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26 Jan 2022 at 01:35
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Bibliography on: Microbiome Project(s)


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 Jan 2022 at 01:35 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®)


RevDate: 2022-01-11

Popkov VA, Zharikova AA, Demchenko EA, et al (2022)

Gut Microbiota as a Source of Uremic Toxins.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(1): pii:ijms23010483.

Uremic retention solutes are the compounds that accumulate in the blood when kidney excretory function is impaired. Some of these compounds are toxic at high concentrations and are usually known as "uremic toxins". The cumulative detrimental effect of uremic toxins results in numerous health problems and eventually mortality during acute or chronic uremia, especially in end-stage renal disease. More than 100 different solutes increase during uremia; however, the exact origin for most of them is still debatable. There are three main sources for such compounds: exogenous ones are consumed with food, whereas endogenous ones are produced by the host metabolism or by symbiotic microbiota metabolism. In this article, we identify uremic retention solutes presumably of gut microbiota origin. We used database analysis to obtain data on the enzymatic reactions in bacteria and human organisms that potentially yield uremic retention solutes and hence to determine what toxins could be synthesized in bacteria residing in the human gut. We selected biochemical pathways resulting in uremic retention solutes synthesis related to specific bacterial strains and revealed links between toxin concentration in uremia and the proportion of different bacteria species which can synthesize the toxin. The detected bacterial species essential for the synthesis of uremic retention solutes were then verified using the Human Microbiome Project database. Moreover, we defined the relative abundance of human toxin-generating enzymes as well as the possibility of the synthesis of a particular toxin by the human metabolism. Our study presents a novel bioinformatics approach for the elucidation of the origin of both uremic retention solutes and uremic toxins and for searching for the most likely human microbiome producers of toxins that can be targeted and used for the therapy of adverse consequences of uremia.

RevDate: 2022-01-06

Stanislawski MA, Stamper CE, Stearns-Yoder KA, et al (2021)

Characterization of the gut microbiota among Veterans with unique military-related exposures and high prevalence of chronic health conditions: A United States-Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP) study.

Brain, behavior, & immunity - health, 18:100346 pii:S2666-3546(21)00149-6.

The gut microbiome is impacted by environmental exposures and has been implicated in many physical and mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, affective disorders, and trauma- and stressor-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). United States (US) military Veterans are a unique population in that their military-related exposures can have consequences for both physical and mental health, but the gut microbiome of this population has been understudied. In this publication, we describe exposures, health conditions, and medication use of Veterans in the US Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP) and examine the associations between these characteristics and the gut microbiota. This cohort included 331 US Veterans seeking healthcare with the Veterans Health Administration who were 83% male with an average (±SD) age of 47.6 ​± ​13.4 years. The cohort displayed a high prevalence of PTSD (49.8%) and history of traumatic brain injuries (76.1%), and high current use of prescription medications (74.9%) to treat various acute and chronic conditions. We observed significant associations between the gut microbiota composition and gastroenteritis, peripheral vascular disease (PVD), bipolar disorders, symptoms of severe depression based on the Beck Depression Inventory, stimulant and opioid use disorders, beta-blockers, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressants, diabetes medications, and proton pump inhibitors. Many of the Veteran characteristics examined were associated with altered relative abundances of specific taxa. We found that PVD and cardiovascular disease were associated with lower microbiota diversity in the gut (i.e., α-diversity), while supplemental vitamin use was associated with higher α-diversity. Our study contributes novel insights as to whether the unique exposures of Veterans in this cohort correlate with gut microbiota characteristics and, in line with previous findings with other population-level studies of the microbiome, confirms associations between numerous health conditions and medications with the gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Fromentin M, Bridier-Nahmias A, Legoff J, et al (2021)

The 16S rRNA lung microbiome in mechanically ventilated patients: a methodological study.

Experimental lung research [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Characterization of the respiratory tract bacterial microbiome is in its infancy when compared to the gut microbiota. To limit bias mandates a robust methodology. Specific amplification of the hypervariable (V) region of the 16SrRNA gene is a crucial step. Differences in accuracy exist for one V region to another depending on the sampled environment. We aimed to assess the impact of the primer sequences targeting the V4 region currently used for gut microbiota studies in respiratory samples. Materials and methods: The original 515 F-806R primer pair targets the V4 region of the 16SrRNA gene. We compared two different 515 F-806R primer pairs before Illumina 250 paired-end sequencing for bacterial microbiome analyses of respiratory samples from critically-ill ventilated patients. "S-V4" for "Stringent V4" primer pair is used in two ongoing international projects "the Integrative Human microbiome project (iHMP)" and "the Earth microbiome project (EMP)." "R-V4" for "Relaxed V4" primer pair has been modified to reduce biases against specific environmental taxa. The optimal method was determined by concordance with conventional microbiology. Results: Twenty samples from three patients who developed a ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and four who did not (control ventilated patients) were sequenced. Highly different results were obtained. "S-V4" provided the best agreement with the conventional microbiology for endotracheal aspirate: 89% as compared to 56% for "R-V4." The main difference related to poor Enterobacteriaceae detection with "R-V4" primers. Conclusions: Accuracy of the bacterial lung microbiome composition was highly dependent on the primers used for amplification of the 16 s rRNA hypervariable sequence. This work validates for future lung microbiome studies the use of the 515 F-806R "S-V4" primer pair associated to Illumina® MiSeq paired-end sequencing.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Eschweiler K, Clayton JB, Moresco A, et al (2021)

Host Identity and Geographic Location Significantly Affect Gastrointestinal Microbial Richness and Diversity in Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) under Human Care.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(12): pii:ani11123399.

The last few decades have seen an outpouring of gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome studies across diverse host species. Studies have ranged from assessments of GI microbial richness and diversity to classification of novel microbial lineages. Assessments of the "normal" state of the GI microbiome composition across multiple host species has gained increasing importance for distinguishing healthy versus diseased states. This study aimed to determine baselines and trends over time to establish "typical" patterns of GI microbial richness and diversity, as well as inter-individual variation, in three populations of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) under human care at three zoological institutions in North America. Fecal samples were collected from 19 western lowland gorillas every two weeks for seven months (n = 248). Host identity and host institution significantly affected GI microbiome community composition (p < 0.05), although host identity had the most consistent and significant effect on richness (p = 0.03) and Shannon diversity (p = 0.004) across institutions. Significant changes in microbial abundance over time were observed only at Denver Zoo (p < 0.05). Our results suggest that individuality contributes to most of the observed GI microbiome variation in the study populations. Our results also showed no significant changes in any individual's microbial richness or Shannon diversity during the 7-month study period. While some microbial taxa (Prevotella, Prevotellaceae and Ruminococcaceae) were detected in all gorillas at varying levels, determining individual baselines for microbial composition comparisons may be the most useful diagnostic tool for optimizing non-human primate health under human care.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Ghannoum MA, McCormick TS, Retuerto M, et al (2021)

Evaluation of Microbiome Alterations Following Consumption of BIOHM, a Novel Probiotic.

Current issues in molecular biology, 43(3):2135-2146 pii:cimb43030148.

Gastrointestinal microbiome dysbiosis may result in harmful effects on the host, including those caused by inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The novel probiotic BIOHM, consisting of Bifidobacterium breve, Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and amylase, was developed to rebalance the bacterial-fungal gut microbiome, with the goal of reducing inflammation and maintaining a healthy gut population. To test the effect of BIOHM on human subjects, we enrolled a cohort of 49 volunteers in collaboration with the Fermentation Festival group (Santa Barbara, CA, USA). The profiles of gut bacterial and fungal communities were assessed via stool samples collected at baseline and following 4 weeks of once-a-day BIOHM consumption. Mycobiome analysis following probiotic consumption revealed an increase in Ascomycota levels in enrolled individuals and a reduction in Zygomycota levels (p value < 0.01). No statistically significant difference in Basidiomycota was detected between pre- and post-BIOHM samples and control abundance profiles (p > 0.05). BIOHM consumption led to a significant reduction in the abundance of Candida genus in tested subjects (p value < 0.013), while the abundance of C. albicans also trended lower than before BIOHM use, albeit not reaching statistical significance. A reduction in the abundance of Firmicutes at the phylum level was observed following BIOHM use, which approached levels reported for control individuals reported in the Human Microbiome Project data. The preliminary results from this clinical study suggest that BIOHM is capable of significantly rebalancing the bacteriome and mycobiome in the gut of healthy individuals, suggesting that further trials examining the utility of the BIOHM probiotic in individuals with gastrointestinal symptoms, where dysbiosis is considered a source driving pathogenesis, are warranted.

RevDate: 2021-12-20

Verstraelen H, Vieira-Baptista P, De Seta F, et al (2022)

The Vaginal Microbiome: I. Research Development, Lexicon, Defining "Normal" and the Dynamics Throughout Women's Lives.

Journal of lower genital tract disease, 26(1):73-78.

OBJECTIVE: This series of articles, titled The Vaginal Microbiome, written on behalf of the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, aims to summarize the current findings and understanding of the vaginal bacterial microbiota, mainly regarding areas relevant to clinicians specializing in vulvovaginal disorders.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A database search of PubMed was performed, using the search terms "vaginal microbiome" (VMB) with "research," "normal," "neonate," "puberty," "adolescent," "menopause," and "ethnicities," as well as "human microbiome project." Full article texts were reviewed. Reference lists were screened for additional articles.

RESULTS: In the last 2 decades, many studies applying molecular techniques were performed, intending to characterize the vaginal microbiota. These studies advanced our understanding of how vaginal health is defined. The first article in this series focuses on the advancement of VMB research, technical definitions, the definition of "normal" VMB, and the dynamics of VMB throughout women's lives.

