131022.

In this study, we aimed to understand the characteristics of the gut microbial composition in a healthy Chinese population and to evaluate if they differed across different regions. In addition, we aimed to understand the changes in the gut microbial composition over time. We collected 239 fecal samples from healthy Chinese adults living in four regions and performed a 1-year time cohort study in a small population in Beijing. The Chinese gut microbiota share 34 core bacterial genera and 39 core bacterial species, which exist in all collected samples. Several disease-related microorganisms (DRMs), virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes were found in one or more healthy Chinese samples. Differences in gut microbiota were observed in samples from different regions, locations, individuals, and time points. Compared to other factors, time was associated with a lower degree of change in the gut microbiota. Our findings revealed spatial and temporal changes in the gut microbiota of healthy Chinese individuals. Compared to fecal microbiomes of 152 samples in the publicly released the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) project from the United States, samples in this study have higher variability in the fecal microbiome, with higher richness, Shannon diversity indices, and Pielou evenness indexes, at both the genus and species levels. The microbiota data obtained in this study will provide a detailed basis for further understanding the composition of the gut microbiota in the healthy Chinese population. IMPORTANCE China accounts for approximately 1/5th of the world's total population. Differences in environment, ethnicity, and living habits could impart unique features to the structure of the gut microbiota of Chinese individuals. In 2016, we started to investigate healthy Chinese people and their gut microbiomes. Phase I results for 16S rRNA amplicons have been released. However, owing to the limitations of 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, the gut microbiome of a healthy Chinese population could not be examined thoroughly at the species level, and the detailed changes in the gut microbiota over time need to be investigated. To address these knowledge gaps, we started a phase II study and investigated the basis for variations in the gut microbiome composition in a healthy Chinese population at the species level using shotgun metagenomics technology. In the phase II study, we also conducted a time scale analysis of fecal samples from healthy Chinese subjects, as a pioneered study, which quantitatively clarified the changes in the gut microbiota at both the spatial and temporal levels and elucidated the distribution pattern of DRMs in healthy Chinese individuals.

RevDate: 2023-03-22
CmpDate: 2023-02-13

Li DD, Zhang Z, Wang JN, et al (2023)

Estimate of the degradation potentials of cellulose, xylan, and chitin across global prokaryotic communities.

Environmental microbiology, 25(2):397-409.

Complex polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose, xylan, and chitin), the most abundant renewable biomass resources available on Earth, are mainly degraded by microorganisms in nature. However, little is known about the global distribution of the enzymes and microorganisms responsible for the degradation of cellulose, xylan, and chitin in natural environments. Through large-scale alignments between the sequences released by the Earth Microbiome Project and sequenced prokaryotic genomes, we determined that almost all prokaryotic communities have the functional potentials to degrade cellulose, xylan, and chitin. The median abundances of genes encoding putative cellulases, xylanases, and chitinases in global prokaryotic communities are 0.51 (0.17-1.01), 0.24 (0.05-0.57), and 0.33 (0.11-0.71) genes/cell, respectively, and the composition and abundance of these enzyme systems are environmentally varied. The taxonomic sources of the three enzymes are highly diverse within prokaryotic communities, and the main factor influencing the diversity is the community's alpha diversity index rather than gene abundance. Moreover, there are obvious differences in taxonomic sources among different communities, and most genera with degradation potentials are narrowly distributed. In conclusion, our analysis preliminarily depicts a panorama of cellulose-, xylan-, and chitin-degrading enzymatic systems across global prokaryotic communities.

RevDate: 2023-06-17
CmpDate: 2022-12-02

Shaffer JP, Nothias LF, Thompson LR, et al (2022)

Standardized multi-omics of Earth's microbiomes reveals microbial and metabolite diversity.

Nature microbiology, 7(12):2128-2150.

Despite advances in sequencing, lack of standardization makes comparisons across studies challenging and hampers insights into the structure and function of microbial communities across multiple habitats on a planetary scale. Here we present a multi-omics analysis of a diverse set of 880 microbial community samples collected for the Earth Microbiome Project. We include amplicon (16S, 18S, ITS) and shotgun metagenomic sequence data, and untargeted metabolomics data (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and gas chromatography mass spectrometry). We used standardized protocols and analytical methods to characterize microbial communities, focusing on relationships and co-occurrences of microbially related metabolites and microbial taxa across environments, thus allowing us to explore diversity at extraordinary scale. In addition to a reference database for metagenomic and metabolomic data, we provide a framework for incorporating additional studies, enabling the expansion of existing knowledge in the form of an evolving community resource. We demonstrate the utility of this database by testing the hypothesis that every microbe and metabolite is everywhere but the environment selects. Our results show that metabolite diversity exhibits turnover and nestedness related to both microbial communities and the environment, whereas the relative abundances of microbially related metabolites vary and co-occur with specific microbial consortia in a habitat-specific manner. We additionally show the power of certain chemistry, in particular terpenoids, in distinguishing Earth's environments (for example, terrestrial plant surfaces and soils, freshwater and marine animal stool), as well as that of certain microbes including Conexibacter woesei (terrestrial soils), Haloquadratum walsbyi (marine deposits) and Pantoea dispersa (terrestrial plant detritus). This Resource provides insight into the taxa and metabolites within microbial communities from diverse habitats across Earth, informing both microbial and chemical ecology, and provides a foundation and methods for multi-omics microbiome studies of hosts and the environment.

RevDate: 2023-03-08

Ganz HH, Jospin G, Rojas CA, et al (2022)

The Kitty Microbiome Project: Defining the Healthy Fecal "Core Microbiome" in Pet Domestic Cats.

Veterinary sciences, 9(11):.

Here, we present a taxonomically defined fecal microbiome dataset for healthy domestic cats (Felis catus) fed a range of commercial diets. We used this healthy reference dataset to explore how age, diet, and living environment correlate with fecal microbiome composition. Thirty core bacterial genera were identified. Prevotella, Bacteroides, Collinsella, Blautia, and Megasphaera were the most abundant, and Bacteroides, Blautia, Lachnoclostridium, Sutterella, and Ruminococcus gnavus were the most prevalent. While community composition remained relatively stable across different age classes, the number of core taxa present decreased significantly with age. Fecal microbiome composition varied with host diet type. Cats fed kibble had a slightly, but significantly greater number of core taxa compared to cats not fed any kibble. The core microbiomes of cats fed some raw food contained taxa not as highly prevalent or abundant as cats fed diets that included kibble. Living environment also had a large effect on fecal microbiome composition. Cats living in homes differed significantly from those in shelters and had a greater portion of their microbiomes represented by core taxa. Collectively our work reinforces the findings that age, diet, and living environment are important factors to consider when defining a core microbiome in a population.

RevDate: 2023-12-15
CmpDate: 2022-12-22

Gupta VK, Bakshi U, Chang D, et al (2022)

TaxiBGC: a Taxonomy-Guided Approach for Profiling Experimentally Characterized Microbial Biosynthetic Gene Clusters and Secondary Metabolite Production Potential in Metagenomes.

mSystems, 7(6):e0092522.

Biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) in microbial genomes encode bioactive secondary metabolites (SMs), which can play important roles in microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions. Given the biological significance of SMs and the current profound interest in the metabolic functions of microbiomes, the unbiased identification of BGCs from high-throughput metagenomic data could offer novel insights into the complex chemical ecology of microbial communities. Currently available tools for predicting BGCs from shotgun metagenomes have several limitations, including the need for computationally demanding read assembly, predicting a narrow breadth of BGC classes, and not providing the SM product. To overcome these limitations, we developed taxonomy-guided identification of biosynthetic gene clusters (TaxiBGC), a command-line tool for predicting experimentally characterized BGCs (and inferring their known SMs) in metagenomes by first pinpointing the microbial species likely to harbor them. We benchmarked TaxiBGC on various simulated metagenomes, showing that our taxonomy-guided approach could predict BGCs with much-improved performance (mean F1 score, 0.56; mean PPV score, 0.80) compared with directly identifying BGCs by mapping sequencing reads onto the BGC genes (mean F1 score, 0.49; mean PPV score, 0.41). Next, by applying TaxiBGC on 2,650 metagenomes from the Human Microbiome Project and various case-control gut microbiome studies, we were able to associate BGCs (and their SMs) with different human body sites and with multiple diseases, including Crohn's disease and liver cirrhosis. In all, TaxiBGC provides an in silico platform to predict experimentally characterized BGCs and their SM production potential in metagenomic data while demonstrating important advantages over existing techniques. IMPORTANCE Currently available bioinformatics tools to identify BGCs from metagenomic sequencing data are limited in their predictive capability or ease of use to even computationally oriented researchers. We present an automated computational pipeline called TaxiBGC, which predicts experimentally characterized BGCs (and infers their known SMs) in shotgun metagenomes by first considering the microbial species source. Through rigorous benchmarking techniques on simulated metagenomes, we show that TaxiBGC provides a significant advantage over existing methods. When demonstrating TaxiBGC on thousands of human microbiome samples, we associate BGCs encoding bacteriocins with different human body sites and diseases, thereby elucidating a possible novel role of this antibiotic class in maintaining the stability of microbial ecosystems throughout the human body. Furthermore, we report for the first time gut microbial BGC associations shared among multiple pathologies. Ultimately, we expect our tool to facilitate future investigations into the chemical ecology of microbial communities across diverse niches and pathologies.