CONCLUSIONS: Understanding how microorganisms inhabiting the vagina interact with each other and with the host is important for a more complete understanding of vaginal health. The clinical application of microbial community sequencing is in its beginning, and its interpretation regarding practical clinical aspects is yet to be determined.

RevDate: 2021-12-11

Barb JJ, Maki KA, Kazmi N, et al (2022)

The oral microbiome in alcohol use disorder: a longitudinal analysis during inpatient treatment.

Journal of oral microbiology, 14(1):2004790.

Background: Alcohol use disorder (AUD)-induced disruption of oral microbiota can lead to poor oral health; there have been no studies published examining the longitudinal effects of alcohol use cessation on the oral microbiome.

Aim: To investigate the oral microbiome during alcohol cessation during inpatient treatment for AUD.

Methods: Up to 10 oral tongue brushings were collected from 22 AUD patients during inpatient treatment at the National Institutes of Health. Alcohol use history, smoking, and periodontal disease status were measured. Oral microbiome samples were sequenced using 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

Results: Alpha diversity decreased linearly during treatment across the entire cohort (P = 0.002). Alcohol preference was associated with changes in both alpha and beta diversity measures. Characteristic tongue dorsum genera from the Human Microbiome Project such as Streptococcus, Prevotella, Veillonella and Haemophilus were highly correlated in AUD. Oral health-associated genera that changed longitudinally during abstinence included Actinomyces, Capnocytophaga, Fusobacterium, Neisseria and Prevotella.

Conclusion: The oral microbiome in AUD is affected by alcohol preference. Patients with AUD often have poor oral health but abstinence and attention to oral care improve dysbiosis, decreasing microbiome diversity and periodontal disease-associated genera while improving acute oral health.

RevDate: 2021-12-07

Zhang Z, Liu Y, Zhang P, et al (2021)

PAAR Proteins Are Versatile Clips That Enrich the Antimicrobial Weapon Arsenals of Prokaryotes.

mSystems [Epub ahead of print].

Protein toxins secreted by prokaryotes have been found to affect the pathogenicity of pathogens or directly mediate antagonistic interactions between prokaryotes. PAAR proteins are important carriers of toxic effectors and are located at the forefront of either the type VI secretion system (T6SS) or the extracellular contractile injection system (eCIS). This study systematically investigated PAAR homologues and related toxic effectors. We found that PAAR homologues were divided into 8 types and 16 subtypes and distributed in 23.1% of bacterial genomes and 7.8% of archaeal genomes. PAAR proteins of all types fold into a highly similar conical structure, even from relatively diverse underlying sequences. PAAR homologues associated with different secretion systems display a mixed phylogenetic relationship, indicating that PAAR proteins from such a subtype can be assembled on either a T6SS or an eCIS. More than 1,300 PAAR-related toxic effector genes were identified; one PAAR subtype can be associated with toxins of over 40 families, and toxins from one family can be associated with more than 10 PAAR subtypes. A large-scale comparison of Earth Microbiome Project data and prokaryotic genomes revealed that prokaryotes encoding PAAR genes are widely present in diverse environments worldwide, and taxa encoding multiple PAAR gene copies exhibit a wider distribution in environments than other taxa. Overall, our studies highlighted that PAAR proteins are versatile clips loaded with antimicrobial toxin bullets for secretion weapons (T6SS and eCIS), greatly enriching the weapon arsenal of prokaryotes, which, often together with VgrG, help prokaryotes fight for survival advantages in crowded environments. IMPORTANCE Infectious diseases caused by microbial pathogens are severe threats to human health and economic development. To respond to these threats, it is necessary to understand how microorganisms survive in and adapt to complex environments. Microorganic toxins, which are widely distributed in nature, are the key weapons in life domain interactions. PAAR proteins are important carriers of prokaryotic toxic effectors. We reveal the versatility of PAAR proteins between secretory systems and the massive diversity of toxic effectors carried by PAAR proteins, which helps prokaryotes enrich their arsenal and expand their ability to attack their neighbors. A large number of PAAR homologues and related toxic effectors enhance the survival competitiveness of prokaryotic populations. In conclusion, our work provides an example for large-scale analysis of the global distribution and ecological functions of prokaryotic functional genes.

RevDate: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-30

Yin Y, Yu R, H Chen (2021)

[Shotgun metagenome sequencing of Chinese gut microbiota: a review].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 37(11):3717-3733.

The research on the relationship between gut microbiota and human health continues to be a hot topic in the field of life science. Culture independent 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing is the current main research method. However, with the reduction of sequencing cost and the maturity of data analysis methods, shotgun metagenome sequencing is gradually becoming an important method for the study of gut microbiome due to its advantages of obtaining more information. With the support from the human microbiome project, 30 805 metagenome samples were sequenced in the United States. By searching NCBI PubMed and SRA databases, it was found that 72 studies collecting about 10 000 Chinese intestinal samples were used for metagenome sequencing. To date, only 56 studies were published, including 16 related to metabolic diseases, 16 related to infectious and immune diseases, and 12 related to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. The samples were mainly collected in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and other cosmopolitan cities, where great differences exist in sequencing platforms and methods. The outcome of most studies are based on correlation analysis, which has little practical value in guiding the diagnosis and treatment of clinical diseases. Standardizing sampling methods, sequencing platform and data analysis process, and carrying out multi center parallel research will contribute to data integration and comparative analysis. Moreover, insights into the functional verification and molecular mechanism by using the combination of transcriptomics, proteomics and culturomics will enable the gut microbiota research to better serve the clinical diagnosis and treatment.

RevDate: 2021-11-26

Liang G (2021)

Altered gut bacterial and metabolic signatures and their interaction in inflammatory bowel disease.

Synthetic and systems biotechnology, 6(4):377-383.

Dysregulation of the gut microbiome has been implicated in the progression of many diseases. This study explored the role of microbial and metabolic signatures, and their interaction between the Human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and healthy controls (HCs) based on the combination of machine learning and traditional statistical analysis, using data collected from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and the Integrative Human Microbiome Project (iHMP). It was showed that the microbial and metabolic signatures of IBD patients were significantly different from those of HCs. Compared to HCs, IBD subjects were characterized by 25 enriched species and 6 depleted species. Furthermore, a total of 17 discriminative pathways were identified between the IBD and HC groups. Those differential pathways were mainly involved in amino acid, nucleotide biosynthesis, and carbohydrate degradation. Notably, co-occurrence network analysis revealed that non-predominant bacteria Ruminococcus_obeum and predominant bacteria Faecalibacterium_prausnitzii formed the same broad and strong co-occurring relationships with pathways. Moreover, the essay identified a combinatorial marker panel that could distinguish IBD from HCs. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) and Decision Curve Analysis (DCA) confirmed the high accuracy (AUC = 0.966) and effectiveness of the model. Meanwhile, an independent cohort used for external validation also showed the identical high efficacy (AUC = 0.835). These findings showed that the gut microbes may be relevant to the pathogenesis and pathophysiology, and offer universal utility as a non-invasive diagnostic test in IBD.

RevDate: 2021-10-31

Liu T, Xu P, Du Y, et al (2021)

MZINBVA: variational approximation for multilevel zero-inflated negative-binomial models for association analysis in microbiome surveys.

Briefings in bioinformatics pii:6409694 [Epub ahead of print].

As our understanding of the microbiome has expanded, so has the recognition of its critical role in human health and disease, thereby emphasizing the importance of testing whether microbes are associated with environmental factors or clinical outcomes. However, many of the fundamental challenges that concern microbiome surveys arise from statistical and experimental design issues, such as the sparse and overdispersed nature of microbiome count data and the complex correlation structure among samples. For example, in the human microbiome project (HMP) dataset, the repeated observations across time points (level 1) are nested within body sites (level 2), which are further nested within subjects (level 3). Therefore, there is a great need for the development of specialized and sophisticated statistical tests. In this paper, we propose multilevel zero-inflated negative-binomial models for association analysis in microbiome surveys. We develop a variational approximation method for maximum likelihood estimation and inference. It uses optimization, rather than sampling, to approximate the log-likelihood and compute parameter estimates, provides a robust estimate of the covariance of parameter estimates and constructs a Wald-type test statistic for association testing. We evaluate and demonstrate the performance of our method using extensive simulation studies and an application to the HMP dataset. We have developed an R package MZINBVA to implement the proposed method, which is available from the GitHub repository https://github.com/liudoubletian/MZINBVA.

RevDate: 2021-11-12
CmpDate: 2021-11-12

González-Castillo A, Carballo JL, E Bautista-Guerrero (2021)

Genomics and phylogeny of the proposed phylum 'Candidatus Poribacteria' associated with the excavating sponge Thoosa mismalolli.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, 114(12):2163-2174.