RevDate: 2023-11-02
CmpDate: 2022-11-14

Liu Y, Elworth RAL, Jochum MD, et al (2022)

De novo identification of microbial contaminants in low microbial biomass microbiomes with Squeegee.

Nature communications, 13(1):6799.

Computational analysis of host-associated microbiomes has opened the door to numerous discoveries relevant to human health and disease. However, contaminant sequences in metagenomic samples can potentially impact the interpretation of findings reported in microbiome studies, especially in low-biomass environments. Contamination from DNA extraction kits or sampling lab environments leaves taxonomic "bread crumbs" across multiple distinct sample types. Here we describe Squeegee, a de novo contamination detection tool that is based upon this principle, allowing the detection of microbial contaminants when negative controls are unavailable. On the low-biomass samples, we compare Squeegee predictions to experimental negative control data and show that Squeegee accurately recovers putative contaminants. We analyze samples of varying biomass from the Human Microbiome Project and identify likely, previously unreported kit contamination. Collectively, our results highlight that Squeegee can identify microbial contaminants with high precision and thus represents a computational approach for contaminant detection when negative controls are unavailable.

RevDate: 2022-11-19
CmpDate: 2022-11-18

Rasmussen N (2022)

René Dubos, the Autochthonous Flora, and the Discovery of the Microbiome.

Journal of the history of biology, 55(3):537-558.

Now characterised by high-throughput sequencing methods that enable the study of microbes without lab culture, the human "microbiome" (the microbial flora of the body) is said to have revolutionary implications for biology and medicine. According to many experts, we must now understand ourselves as "holobionts" like lichen or coral, multispecies superorganisms that consist of animal and symbiotic microbes in combination, because normal physiological function depends on them. Here I explore the 1960s research of biologist René Dubos, a forerunner figure mentioned in some historical accounts of the microbiome, and argue that he arrived at the superorganism concept 40 years before the Human Microbiome Project. This raises the question of why his contribution was not hailed as revolutionary at the time and why Dubos is not remembered for it.

RevDate: 2022-11-02
CmpDate: 2022-10-28

Fransson E, Gudnadottir U, Hugerth LW, et al (2022)

Cohort profile: the Swedish Maternal Microbiome project (SweMaMi) - assessing the dynamic associations between the microbiome and maternal and neonatal adverse events.

BMJ open, 12(10):e065825.

PURPOSE: The Swedish Maternal Microbiome (SweMaMi) project was initiated to better understand the dynamics of the microbiome in pregnancy, with longitudinal microbiome sampling, shotgun metagenomics, extensive questionnaires and health registry linkage.

PARTICIPANTS: Pregnant women were recruited before the 20th gestational week during 2017-2021 in Sweden. In total, 5439 pregnancies (5193 unique women) were included. For 3973 pregnancies (73%), samples were provided at baseline, and for 3141 (58%) at all three timepoints (second and third trimester and postpartum). In total, 38 591 maternal microbiome samples (vaginal, faecal and saliva) and 3109 infant faecal samples were collected. Questionnaires were used to collect information on general, reproductive and mental health, diet and lifestyle, complemented by linkage to the nationwide health registries, also used to follow up the health of the offspring (up to age 10).