Members of the proposed phylum 'Candidatus Poribacteria' are among the most abundant microorganisms in the highly diverse microbiome of the sponge mesohyl. Genomic and phylogenetic characteristics of this proposed phylum are barely known. In this study, we analyzed metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) obtained from the coral reef excavating sponge Thoosa mismalolli from the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Two MAGs were extracted and analyzed together with 32 MAGs and single-amplified genomes (SAGs) obtained from NCBI. The phylogenetic tree based on the sequences of 139 single-copy genes (SCG) showed two clades. Clade A (23 genomes) represented 67.7% of the total of the genomes, while clade B (11 genomes) comprised 32.3% of the genomes. The Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI) showed values between 66 and 99% for the genomes of the proposed phylum, and the pangenome of genomes revealed a total of 37,234 genes that included 1722 core gene. The number of genes used in the phylogenetic analysis increased from 28 (previous studies) to 139 (this study), which allowed a better resolution of the phylogeny of the proposed phylum. The results supported the two previously described classes, 'Candidatus Entoporibacteria' and 'Candidatus Pelagiporibacteria', and the genomes SB0101 and SB0202 obtained in this study belong to two new species of the class 'Candidatus Entoporibacteria'. This is the first comparative study that includes MAGs from a non-sponge host (Porites lutea) to elucidate the taxonomy of the poorly known Candidatus phylum in a polyphasic approach. Finally, our study also contributes to the sponge microbiome project by reporting the first MAGs of the proposed phylum 'Candidatus Poribacteria' isolated from the excavating sponge T. mismalolli.

RevDate: 2021-11-10

Tan-Torres AL, Brooks JP, Singh B, et al (2021)

Machine learning clustering and classification of human microbiome source body sites.

Forensic science international, 328:111008.

Distinct microbial signatures associated with specific human body sites can play a role in the identification of biological materials recovered from the crime scene, but at present, methods that have capability to predict origin of biological materials based on such signatures are limited. Metagenomic sequencing and machine learning (ML) offer a promising enhancement to current identification protocols. We use ML for forensic source body site identification using shotgun metagenomic sequenced data to verify the presence of microbiomic signatures capable of discriminating between source body sites and then show that accurate prediction is possible. The consistency between cluster membership and actual source body site (purity) exceeded 99% at the genus taxonomy using off-the-shelf ML clustering algorithms. Similar results were obtained at the family level. Accurate predictions were observed for genus, family, and order taxonomies, as well as with a core set of 51 genera. The accurate outcomes from our replicable process should encourage forensic scientists to seriously consider integrating ML predictors into their source body site identification protocols.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Lv S, Wang Y, Zhang W, et al (2021)

Trimethylamine oxide: a potential target for heart failure therapy.

Heart (British Cardiac Society) pii:heartjnl-2021-320054 [Epub ahead of print].

Heart failure (HF) is a clinical syndrome in the late stage of cardiovascular disease and is associated with high prevalence, mortality and rehospitalisation rate. The pathophysiological mechanisms of HF have experienced the initial 'water-sodium retention' mode to 'abnormal hemodynamics' mode, and subsequent to 'abnormal activation of neuroendocrine' mode, which has extensively promoted the reform of HF treatment and updated the treatment concept. Since the Human Microbiome Project commencement, the study on intestinal microecology has swiftly developed, providing a new direction to reveal the occurrence of diseases and the mechanisms behind drug effects. Intestinal microecology comprises the gastrointestinal lumen, epithelial secretion, food entering the intestine, intestinal flora and metabolites. Choline and L-carnitine in the diet are metabolised to trimethylamine (TMA) by the intestinal micro-organisms, with TMA being absorbed into the blood. TMA then enters the liver through the portal vein circulation and is oxidised to trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) by the hepatic flavin-containing mono-oxygenase (FMO) family, especially FMO3. The circulating TMAO levels are associated with adverse outcomes in HF (mortality and readmission), and lower TMAO levels indicate better prognosis. As HF progresses, the concentration of TMAO in patients gradually increases. Whether the circulating TMAO level can be decreased by intervening with the intestinal microflora or relevant enzymes, thereby affecting the prognosis of patients with HF, has become a research hotspot. Therefore, based on the HF intestinal hypothesis, exploring the treatment strategy for HF targeting the TMAO metabolite of the intestinal flora may update the treatment concept in HF and improve its therapeutic effect.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

Bodein A, Scott-Boyer MP, Perin O, et al (2021)

timeOmics: an R package for longitudinal multi-omics data integration.

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) pii:6374493 [Epub ahead of print].

MOTIVATION: Multi-omics data integration enables the global analysis of biological systems and discovery of new biological insights. Multi-omics experimental designs have been further extended with a longitudinal dimension to study dynamic relationships between molecules. However, methods that integrate longitudinal multi-omics data are still in their infancy.

RESULTS: We introduce the R package timeOmics, a generic analytical framework for the integration of longitudinal multi-omics data. The framework includes pre-processing, modelling and clustering to identify molecular features strongly associated with time. We illustrate this framework in a case study to detect seasonal patterns of mRNA, metabolites, gut taxa, and clinical variables in patients with diabetes mellitus from the integrative Human Microbiome Project.

AVAILABILITY: timeOmics is available on Bioconductor and github.com/abodein/timeOmics.

RevDate: 2021-09-19
CmpDate: 2021-09-17

Antonio Paoli A, Mancin L, Caprio M, et al (2021)

Effects of 30 days of ketogenic diet on body composition, muscle strength, muscle area, metabolism, and performance in semi-professional soccer players.

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 18(1):62.

BACKGROUND: A ketogenic diet (KD) is a nutritional approach, usually adopted for weight loss, that restricts daily carbohydrates under 30 g/day. KD showed contradictory results on sport performance, whilst no data are available on team sports. We sought to investigate the influence of a KD on different parameters in semi-professional soccer players.

METHODS: Subjects were randomly assigned to a iso-protein (1.8 g/Kg body weight/day) ketogenic diet (KD) or western diet (WD) for 30 days. Body weight and body composition, resting energy expenditure (REE), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), cross sectional area (CSA) and isometric muscle strength of quadriceps, counter movement jump (CMJ) and yoyo intermittent recovery test time were measured.

RESULTS: There was a significantly higher decrease of body fat (p = 0.0359), visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (p = 0.0018), waist circumference (p = 0.0185) and extra-cellular water (p = 0.0060) in KD compared to WD group. Lean soft tissue, quadriceps muscle area, maximal strength and REE showed no changes in both groups. RER decreased significantly in KD (p = 0.0008). Yo-yo intermittent test improved significantly (p < 0.0001) in both groups without significant differences between groups. CMJ significantly improved (p = 0.0021) only in KD.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study investigating the effects of a KD on semi-professional soccer players. In our study KD athletes lost fat mass without any detrimental effects on strength, power and muscle mass. When the goal is a rapid weight reduction in such athletes, the use of a KD should be taken into account.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: registered retrospectively on Clinical Trial registration number NCT04078971 .

RevDate: 2021-09-13
CmpDate: 2021-09-13

Mehta S, Crane M, Leith E, et al (2021)

ASaiM-MT: a validated and optimized ASaiM workflow for metatranscriptomics analysis within Galaxy framework.

F1000Research, 10:103.

The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) aided in understanding the role of microbial communities and the influence of collective genetic material (the 'microbiome') and microbial diversity patterns across the habitats of our planet. With the evolution of new sequencing technologies, researchers can now investigate the microbiome and map its influence on the environment and human health. Advances in bioinformatics methods for next-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis have helped researchers to gain an in-depth knowledge about the taxonomic and genetic composition of microbial communities. Metagenomic-based methods have been the most commonly used approaches for microbiome analysis; however, it primarily extracts information about taxonomic composition and genetic potential of the microbiome under study, lacking quantification of the gene products (RNA and proteins). On the other hand, metatranscriptomics, the study of a microbial community's RNA expression, can reveal the dynamic gene expression of individual microbial populations and the community as a whole, ultimately providing information about the active pathways in the microbiome. In order to address the analysis of NGS data, the ASaiM analysis framework was previously developed and made available via the Galaxy platform. Although developed for both metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, the original publication demonstrated the use of ASaiM only for metagenomics, while thorough testing for metatranscriptomics data was lacking. In the current study, we have focused on validating and optimizing the tools within ASaiM for metatranscriptomics data. As a result, we deliver a robust workflow that will enable researchers to understand dynamic functional response of the microbiome in a wide variety of metatranscriptomics studies. This improved and optimized ASaiM-metatranscriptomics (ASaiM-MT) workflow is publicly available via the ASaiM framework, documented and supported with training material so that users can interrogate and characterize metatranscriptomic data, as part of larger meta-omic studies of microbiomes.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

De Boeck I, Wittouck S, Martens K, et al (2021)

The nasal mutualist Dolosigranulum pigrum AMBR11 supports homeostasis via multiple mechanisms.

iScience, 24(9):102978.

Comparing the nasal microbiome of healthy individuals and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) patients revealed Dolosigranulum pigrum as a species clearly associated with nasal health, although isolates obtained from healthy individuals are scarce. In this study, we explored the properties of this understudied lactic acid bacterium by integrating comparative genomics, habitat mining, cultivation, and functional characterization of interaction capacities. Mining 10.000 samples from the Earth Microbiome Project of 17 habitat types revealed that Dolosigranulum is mainly associated with the human nasal cavity. D. pigrum AMBR11 isolated from the nose of a healthy individual exerted antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, decreased proinflammatory cytokine production in airway epithelial cells, and Galleria mellonella larvae mortality induced by this important nasal pathobiont. Furthermore, the strain protected the nasal barrier function in a mouse model using interleukin-4 as disruptive cytokine. Hence, D. pigrum AMBR11 is a mutualist with high potential as topical live biotherapeutic product.

RevDate: 2021-09-03

Chen YR, Jing QL, Chen FL, et al (2021)

Desulfovibrio is not always associated with adverse health effects in the Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project.

PeerJ, 9:e12033.