FINDINGS TO DATE: The cohort is fairly representative for the total Swedish pregnant population (data from 2019), with 41% first-time mothers. Women with university level education, born in Sweden, with normal body mass index, not using tobacco-products and aged 30-34 years were slightly over-represented.

FUTURE PLANS: The sample and data collection were finalised in November 2021. The next steps are the characterisation of the microbial DNA and linkage to the health and demographic information from the questionnaires and registries. The role of the microbiome on maternal and neonatal outcomes and early-childhood diseases will be explored (including preterm birth, miscarriage) and the role and interaction of other risk factors and confounders (including endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diet, drug use). This is currently among the largest pregnancy cohorts in the world with longitudinal design and detailed and standardised microbiome sampling enabling follow-up of both mothers and children. The findings are expected to contribute greatly to the field of reproductive health focusing on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.

RevDate: 2022-11-02
CmpDate: 2022-10-26

Gupta A, Singh V, I Mani (2022)

Dysbiosis of human microbiome and infectious diseases.

Progress in molecular biology and translational science, 192(1):33-51.

Since birth, the human body gets colonized by various communities of symbiotic or commensal microorganisms and they persist till the death of an individual. The human microbiome is comprised of the genomes of microorganisms such as viruses, archaea, eukaryotes, protozoa, and, most remarkably, bacteria. The development of "omics" technologies gave way to the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) which aimed at exploring the collection of microbial genes and genomes inhabiting the human body. Eubiosis, i.e., a healthy and balanced composition of such microbes contributes to the metabolic function, protection against pathogens and provides nutrients and energy to the host. Whereas, an imbalance in the diversity of microorganisms, termed dysbiosis, greatly influences the state of health and disease. This chapter summarizes the impact of gut bacteria on the well-being of humans and highlights the protective role played by the human microbiota during bacterial and viral infections. The condition of dysbiosis and how it plays a role in the establishment of various infections and metabolic disorders such as Clostridioides difficile infection (CFI), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cancer, periodontitis, and obesity are described in detail. Further, treatments such as fecal transplantation, probiotics, prebiotics, phage therapy, and CRISPR/Cas system, which target gut microbiota during digestive diseases are also discussed.

RevDate: 2022-10-25

Zheng Y, Shi J, Chen Q, et al (2022)

Identifying individual-specific microbial DNA fingerprints from skin microbiomes.

Frontiers in microbiology, 13:960043.

Skin is an important ecosystem that links the human body and the external environment. Previous studies have shown that the skin microbial community could remain stable, even after long-term exposure to the external environment. In this study, we explore two questions: Do there exist strains or genetic variants in skin microorganisms that are individual-specific, temporally stable, and body site-independent? And if so, whether such microorganismal genetic variants could be used as markers, called "fingerprints" in our study, to identify donors? We proposed a framework to capture individual-specific DNA microbial fingerprints from skin metagenomic sequencing data. The fingerprints are identified on the frequency of 31-mers free from reference genomes and sequence alignments. The 616 metagenomic samples from 17 skin sites at 3-time points from 12 healthy individuals from Integrative Human Microbiome Project were adopted. Ultimately, one contig for each individual is assembled as a fingerprint. And results showed that 89.78% of the skin samples despite body sites could identify their donors correctly. It is observed that 10 out of 12 individual-specific fingerprints could be aligned to Cutibacterium acnes. Our study proves that the identified fingerprints are temporally stable, body site-independent, and individual-specific, and can identify their donors with enough accuracy. The source code of the genetic identification framework is freely available at https://github.com/Ying-Lab/skin_fingerprint.

RevDate: 2022-12-22
CmpDate: 2022-10-24

Khorsand B, Asadzadeh Aghdaei H, Nazemalhosseini-Mojarad E, et al (2022)

Overrepresentation of Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli is the major gut microbiome signature in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis; a comprehensive metagenomic analysis of IBDMDB datasets.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 12:1015890.

OBJECTIVES: A number of converging strands of research suggest that the intestinal Enterobacteriaceae plays a crucial role in the development and progression of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), however, the changes in the abundance of Enterobacteriaceae species and their related metabolic pathways in Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) compared to healthy people are not fully explained by comprehensive comparative metagenomics analysis. In the current study, we investigated the alternations of the Enterobacterales population in the gut microbiome of patients with CD and UC compared to healthy subjects.