Desulfovibrio (DSV) is frequently found in the human intestine but limited knowledge is available regarding the relationship between DSV and host health. In this study, we analyzed large-scale cohort data from the Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project to study the ecology of DSV and the associations of DSV and host health parameters. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Desulfovibrio piger might be the most common and abundant DSV species in the GGMP. Predominant sub-OTUs of DSV were positively associated with bacterial community diversity. The relative abundance of DSV was positively correlated with beneficial genera, including Oscillospira, Coprococcus,Ruminococcus,Akkermansia, Roseburia,Faecalibacterium, andBacteroides, and was negatively associated with harmful genera, such as Clostridium,Escherichia,Klebsiella, and Ralstonia. Moreover, the relative abundance of DSV was negatively correlated with body mass index, waist size, triglyceride levels, and uric acid levels. This suggests that DSV is associated with healthy hosts in some human populations.

RevDate: 2021-11-16
CmpDate: 2021-11-16

Hyun DW, Lee JY, Kim MS, et al (2021)

Pathogenomics of Streptococcus ilei sp. nov., a newly identified pathogen ubiquitous in human microbiome.

Journal of microbiology (Seoul, Korea), 59(8):792-806.

Viridans group streptococci are a serious health concern because most of these bacteria cause life-threatening infections, especially in immunocompromised and hospitalized individuals. We focused on two alpha-hemolytic Streptococcus strains (I-G2 and I-P16) newly isolated from an ileostomy effluent of a colorectal cancer patient. We examined their pathogenic potential by investigating their prevalence in human and assessing their pathogenicity in a mouse model. We also predicted their virulence factors and pathogenic features by using comparative genomic analysis and in vitro tests. Using polyphasic and systematic approaches, we identified the isolates as belonging to a novel Streptococcus species and designated it as Streptococcus ilei. Metagenomic survey based on taxonomic assignment of datasets from the Human Microbiome Project revealed that S. ilei is present in most human population and at various body sites but is especially abundant in the oral cavity. Intraperitoneal injection of S. ilei was lethal to otherwise healthy C57BL/6J mice. Pathogenomics and in vitro assays revealed that S. ilei possesses a unique set of virulence factors. In agreement with the in vivo and in vitro data, which indicated that S. ilei strain I-G2 is more pathogenic than strain I-P16, only the former displayed the streptococcal group A antigen. We here newly identified S. ilei sp. nov., and described its prevalence in human, virulence factors, and pathogenicity. This will help to prevent S. ilei strain misidentification in the future, and improve the understanding and management of streptococcal infections.

RevDate: 2021-11-09

Wang J, Wang J, Wu S, et al (2021)

Global Geographic Diversity and Distribution of the Myxobacteria.

Microbiology spectrum, 9(1):e0001221.

Bacteria are globally distributed in various environments on earth, but a global view of the geographic diversity and distribution of a single taxon is lacking. The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) has established a global collection of microbial communities, providing the possibility for such a survey. Myxococcales is a bacterial order with a potent ability to produce diverse natural products and have wide application potential in agriculture, biomedicine, and environmental protection. In this study, through a comparative analysis of the EMP data and public information, we determined that myxobacteria account for 2.34% of the total bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs), and are one of the most diverse bacterial groups on Earth. Myxococcales OTUs are globally distributed and prefer nonsaline soil and sediments, followed by saline environments, but rarely appear in host-associated environments. Myxobacteria are among the least-investigated bacterial groups. The presently cultured and genome-sequenced myxobacteria are most likely environmentally widespread and abundant taxa, and account for approximately 10% and 7% of the myxobacterial community (>97% similarity), respectively. This global panoramic view of the geographic distribution and diversity of myxobacteria, as well as their cultured and genome-sequenced information, will enable us to explore these important bioresources more reasonably and efficiently. The diversity and distribution of myxobacteria beyond the EMP data are further discussed. IMPORTANCE The diversity and distribution of bacteria are crucial for our understanding of their ecological importance and application potential. Myxobacteria are fascinating prokaryotes with multicellular behaviors and a potent capacity for producing secondary metabolites, and have a wide range of potential applications. The ecological importance of myxobacteria in major ecosystems is becoming established, but the global geographic diversity and distribution remain unclear. From a global survey we revealed that Myxococcales OTUs are globally distributed and prefer nonsaline soil and sediments, followed by saline environments, but rarely appear in host-associated environments. The global panoramic view of the geographic distribution and diversity of myxobacteria, as well as their cultured and genome-sequenced information, will enable us to explore these important bioresources more reasonably and efficiently.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

DiMucci D, Kon M, D Segrè (2021)

BowSaw: Inferring Higher-Order Trait Interactions Associated With Complex Biological Phenotypes.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 8:663532.

Machine learning is helping the interpretation of biological complexity by enabling the inference and classification of cellular, organismal and ecological phenotypes based on large datasets, e.g., from genomic, transcriptomic and metagenomic analyses. A number of available algorithms can help search these datasets to uncover patterns associated with specific traits, including disease-related attributes. While, in many instances, treating an algorithm as a black box is sufficient, it is interesting to pursue an enhanced understanding of how system variables end up contributing to a specific output, as an avenue toward new mechanistic insight. Here we address this challenge through a suite of algorithms, named BowSaw, which takes advantage of the structure of a trained random forest algorithm to identify combinations of variables ("rules") frequently used for classification. We first apply BowSaw to a simulated dataset and show that the algorithm can accurately recover the sets of variables used to generate the phenotypes through complex Boolean rules, even under challenging noise levels. We next apply our method to data from the integrative Human Microbiome Project and find previously unreported high-order combinations of microbial taxa putatively associated with Crohn's disease. By leveraging the structure of trees within a random forest, BowSaw provides a new way of using decision trees to generate testable biological hypotheses.

RevDate: 2021-07-08
CmpDate: 2021-07-08

Wagner J, Kancherla J, Braccia D, et al (2020)

Interactive exploratory data analysis of Integrative Human Microbiome Project data using Metaviz.

F1000Research, 9:601.

The rich data produced by the second phase of the Human Microbiome Project (iHMP) offers a unique opportunity to test hypotheses that interactions between microbial communities and a human host might impact an individual's health or disease status. In this work we describe infrastructure that integrates Metaviz, an interactive microbiome data analysis and visualization tool, with the iHMP Data Coordination Center web portal and the HMP2Data R/Bioconductor package. We describe integrative statistical and visual analyses of two datasets from iHMP using Metaviz along with the metagenomeSeq R/Bioconductor package for statistical analysis of differential abundance analysis. These use cases demonstrate the utility of a combined approach to access and analyze data from this resource.

RevDate: 2021-06-10

Le Roy T, Moens de Hase E, Van Hul M, et al (2021)

Dysosmobacter welbionis is a newly isolated human commensal bacterium preventing diet-induced obesity and metabolic disorders in mice.

Gut pii:gutjnl-2020-323778 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the abundance and the prevalence of Dysosmobacter welbionis J115T, a novel butyrate-producing bacterium isolated from the human gut both in the general population and in subjects with metabolic syndrome. To study the impact of this bacterium on host metabolism using diet-induced obese and diabetic mice.

DESIGN: We analysed the presence and abundance of the bacterium in 11 984 subjects using four human cohorts (ie, Human Microbiome Project, American Gut Project, Flemish Gut Flora Project and Microbes4U). Then, we tested the effects of daily oral gavages with live D. welbionis J115T on metabolism and several hallmarks of obesity, diabetes, inflammation and lipid metabolism in obese/diabetic mice.

RESULTS: This newly identified bacterium was detected in 62.7%-69.8% of the healthy population. Strikingly, in obese humans with a metabolic syndrome, the abundance of Dysosmobacter genus correlates negatively with body mass index, fasting glucose and glycated haemoglobin. In mice, supplementation with live D. welbionis J115T, but not with the pasteurised bacteria, partially counteracted diet-induced obesity development, fat mass gain, insulin resistance and white adipose tissue hypertrophy and inflammation. In addition, live D. welbionis J115T administration protected the mice from brown adipose tissue inflammation in association with increased mitochondria number and non-shivering thermogenesis. These effects occurred with minor impact on the mouse intestinal microbiota composition.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that D. welbionis J115T directly and beneficially influences host metabolism and is a strong candidate for the development of next-generation beneficial bacteria targeting obesity and associated metabolic diseases.

RevDate: 2021-06-05

Hollingsworth BA, Cassatt DR, DiCarlo AL, et al (2021)

Acute Radiation Syndrome and the Microbiome: Impact and Review.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 12:643283.

Study of the human microbiota has been a centuries-long endeavor, but since the inception of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Microbiome Project in 2007, research has greatly expanded, including the space involving radiation injury. As acute radiation syndrome (ARS) is multisystemic, the microbiome niches across all areas of the body may be affected. This review highlights advances in radiation research examining the effect of irradiation on the microbiome and its potential use as a target for medical countermeasures or biodosimetry approaches, or as a medical countermeasure itself. The authors also address animal model considerations for designing studies, and the potential to use the microbiome as a biomarker to assess radiation exposure and predict outcome. Recent research has shown that the microbiome holds enormous potential for mitigation of radiation injury, in the context of both radiotherapy and radiological/nuclear public health emergencies. Gaps still exist, but the field is moving forward with much promise.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Andreu-Sánchez S, Chen L, Wang D, et al (2021)

A Benchmark of Genetic Variant Calling Pipelines Using Metagenomic Short-Read Sequencing.

Frontiers in genetics, 12:648229.

Microbes live in complex communities that are of major importance for environmental ecology, public health, and animal physiology and pathology. Short-read metagenomic shotgun sequencing is currently the state-of-the-art technique for exploring these communities. With the aid of metagenomics, our understanding of the microbiome is moving from composition toward functionality, even down to the genetic variant level. While the exploration of single-nucleotide variation in a genome is a standard procedure in genomics, and many sophisticated tools exist to perform this task, identification of genetic variation in metagenomes remains challenging. Major factors that hamper the widespread application of variant-calling analysis include low-depth sequencing of individual genomes (which is especially significant for the microorganisms present in low abundance), the existence of large genomic variation even within the same species, the absence of comprehensive reference genomes, and the noise introduced by next-generation sequencing errors. Some bioinformatics tools, such as metaSNV or InStrain, have been created to identify genetic variants in metagenomes, but the performance of these tools has not been systematically assessed or compared with the variant callers commonly used on single or pooled genomes. In this study, we benchmark seven bioinformatic tools for genetic variant calling in metagenomics data and assess their performance. To do so, we simulated metagenomic reads to mimic human microbial composition, sequencing errors, and genetic variability. We also simulated different conditions, including low and high depth of coverage and unique or multiple strains per species. Our analysis of the simulated data shows that probabilistic method-based tools such as HaplotypeCaller and Mutect2 from the GATK toolset show the best performance. By applying these tools to longitudinal gut microbiome data from the Human Microbiome Project, we show that the genetic similarity between longitudinal samples from the same individuals is significantly greater than the similarity between samples from different individuals. Our benchmark shows that probabilistic tools can be used to call metagenomes, and we recommend the use of GATK's tools as reliable variant callers for metagenomic samples.

RevDate: 2021-05-28

Zhou Q, Pang G, Zhang Z, et al (2021)

Association Between Gut Akkermansia and Metabolic Syndrome is Dose-Dependent and Affected by Microbial Interactions: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity : targets and therapy, 14:2177-2188.

Objective: Akkermansia muciniphila is among the most abundant bacterial species in the human intestine; however, its relationship to metabolic syndrome (MetS)-which is linked to gut dysbiosis-is not known. In this study, we investigated the association between Akkermansia abundance and risk of MetS and its components, as well as dose-response effects and the influence of microbial interactions on the association.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 6896 Chinese participants aged 18 to 97 years from the Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project. MetS was defined according to Joint Committee for Developing Chinese Guidelines on Prevention and Treatment of Dyslipidemia in Adults criteria. The abundance of Akkermansia was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing. Logistic regression analysis with adjustment for common confounders was performed to evaluate the association between Akkermansia and MetS and its components. Models with restricted cubic splines and interaction terms were used to examine the dose-response association and microbial interactions, respectively.

Results: The prevalence of MetS was 20.4%, and the median abundance of Akkermansia was 0.08% (interquartile range: 0.04-0.93%). Increased Akkermansia abundance was associated with decreased risk of MetS (P nonlinear<0.05), but this effect was not observed until the Akkermansia level was 0.2% of the total gut microbiota abundance (odds ratio=0.96, 95% confidence interval: 0.94-0.98). Of the 5 MetS components, obesity and hypertriglyceridemia showed the strongest association with Akkermansia, followed by reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, hypertension, and hyperglycemia. Microbial interaction analyses showed that Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae were the predominant bacterial families and were not only correlated with Akkermansia abundance but also influenced the Akkermansia-MetS association.

Conclusion: There is a dose-response association between reduced risk of MetS and increased abundance of Akkermansia. The association between Akkermansia and 5 MetS components is variable and affected by microbial interactions.

RevDate: 2021-05-26

Rogers AE, Hu YJ, Yue Y, et al (2021)

Shiftwork, functional bowel symptoms, and the microbiome.

PeerJ, 9:e11406.

Background: There are about 15 million Americans working full-time on evening, night, or rotating shifts. Between 48% and 81.9% of those working rotating or night shifts report abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea and other symptoms of functional bowel disorders. The basis for this high prevalence of functional bowel disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among shift workers is unknown. Animal studies, however, suggest that circadian disruption, similar to that in shift workers, may contribute to the development of GI complaints among shift workers by altering the composition and normal diurnal rhythmicity of the resident intestinal microbes. Therefore, the present study was designed to determine if there were differences in (1) composition and diversity of the microbiome of night shift workers compared to day shift workers; and (2) the composition and diversity of the microbiome among shift workers experiencing functional bowel symptoms compared to shift workers who did not experience functional bowel symptoms.

Methods: Fifty-one full time staff nurses who worked either 12-hour day or night shifts completed demographic information, and the Rome III IBS module. They also collected two samples of gut microbiota before the beginning and at the end of their last work shift on day 14, using validated field-tested methods consistent with the Human Microbiome Project. After DNA extraction, 16S rRNA sequencing and assignment to the genus level was completed, samples were then compared to determine if there were (1) differences in the diversity and profile of the microbiome by shift type; (2) if there were differences in the microbiome by time of day for collection; and (3) whether there were differences in the diversity and profile of the microbiome of nurses with IBS and those without IBS.

Results: There were no differences in alpha or beta diversity of gut microbiota when specimens from day and night shift nurses were compared. There were however marginal differences in beta diversity when specimens collected at the beginning and end of the shifts were compared, with seven OTUs being differentially abundant when collected from day shift workers in the evening. There were also three OTUs to be differentially abundant in participants reporting IBS symptoms.

RevDate: 2021-06-25
CmpDate: 2021-06-25

Liu C, Du MX, Abuduaini R, et al (2021)

Enlightening the taxonomy darkness of human gut microbiomes with a cultured biobank.

Microbiome, 9(1):119.

BACKGROUND: In gut microbiome studies, the cultured gut microbial resource plays essential roles, such as helping to unravel gut microbial functions and host-microbe interactions. Although several major studies have been performed to elucidate the cultured human gut microbiota, up to 70% of the Unified Human Gastrointestinal Genome species have not been cultured to date. Large-scale gut microbial isolation and identification as well as availability to the public are imperative for gut microbial studies and further characterizing human gut microbial functions.

RESULTS: In this study, we constructed a human Gut Microbial Biobank (hGMB; homepage: hgmb.nmdc.cn) through the cultivation of 10,558 isolates from 31 sample mixtures of 239 fresh fecal samples from healthy Chinese volunteers, and deposited 1170 strains representing 400 different species in culture collections of the International Depository Authority for long-term preservation and public access worldwide. Following the rules of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes, 102 new species were characterized and denominated, while 28 new genera and 3 new families were proposed. hGMB represented over 80% of the common and dominant human gut microbial genera and species characterized from global human gut 16S rRNA gene amplicon data (n = 11,647) and cultured 24 "most-wanted" and "medium priority" taxa proposed by the Human Microbiome Project. We in total sequenced 115 genomes representing 102 novel taxa and 13 previously known species. Further in silico analysis revealed that the newly sequenced hGMB genomes represented 22 previously uncultured species in the Unified Human Gastrointestinal Genome (UHGG) and contributed 24 representatives of potentially "dark taxa" that had not been discovered by UHGG. The nonredundant gene catalogs generated from the hGMB genomes covered over 50% of the functionally known genes (KEGG orthologs) in the largest global human gut gene catalogs and approximately 10% of the "most wanted" functionally unknown proteins in the FUnkFams database.

CONCLUSIONS: A publicly accessible human Gut Microbial Biobank (hGMB) was established that contained 1170 strains and represents 400 human gut microbial species. hGMB expands the gut microbial resources and genomic repository by adding 102 novel species, 28 new genera, 3 new families, and 115 new genomes of human gut microbes. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-10-25
CmpDate: 2021-10-25

Herzig AF, Velo-Suárez L, Le Folgoc G, et al (2021)

Evaluation of saliva as a source of accurate whole-genome and microbiome sequencing data.

Genetic epidemiology, 45(5):537-548.

This study sets out to establish the suitability of saliva-based whole-genome sequencing (WGS) through a comparison against blood-based WGS. To fully appraise the observed differences, we developed a novel technique of pseudo-replication. We also investigated the potential of characterizing individual salivary microbiomes from non-human DNA fragments found in saliva. We observed that the majority of discordant genotype calls between blood and saliva fell into known regions of the human genome that are typically sequenced with low confidence; and could be identified by quality control measures. Pseudo-replication demonstrated that the levels of discordance between blood- and saliva-derived WGS data were entirely similar to what one would expect between technical replicates if an individual's blood or saliva had been sequenced twice. Finally, we successfully sequenced salivary microbiomes in parallel to human genomes as demonstrated by a comparison against the Human Microbiome Project.

RevDate: 2021-11-12
CmpDate: 2021-11-12

Pinto D, Ciardiello T, Franzoni M, et al (2021)

Effect of commonly used cosmetic preservatives on skin resident microflora dynamics.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8695.

Human skin is populated by various microorganisms, the so-called microbiota, such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fungi, and archaea. The skin microbiota is in constant contact with the surrounding environment which can alter its eubiotic state. Recently it has been also observed that the application of cosmetic products can alter the balance of the skin microbiota. This effect may be attributed to many factors including the residual activity of the preservatives on the skin. In the present work, we studied the effect of eleven preservatives commonly found in cosmetic products on Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus aureus in vitro using 3D skin models and culture-dependent methods. Also, the effect on Histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) has been investigated. Among tested combinations, three resulted as the best suitable for restoring a pre-existing dysbiosis since they act moderately inhibiting C. acnes and strongly S. aureus without simultaneously inhibiting the growth of S. epidermidis. The other four combinations resulted as the best suitable for use in topical products for skin and scalp in which it is necessary to preserve the eubiosis of the microbiota. Some of the tested were also able to increase HDAC3 expression. Taking together these data highlight the role of preservatives of skin resident microflora dynamics and could provide a reference for correctly choice preservatives and dosage in cosmetic formulations to preserve or restore homeostasis of skin microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-07-05
CmpDate: 2021-07-05

Ceprnja M, Oros D, Melvan E, et al (2021)

Modeling of Urinary Microbiota Associated With Cystitis.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:643638.