METHODS: Metagenomic datasets were selected from the Integrative Human Microbiome Project (HMP2) through the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Multi'omics Database (IBDMDB). We performed metagenome-wide association studies on fecal samples from 191 CD patients, 132 UC patients, and 125 healthy controls (HCs). We used the metagenomics dataset to study bacterial community structure, relative abundance, differentially abundant bacteria, functional analysis, and Enterobacteriaceae-related biosynthetic pathways.

RESULTS: Compared to the gut microbiome of HCs, six Enterobacteriaceae species were significantly elevated in both CD and UC patients, including Escherichia coli, Klebsiella variicola, Klebsiella quasipneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Citrobacter freundii, and Citrobacter youngae, while Klebsiella oxytoca, Morganella morganii, and Citrobacter amalonaticus were uniquely differentially abundant and enriched in the CD cohort. Four species were uniquely differentially abundant and enriched in the UC cohort, including Citrobacter portucalensis, Citrobacter pasteurii, Citrobacter werkmanii, and Proteus hauseri. Our analysis also showed a dramatically increased abundance of E. coli in their intestinal bacterial community. Biosynthetic pathways of aerobactin siderophore, LPS, enterobacterial common antigen, nitrogen metabolism, and sulfur relay systems encoded by E. coli were significantly elevated in the CD samples compared to the HCs. Menaquinol biosynthetic pathways were associated with UC that belonged to K. pneumoniae strains.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, compared with healthy people, the taxonomic and functional composition of intestinal bacteria in CD and UC patients was significantly shifted to Enterobacteriaceae species, mainly E. coli and Klebsiella species.

RevDate: 2022-12-07
CmpDate: 2022-10-20

Vikramdeo KS, Anand S, Pierce JY, et al (2022)

Distribution of microbiota in cervical preneoplasia of racially disparate populations.

BMC cancer, 22(1):1074.

BACKGROUNDS: Microbiome dysbiosis is an important contributing factor in tumor development and thus may be a risk predictor for human malignancies. In the United States, women with Hispanic/Latina (HIS) and African American (AA) background have a higher incidence of cervical cancer and poorer outcomes than Caucasian American (CA) women.

METHODS: Here, we assessed the distribution pattern of microbiota in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesions obtained from HIS (n = 12), AA (n = 12), and CA (n = 12) women, who were screened for CC risk assessment. We employed a 16S rRNA gene sequencing approach adapted from the NIH-Human Microbiome Project to identify the microbial niche in all CIN lesions (n = 36).

RESULTS: We detected an appreciably decreased abundance of beneficial Lactobacillus in the CIN lesions of the AA and HIS women compared to the CA women. Differential abundance of potentially pathogenic Prevotella, Delftia, Gardnerella, and Fastidiosipila was also evident among the various racial groups. An increased abundance of Micrococcus was also evident in AA and HIS women compared to the CA women. The detection level of Rhizobium was higher among the AA ad CA women compared to the HIS women. In addition to the top 10 microbes, a unique niche of 27 microbes was identified exclusively in women with a histopathological diagnosis of CIN. Among these microbes, a group of 8 microbiota; Rubellimicrobium, Podobacter, Brevibacterium, Paracoccus, Atopobium, Brevundimonous, Comamonous, and Novospingobium was detected only in the CIN lesions obtained from AA and CA women.

CONCLUSIONS: Microbial dysbiosis in the cervical epithelium represented by an increased ratio of potentially pathogenic to beneficial microbes may be associated with increased CC risk disparities. Developing a race-specific reliable panel of microbial markers could be beneficial for CC risk assessment, disease prevention, and/or therapeutic guidance.

RevDate: 2023-03-08
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Rinaldi F, Pinto D, Borsani E, et al (2022)

The First Evidence of Bacterial Foci in the Hair Part and Dermal Papilla of Scalp Hair Follicles: A Pilot Comparative Study in Alopecia Areata.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(19):.