A decade ago, when the Human Microbiome Project was starting, urinary tract (UT) was not included because the bladder and urine were considered to be sterile. Today, we are presented with evidence that healthy UT possesses native microbiota and any major event disrupting its "equilibrium" can impact the host also. This dysbiosis often leads to cystitis symptoms, which is the most frequent lower UT complaint, especially among women. Cystitis is one of the most common causes of antimicrobial drugs prescriptions in primary and secondary care and an important contributor to the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Despite this fact, we still have trouble distinguishing whether the primary cause of majority of cystitis cases is a single pathogen overgrowth, or a systemic disorder affecting entire UT microbiota. There are relatively few studies monitoring changes and dynamics of UT microbiota in cystitis patients, making this field of research still an unknown. In this study variations to the UT microbiota of cystitis patients were identified and microbial dynamics has been modeled. The microbial genetic profile of urine samples from 28 patients was analyzed by 16S rDNA Illumina sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. One patient with bacterial cystitis symptoms was prescribed therapy based on national guideline recommendations on antibacterial treatment of urinary tract infections (UTI) and UT microbiota change was monitored by 16S rDNA sequencing on 24 h basis during the entire therapy duration. The results of sequencing implied that a particular class of bacteria is associated with majority of cystitis cases in this study. The contributing role of this class of bacteria - Gammaproteobacteria, was further predicted by generalized Lotka-Volterra modeling (gLVM). Longitudinal microbiota insight obtained from a single patient under prescribed antimicrobial therapy revealed rapid and extensive changes in microbial composition and emphasized the need for current guidelines revision in regards to therapy duration. Models based on gLVM indicated protective role of two taxonomic classes of bacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidia class, which appear to actively suppress pathogen overgrowth.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-06-16

Ma Y, Zhang Y, Xiang J, et al (2021)

Metagenome Analysis of Intestinal Bacteria in Healthy People, Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Colorectal Cancer.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:599734.

Objectives: Several reports suggesting that the intestinal microbiome plays a key role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or colorectal cancer (CRC), but the changes of intestinal bacteria in healthy people, patients with IBD and CRC are not fully explained. The study aimed to investigate changes of intestinal bacteria in healthy subjects, patients with IBD, and patients with CRC.

Materials: We collected data from the European Nucleotide Archive on healthy people and patients with colorectal cancer with the study accession number PRJEB6070, PRJEB7774, PRJEB27928, PRJEB12449, and PRJEB10878, collected IBD patient data from the Integrated Human Microbiome Project from the Human Microbiome Project Data Portal. We performed metagenome-wide association studies on the fecal samples from 290 healthy subjects, 512 IBD patients, and 285 CRC patients. We used the metagenomics dataset to study bacterial community structure, relative abundance, functional prediction, differentially abundant bacteria, and co-occurrence networks.

Results: The bacterial community structure in both IBD and CRC was significantly different from healthy subjects. Our results showed that IBD patients had low intestinal bacterial diversity and CRC patients had high intestinal bacterial diversity compared to healthy subjects. At the phylum level, the relative abundance of Firmicutes in IBD decreased significantly, while the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes increased significantly. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Bacteroides in IBD was higher than in healthy people and CRC. Compared with healthy people and CRC, the main difference of intestinal bacteria in IBD patients was Bacteroidetes, and compared with healthy people and IBD, the main difference of intestinal bacteria in CRC patients was in Fusobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, and Proteobacteria. The main differences in the functional composition of intestinal bacteria in healthy people, IBD and CRC patients were L-homoserine and L-methionine biosynthesis, 5-aminoimidazole ribonucleotide biosynthesis II, L-methionine biosynthesis I, and superpathway of L-lysine, L-threonine, and L-methionine biosynthesis I. The results of stratified showed that the abundance of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria involved in metabolic pathways has significantly changed. Besides, the association network of intestinal bacteria in healthy people, IBD, and CRC patients has also changed.

Conclusions: In conclusion, compared with healthy people, the taxonomic and functional composition of intestinal bacteria in IBD and CRC patients was significantly changed.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Zhou Y, He Y, Liu L, et al (2021)

Alterations in Gut Microbial Communities Across Anatomical Locations in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Frontiers in nutrition, 8:615064.

We previously discovered that gut microbiota can serve as universal microbial biomarkers for diagnosis, disease activity assessment, and predicting the response to infliximab treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Much still remains unknown about the relationship between alterations in gut microbiota and IBD affected bowel region, in particular in the case of ulcerative colitis (UC) and colonic Crohn's disease (cCD) without endoscopic and biopsy data. In the current study gut microbiota from a population in China was found to be distinct from that of the Western world [Human Microbiome Project (HMP) data]. Furthermore, both gut microbiota greatly differed from microbiota of other anatomical locations (oral, skin, airway, and vagina), with higher alpha-diversity (Chinese gut > HMP gut > oral microbiome > airway microbiome > skin microbiome > vaginal microbiome), and marked differences in microbiome composition. In patients with IBD in China, UC was characterized by the presence of Gardnerella, while cCD was characterized by the presence of Fusobacterium. Moreover, gut microbiota, such as Gardnerella and Fusobacterium, may be potential biomarkers for identifying UC from cCD. Together, this study revealed crucial differences in microbial communities across anatomical locations, and demonstrated that there was an important association between IBD affected bowel region and gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Bar J, Sarig O, Lotan-Pompan M, et al (2021)

Evidence for cutaneous dysbiosis in dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa.

Clinical and experimental dermatology, 46(7):1223-1229.

BACKGROUND: The human microbiome project addresses the relationship between bacterial flora and the human host, in both healthy and diseased conditions. The skin is an ecosystem with multiple niches, each featuring unique physiological conditions and thus hosting different bacterial populations. The skin microbiome has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many dermatoses. Given the role of dysbiosis in the pathogenesis of inflammation, which is prominent in dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), we undertook a study on the skin microbiome.

AIM: To characterize the skin microbiome in a series of patients with DEB.

METHODS: This was a case-control study of eight patients with DEB and nine control cases enrolled between June 2017 and November 2018. The skin of patients with DEB was sampled at three different sites: untreated wound, perilesional skin and normal-appearing (uninvolved) skin. Normal skin on the forearm was sampled from age-matched healthy controls (HCs). We used a dedicated DNA extraction protocol to isolate microbial DNA, which was then analysed using next-generation microbial 16S rRNA sequencing. Data were analysed using a series of advanced bioinformatics tools.

RESULTS: The wounds, perilesional and uninvolved skin of patients with DEB demonstrated reduced bacterial diversity compared with HCs, with the flora in DEB wounds being the least diverse. We found an increased prevalence of staphylococci species in the lesional and perilesional skin of patients with DEB, compared with their uninvolved, intact skin. Similarly, the uninvolved skin of patients with DEB displayed increased staphylococcal content and significantly different microbiome diversities (other than staphylococci) compared with HC skin.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest the existence of a unique DEB-associated skin microbiome signature, which could be targeted by specific pathogen-directed therapies. Moreover, altering the skin microbiome with increasing colonization of bacteria associated with nonchronic wounds may potentially facilitate wound healing in patients with DEB.

RevDate: 2021-08-10
CmpDate: 2021-08-10

Nuzzo A, Saha S, Berg E, et al (2021)

Expanding the drug discovery space with predicted metabolite-target interactions.

Communications biology, 4(1):288.

Metabolites produced in the human gut are known modulators of host immunity. However, large-scale identification of metabolite-host receptor interactions remains a daunting challenge. Here, we employed computational approaches to identify 983 potential metabolite-target interactions using the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) cohort dataset of the Human Microbiome Project 2 (HMP2). Using a consensus of multiple machine learning methods, we ranked metabolites based on importance to IBD, followed by virtual ligand-based screening to identify possible human targets and adding evidence from compound assay, differential gene expression, pathway enrichment, and genome-wide association studies. We confirmed known metabolite-target pairs such as nicotinic acid-GPR109a or linoleoyl ethanolamide-GPR119 and inferred interactions of interest including oleanolic acid-GABRG2 and alpha-CEHC-THRB. Eleven metabolites were tested for bioactivity in vitro using human primary cell-types. By expanding the universe of possible microbial metabolite-host protein interactions, we provide multiple drug targets for potential immune-therapies.

RevDate: 2021-03-16

Huang E, Kim S, T Ahn (2021)

Deep Learning for Integrated Analysis of Insulin Resistance with Multi-Omics Data.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(2):.

Technological advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) have made it possible to uncover extensive and dynamic alterations in diverse molecular components and biological pathways across healthy and diseased conditions. Large amounts of multi-omics data originating from emerging NGS experiments require feature engineering, which is a crucial step in the process of predictive modeling. The underlying relationship among multi-omics features in terms of insulin resistance is not well understood. In this study, using the multi-omics data of type II diabetes from the Integrative Human Microbiome Project, from 10,783 features, we conducted a data analytic approach to elucidate the relationship between insulin resistance and multi-omics features, including microbiome data. To better explain the impact of microbiome features on insulin classification, we used a developed deep neural network interpretation algorithm for each microbiome feature's contribution to the discriminative model output in the samples.