The role of the microbiome in hair follicle (HF) growth represents a growing field of research. Here, we studied the bacterial population in the scalp hair follicles of subjects with alopecia areata (AA). Two Healthy and two AA subjects, respectively (20−60 years old), were enrolled and studied regarding the microbial community in the subepidermal scalp compartments by means of a 4-mm biopsy punch. Samples were examined by 16S sequencing, histochemical staining (Gram’s method), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Bacterial foci were observed in the AA subjects’ follicles with both the two adopted complementary approaches (electron microscopy and Gram staining). Significant (p < 0.05) differences were also found in the three-layer biopsy samples (p < 0.05) regarding the bacterial population. In particular, in the deep epidermis and dermis levels, a significant (p < 0.05) lower abundance of Firmicutes and a higher abundance of Proteobacteria were found in AA samples compared to the healthy control. Firmicutes also showed a significant (p < 0.05) lower abundance in hypodermis in AA subjects. In addition, Enterobacteriaceae and the genera Streptococcus, Gemella, Porphyromonas, and Granulicatella were relatively more abundant in AA groups at the deep epidermis level. The Staphylococcus and Flavobacterium genera were significantly less abundant in AA samples than in controls in all three-layer biopsy samples (p < 0.05). In contrast, Veillonella and Neisseriaceae were relatively more abundant in the healthy control group compared to the AA sample. Therefore, higher alpha diversity was observed in all three-layer biopsy samples of AA patients compared to the control. In conclusion, our data suggest that tAA could be defined as a “hair disease associated with dysregulated microbiome-immunity axis of hair follicles”.

RevDate: 2022-11-30
CmpDate: 2022-10-17

Prakash A, Nourianpour M, Senok A, et al (2022)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Endometrial Cancer: A Scoping Review of the Literature on Gut Microbiota.

Cells, 11(19):.

Gut dysbiosis has been associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometrial cancer (EC) but no studies have investigated whether gut dysbiosis may explain the increased endometrial cancer risk in polycystic ovary syndrome. The aim of this scoping review is to evaluate the extent and nature of published studies on the gut microbiota in polycystic ovary syndrome and endometrial cancer and attempt to find any similarities between the composition of the microbiota. We searched for publications ranging from the years 2016 to 2022, due to the completion date of the 'Human Microbiome Project' in 2016. We obtained 200 articles by inputting keywords such as 'gut microbiome', 'gut microbiota', 'gut dysbiosis', 'PCOS', and 'endometrial cancer' into search engines such as PubMed and Scopus. Of the 200 identified in our initial search, we included 25 articles in our final review after applying the exclusion and inclusion criteria. Although the literature is growing in this field, we did not identify enough published studies to investigate whether gut dysbiosis may explain the increased EC risk in PCOS. Within the studies identified, we were unable to identify any consistent patterns of the microbiome similarly present in studies on women with PCOS compared with women with EC. Although we found that the phylum Firmicutes was similarly decreased in women with PCOS and studies on women with EC, there was however significant variability within the studies identified making it highly likely that this may have arisen by chance. Further research pertaining to molecular and microbiological mechanisms in relation to the gut microbiome is needed to elucidate a greater understanding of its contribution to the pathophysiology of endometrial cancer in patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

RevDate: 2022-09-28

Aboul Naga SH, Hassan LM, El Zanaty RT, et al (2022)

Behçet uveitis: Current practice and future perspectives.

Frontiers in medicine, 9:968345.

Described as early as Hippocrates in his "Third Book of Endemic Diseases," Behçet's Disease (BD), also known as "The Silk Road Disease" following its initial demographics, consists of a triad of recurrent oro-genital ulcers and associated uveitis. Current demographics and rising percentages of patients seen far beyond the Silk Road in Ocular Inflammatory Disease and Uveitis Clinics list BD uveitis as one of the frontliners of non-infectious autoinflammatory eye diseases. Clinical features of BD and juvenile-onset BD are detailed alongside various approaches in classification and suggested algorithms for diagnosis that are outlined in this review. With the ongoing Human Microbiome Project and studies such as the MAMBA study, the role of the human microbiome in BD is highlighted in the pathophysiology of BD to include the current research and literature perspective. Furthermore, with the advancement of recent diagnostic and investigative techniques, especially in the field of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), disease-related characteristics are updated to encompass SD, EDI and OCT-angiography characteristics of BD. Having entered the era of biologic therapy, the role of various specific cytokine-blocking biologic drugs, such as TNF-α inhibitors (e.g., adalimumab, infliximab), interferon α-2a inhibitors, IL-6 and IL-1 inhibitors are presented and contrasted alongside the conventional immunosuppressant drugs and the classic old gold standard: corticosteroids (systemic or local). Finally, with the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it was not possible to conclude the review without reviewing the latest evidence-based literature reporting BD morbidity in this era, the observed pattern and treatment recommendations as well as those related to reported post-vaccine complications and emergence of BD.

RevDate: 2023-09-10
CmpDate: 2022-11-23

de Lima Ferreira JK, de Mello Varani A, Tótola MR, et al (2022)

Phylogenomic characterization and pangenomic insights into the surfactin-producing bacteria Bacillus subtilis strain RI4914.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], 53(4):2051-2063.

Bacillus subtilis is a versatile bacterial species able to produce surfactin, a lipopeptide biosurfactant. We carried out the phylogenomic characterization and pangenomic analyses using available B. subtilis complete genomes. Also, we report the whole genome of the biosurfactant-producing B. subtilis strain RI4914 that was isolated from effluent water from an oil exploration field. We applied a hybrid sequencing approach using both long- and short-read sequencing technologies to generate a highly accurate, single-chromosome genome. The pangenomics analysis of 153 complete genomes classified as B. subtilis retrieved from the NCBI shows an open pangenome composed of 28,511 accessory genes, which agrees with the high genetic plasticity of the species. Also, this analysis suggests that surfactin production is a common trait shared by members of this species since the srfA operon is highly conserved among the B. subtilis strains found in most of the assemblies available. Finally, increased surfactin production corroborates the higher srfAA gene expression in B. subtilis strain RI4914.

RevDate: 2023-01-06
CmpDate: 2022-12-23

An U, Shenhav L, Olson CA, et al (2022)

STENSL: Microbial Source Tracking with ENvironment SeLection.

mSystems, 7(5):e0099521.

Microbial source tracking analysis has emerged as a widespread technique for characterizing the properties of complex microbial communities. However, this analysis is currently limited to source environments sampled in a specific study. In order to expand the scope beyond one single study and allow the exploration of source environments using large databases and repositories, such as the Earth Microbiome Project, a source selection procedure is required. Such a procedure will allow differentiating between contributing environments and nuisance ones when the number of potential sources considered is high. Here, we introduce STENSL (microbial Source Tracking with ENvironment SeLection), a machine learning method that extends common microbial source tracking analysis by performing an unsupervised source selection and enabling sparse identification of latent source environments. By incorporating sparsity into the estimation of potential source environments, STENSL improves the accuracy of true source contribution, while significantly reducing the noise introduced by noncontributing ones. We therefore anticipate that source selection will augment microbial source tracking analyses, enabling exploration of multiple source environments from publicly available repositories while maintaining high accuracy of the statistical inference. IMPORTANCE Microbial source tracking is a powerful tool to characterize the properties of complex microbial communities. However, this analysis is currently limited to source environments sampled in a specific study. In many applications there is a clear need to consider source selection over a large array of microbial environments, external to the study. To this end, we developed STENSL (microbial Source Tracking with ENvironment SeLection), an expectation-maximization algorithm with sparsity that enables the identification of contributing sources among a large set of potential microbial environments. With the unprecedented expansion of microbiome data repositories such as the Earth Microbiome Project, recording over 200,000 samples from more than 50 types of categorized environments, STENSL takes the first steps in performing automated source exploration and selection. STENSL is significantly more accurate in identifying the contributing sources as well as the unknown source, even when considering hundreds of potential source environments, settings in which state-of-the-art microbial source tracking methods add considerable error.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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.

Educator

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.

Administrator

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.

Technologist

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.

Publisher

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.

Speaker

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.

Facilitator

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.

Designer

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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For most of human existence, microbes were hidden, visible only through the illnesses they caused. When they finally surfaced in biological studies, they were cast as rogues. Only recently have they immigrated from the neglected fringes of biology to its center. Even today, many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us — the microbiome — are invaluable parts of our lives. I Contain Multitudes lets us peer into that world for the first time, allowing us to see how ubiquitous and vital microbes are: they sculpt our organs, defend us from disease, break down our food, educate our immune systems, guide our behavior, bombard our genomes with their genes, and grant us incredible abilities.

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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