RevDate: 2021-04-06
CmpDate: 2021-04-06

Blaustein RA, Michelitsch LM, Glawe AJ, et al (2021)

Toothbrush microbiomes feature a meeting ground for human oral and environmental microbiota.

Microbiome, 9(1):32.

BACKGROUND: While indoor microbiomes impact our health and well-being, much remains unknown about taxonomic and functional transitions that occur in human-derived microbial communities once they are transferred away from human hosts. Toothbrushes are a model to investigate the potential response of oral-derived microbiota to conditions of the built environment. Here, we characterize metagenomes of toothbrushes from 34 subjects to define the toothbrush microbiome and resistome and possible influential factors.

RESULTS: Toothbrush microbiomes often comprised a dominant subset of human oral taxa and less abundant or site-specific environmental strains. Although toothbrushes contained lower taxonomic diversity than oral-associated counterparts (determined by comparison with the Human Microbiome Project), they had relatively broader antimicrobial resistance gene (ARG) profiles. Toothbrush resistomes were enriched with a variety of ARGs, notably those conferring multidrug efflux and putative resistance to triclosan, which were primarily attributable to versatile environmental taxa. Toothbrush microbial communities and resistomes correlated with a variety of factors linked to personal health, dental hygiene, and bathroom features.

CONCLUSIONS: Selective pressures in the built environment may shape the dynamic mixture of human (primarily oral-associated) and environmental microbiota that encounter each other on toothbrushes. Harboring a microbial diversity and resistome distinct from human-associated counterparts suggests toothbrushes could potentially serve as a reservoir that may enable the transfer of ARGs. Video abstract.

RevDate: 2021-10-15

Sidiropoulos DN, Al-Ghalith GA, Shields-Cutler RR, et al (2020)

Wild primate microbiomes prevent weight gain in germ-free mice.

Animal microbiome, 2(1):16.

BACKGROUND: The gut microbiome harbors trillions of bacteria that play a major role in dietary nutrient extraction and host metabolism. Metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes are associated with shifts in microbiome composition and have been on the rise in Westernized or highly industrialized countries. At the same time, Westernized diets low in dietary fiber have been shown to cause loss of gut microbial diversity. However, the link between microbiome composition, loss of dietary fiber, and obesity has not been well defined.

RESULTS: To study the interactions between gut microbiota, dietary fiber, and weight gain, we transplanted captive and wild douc gut microbiota into germ-free mice and then exposed them to either a high- or low-fiber diet. The group receiving captive douc microbiota gained significantly more weight, regardless of diet, while mice receiving a high-fiber diet and wild douc microbiota remained lean. In the presence of a low-fiber diet, the wild douc microbiota partially prevented weight gain. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing we identified key bacterial taxa in each group, specifically a high relative abundance of Bacteroides and Akkermansia in captive douc FMT mice and a higher relative abundance of Lactobacillus and Clostridium in the wild douc FMT mice.

CONCLUSIONS: In the context of our germ-free mouse experiment, wild douc microbiota could serve as a reservoir for microbes for cross-species transplants. Our results suggest that wild douc microbiota are tailored to diverse fiber diets and can prevent weight gain when exposed to a native diet.

RevDate: 2021-07-01

Garcia EM, Serrano MG, Edupuganti L, et al (2021)

Sequence Comparison of Vaginolysin from Different Gardnerella Species.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(2):.

Gardnerella vaginalis has recently been split into 13 distinct species. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that species-specific variations in the vaginolysin (VLY) amino acid sequence could influence the interaction between the toxin and vaginal epithelial cells and that VLY variation may be one factor that distinguishes less virulent or commensal strains from more virulent strains. This was assessed by bioinformatic analyses of publicly available Gardnerella spp. sequences and quantification of cytotoxicity and cytokine production from purified, recombinantly produced versions of VLY. After identifying conserved differences that could distinguish distinct VLY types, we analyzed metagenomic data from a cohort of female subjects from the Vaginal Human Microbiome Project to investigate whether these different VLY types exhibited any significant associations with symptoms or Gardnerella spp.-relative abundance in vaginal swab samples. While Type 1 VLY was most prevalent among the subjects and may be associated with increased reports of symptoms, subjects with Type 2 VLY dominant profiles exhibited increased relative Gardnerella spp. abundance. Our findings suggest that amino acid differences alter the interaction of VLY with vaginal keratinocytes, which may potentiate differences in bacterial vaginosis (BV) immunopathology in vivo.

RevDate: 2021-06-21
CmpDate: 2021-06-21

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

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

BMC medicine, 19(1):13.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-01-06
CmpDate: 2021-01-06

Duan Y, Wang S, Chen Y, et al (2020)

[Expert consensus on microbiome sequencing and analysis].

Sheng wu gong cheng xue bao = Chinese journal of biotechnology, 36(12):2516-2524.

In the past ten years, the research and application of microbiome has continued to increase. The microbiome has gradually become the research focus in the fields of life science, environmental science, and medicine. Meanwhile, many countries and organizations around the world are launching their own microbiome projects and conducting a multi-faceted layout, striving to gain a strategic position in this promising field. In addition, whether it is scientific research or industrial applications, there has been a climax of research and a wave of investment and financing, accordingly, products and services related to the microbiome are constantly emerging. However, due to the rapid development of microbiome sequencing and analysis related technologies and methods, the research and application from various countries have not yet unified on the standards of technology, programs, and data. Domestic industry participants also have insufficient understanding of the microbiome. New methods, technologies, and theories have not yet been fully accepted and used. In addition, some of the existing standards and guidelines are too general with poor practicality. This not only causes obstacles in the integration of scientific research data and waste of resources, but also gives related companies unfair competition opportunity. More importantly, China still lacks national standards related to the microbiome, and the national microbiome project is still in the process of preparation. In this context, the experts and practitioners of the microbiome worked together and developed the consensus of experts. It can not only guide domestic scientific research and industrial institutions to regulate the production, learning and research of the microbiome, the application can also provide reference technical basis for the relevant national functional departments, protect the scale and standardized corporate company's interests, strengthen industry self-discipline, avoid unregulated enterprises from disrupting the market, and ultimately promote the benign development of microbiome-related industries.

RevDate: 2021-08-10
CmpDate: 2021-08-10

Gomes JÁP, Frizon L, VF Demeda (2020)

Ocular Surface Microbiome in Health and Disease.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-11-30
CmpDate: 2021-11-30

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

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

Genome biology, 21(1):293.

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

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

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

RevDate: 2020-12-29

Oliveira BFR, Lopes IR, Canellas ALB, et al (2020)

Not That Close to Mommy: Horizontal Transmission Seeds the Microbiome Associated with the Marine Sponge Plakina cyanorosea.

Microorganisms, 8(12):.

Marine sponges are excellent examples of invertebrate-microbe symbioses. In this holobiont, the partnership has elegantly evolved by either transmitting key microbial associates through the host germline and/or capturing microorganisms from the surrounding seawater. We report here on the prokaryotic microbiota during different developmental stages of Plakina cyanorosea and their surrounding environmental samples by a 16S rRNA metabarcoding approach. In comparison with their source adults, larvae housed slightly richer and more diverse microbial communities, which are structurally more related to the environmental microbiota. In addition to the thaumarchaeal Nitrosopumilus, parental sponges were broadly dominated by Alpha- and Gamma-proteobacteria, while the offspring were particularly enriched in the Vibrionales, Alteromonodales, Enterobacterales orders and the Clostridia and Bacteroidia classes. An enterobacterial operational taxonomic unit (OTU) was the dominant member of the strict core microbiota. The most abundant and unique OTUs were not significantly enriched amongst the microbiomes from host specimens included in the sponge microbiome project. In a wider context, Oscarella and Plakina are the sponge genera with higher divergence in their associated microbiota compared to their Homoscleromorpha counterparts. Our results indicate that P. cyanorosea is a low microbial abundance sponge (LMA), which appears to heavily depend on the horizontal transmission of its microbial partners that likely help the sponge host in the adaptation to its habitat.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Ghemrawi M, Torres AR, Duncan G, et al (2021)

The genital microbiome and its potential for detecting sexual assault.

Forensic science international. Genetics, 51:102432.

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

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2021-01-26

Creasy HH, Felix V, Aluvathingal J, et al (2021)

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

Nucleic acids research, 49(D1):D734-D742.

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

RevDate: 2021-07-23
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

Durrant MG, AS Bhatt (2021)

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

Cell host & microbe, 29(1):121-131.e4.

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

RevDate: 2020-12-08

Joseph N, Clayton JB, Hoops SL, et al (2020)

Alteration of the Gut Microbiome in Normal and Overweight School Children from Selangor with Lactobacillus Fermented Milk Administration.

Evolutionary bioinformatics online, 16:1176934320965943.

Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem worldwide. Perturbations in the gut microbiota composition have been associated with the development of obesity in both children and adults. Probiotics, on the other hand, are proven to restore the composition of the gut microbiome which helps reduce the development of obesity. However, data on the effect of probiotics on gut microbiota and its association with childhood obesity is limited. This study aims to determine the effect of probiotics supplement intervention on gut microbiota profiles in obese and normal-weight children. A total of 37 children, 17 normal weight, and 20 overweight school children from a government school in Selangor were selected to participate in this study. Participants were further divided into intervention and control groups. The intervention groups received daily probiotic drinks while the control groups continued eating their typical diet. Fecal samples were collected from the participants for DNA extraction. The hypervariable V3 and V4 regions of 16S rRNA gene were amplified and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. No significant differences in alpha diversity were observed between normal weight and obese children in terms of the Shannon Index for evenness or species richness. However, a higher intervention effect on alpha diversity was observed among normal-weight participants compared to obese. The participants' microbiome was found to fluctuate throughout the study. Analysis of the taxa at species level showed an increase in Bacteroides ovatus among the normal weight cohort. Genus-level comparison revealed a rise in genus Lachnospira and Ruminococcus in the overweight participants after intervention, compared to the normal-weight participants. The probiotics intervention causes an alteration in gut microbiota composition in both normal and overweight children. Though the association could not be defined statistically, this study has provided an improved understanding of the intervention effect of probiotics on gut microbiome dysbiosis in an underrepresented population.

RevDate: 2021-03-22
CmpDate: 2021-03-22

Madi N, Vos M, Murall CL, et al (2020)

Does diversity beget diversity in microbiomes?.

eLife, 9:.

Microbes are embedded in complex communities where they engage in a wide array of intra- and inter-specific interactions. The extent to which these interactions drive or impede microbiome diversity is not well understood. Historically, two contrasting hypotheses have been suggested to explain how species interactions could influence diversity. 'Ecological Controls' (EC) predicts a negative relationship, where the evolution or migration of novel types is constrained as niches become filled. In contrast, 'Diversity Begets Diversity' (DBD) predicts a positive relationship, with existing diversity promoting the accumulation of further diversity via niche construction and other interactions. Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing data from the Earth Microbiome Project, we provide evidence that DBD is strongest in low-diversity biomes, but weaker in more diverse biomes, consistent with biotic interactions initially favouring the accumulation of diversity (as predicted by DBD). However, as niches become increasingly filled, diversity hits a plateau (as predicted by EC).

RevDate: 2020-10-30

Mise K, W Iwasaki (2020)

Environmental Atlas of Prokaryotes Enables Powerful and Intuitive Habitat-Based Analysis of Community Structures.

iScience, 23(10):101624.

The recent prevalence of high-throughput sequencing has been producing numerous prokaryotic community structure datasets. Although the trait-based approach is useful to interpret those datasets from ecological perspectives, available trait information is biased toward culturable prokaryotes, especially those of clinical and public health relevance, and thus may not represent the breadth of microbiota found across many of Earth's environments. To facilitate habitat-based analysis free of such bias, here we report a ready-to-use prokaryotic habitat database, ProkAtlas. ProkAtlas comprehensively links 16S rRNA gene sequences to prokaryotic habitats, using public shotgun metagenome datasets. We also developed a computational pipeline for habitat-based analysis of given prokaryotic community structures. After confirmation of the method effectiveness using 16S rRNA gene sequence datasets from individual genomes and the Earth Microbiome Project, we showed its validness and effectiveness in drawing ecological insights by applying it to six empirical prokaryotic community datasets from soil, aquatic, and human gut samples.

RevDate: 2021-03-17
CmpDate: 2021-01-19

Sternes PR, Martin TM, Paley M, et al (2020)

HLA-A alleles including HLA-A29 affect the composition of the gut microbiome: a potential clue to the pathogenesis of birdshot retinochoroidopathy.

Scientific reports, 10(1):17636.

Birdshot retinochoroidopathy occurs exclusively in individuals who are HLA-A29 positive. The mechanism to account for this association is unknown. The gut microbiome has been causally implicated in many immune-mediated diseases. We hypothesized that HLA-A29 would affect the composition of the gut microbiome, leading to a dysbiosis and immune-mediated eye disease. Fecal and intestinal biopsy samples were obtained from 107 healthy individuals from Portland, Oregon environs, 10 of whom were HLA-A29 positive, undergoing routine colonoscopy. Bacterial profiling was achieved via 16S rRNA metabarcoding. Publicly available whole meta-genome sequencing data from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP), consisting of 298 healthy controls mostly of US origin, were also interrogated. PERMANOVA and sparse partial least squares discriminant analysis (sPLSDA) demonstrated that subjects who were HLA-A29 positive differed in bacterial species composition (beta diversity) compared to HLA-A29 negative subjects in both the Portland (p = 0.019) and HMP cohorts (p = 0.0002). The Portland and HMP cohorts evidenced different subsets of bacterial species associated with HLA-A29 status, likely due to differences in the metagenomic techniques employed. The functional composition of the HMP cohort did not differ overall (p = 0.14) between HLA-A29 positive and negative subjects, although some distinct pathways such as heparan sulfate biosynthesis showed differences. As we and others have shown for various HLA alleles, the HLA allotype impacts the composition of the microbiome. We hypothesize that HLA-A29 may predispose chorioretinitis via an altered gut microbiome.

RevDate: 2021-12-09

Mancin L, Rollo I, Mota JF, et al (2021)

Optimizing Microbiota Profiles for Athletes.

Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 49(1):42-49.

Gut microbiome influences athletes' physiology, but because of the complexity of sport performance and the great intervariability of microbiome features, it is not reasonable to define a single healthy microbiota profile for athletes. We suggest the use of specific meta-omics analysis coupled with innovative computational systems to uncover the hidden association between microbes and athlete's physiology and predict personalized recommendation.

RevDate: 2020-10-13

Zelaya AJ, Gerardo NM, Blumer LS, et al (2020)

The Bean Beetle Microbiome Project: A Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience in Microbiology.

Frontiers in microbiology, 11:577621.

Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) are an effective means of transforming the learning and teaching of science by involving students in the scientific process. The potential importance of the microbiome in shaping both environmental health and disease makes investigations of microbiomes an excellent teaching tool for undergraduate microbiology. Here, we present a CURE based on the microbiome of the bean beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus), a model system for undergraduate laboratory education. Despite the extensive research literature on bean beetles, little is known about their microbiome, making them an ideal system for a discovery-based CURE. In the CURE, students acquire microbiological technical skills by characterizing both culturable and unculturable members of the beetle gut-microbial community. Students plate beetle gut homogenates on different media, describe the colonies that are formed to estimate taxonomic diversity, extract DNA from colonies of interest, PCR amplify the16S rRNA gene for Sanger sequencing, and use the NCBI-nBLAST database to taxonomically classify sequences. Additionally, students extract total DNA from beetle gut homogenates for high-throughput paired-end sequencing and perform bioinformatic and statistical analyses of bacterial communities using a combination of open-access data processing software. Each activity allows students to engage with studies of microbiomes in a real-world context, to apply concepts and laboratory techniques to investigate either student or faculty-driven research questions, and to gain valuable experiences working with large high-throughput datasets. The CURE is designed such that it can be implemented over either 6-weeks (half semester) or 12-weeks (full semester), allowing for flexibility within the curriculum. Furthermore, student-generated data from the CURE (including bacterial colony phenotypic data, full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences from cultured isolates, and bacterial community sequences from gut homogenates) has been compiled in a continuously curated open-access database on the Bean Beetle Microbiome Project website, facilitating the generation of broader research questions across laboratory classrooms.

RevDate: 2021-03-22
CmpDate: 2021-03-22

Ervin SM, Simpson JB, Gibbs ME, et al (2020)

Structural Insights into Endobiotic Reactivation by Human Gut Microbiome-Encoded Sulfatases.

Biochemistry, 59(40):3939-3950.

Phase II drug metabolism inactivates xenobiotics and endobiotics through the addition of either a glucuronic acid or sulfate moiety prior to excretion, often via the gastrointestinal tract. While the human gut microbial β-glucuronidase enzymes that reactivate glucuronide conjugates in the intestines are becoming well characterized and even controlled by targeted inhibitors, the sulfatases encoded by the human gut microbiome have not been comprehensively examined. Gut microbial sulfatases are poised to reactivate xenobiotics and endobiotics, which are then capable of undergoing enterohepatic recirculation or exerting local effects on the gut epithelium. Here, using protein structure-guided methods, we identify 728 distinct microbiome-encoded sulfatase proteins from the 4.8 million unique proteins present in the Human Microbiome Project Stool Sample database and 1766 gut microbial sulfatases from the 9.9 million sequences in the Integrated Gene Catalogue. We purify a representative set of these sulfatases, elucidate crystal structures, and pinpoint unique structural motifs essential to endobiotic sulfate processing. Gut microbial sulfatases differentially process sulfated forms of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, and the hormones melatonin, estrone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and thyroxine in a manner dependent both on variabilities in active site architecture and on markedly distinct oligomeric states. Taken together, these data provide initial insights into the structural and functional diversity of gut microbial sulfatases, providing a path toward defining the roles these enzymes play in health and disease.

RevDate: 2021-04-02
CmpDate: 2021-04-02

Gail MH, Wan Y, J Shi (2021)

Power of Microbiome Beta-Diversity Analyses Based on Standard Reference Samples.

American journal of epidemiology, 190(3):439-447.

A simple method to analyze microbiome beta-diversity computes mean beta-diversity distances from a test sample to standard reference samples. We used reference stool and nasal samples from the Human Microbiome Project and regressed an outcome on mean distances (2 degrees-of-freedom (df) test) or additionally on squares and cross-product of mean distances (5-df test). We compared the power of 2-df and 5-df tests with the microbiome regression-based kernel association test (MiRKAT). In simulations, MiRKAT had moderately greater power than the 2-df test for discriminating skin versus saliva and skin versus nasal samples, but differences were negligible for skin versus stool and stool versus nasal samples. The 2-df test had slightly greater power than MiRKAT for Dirichlet multinomial samples. In associating body mass index with beta-diversity in stool samples from the American Gut Project, the 5-df test yielded smaller P values than MiRKAT for most taxonomic levels and beta-diversity measures. Unlike procedures like MiRKAT that are based on the beta-diversity matrix, mean distances to reference samples can be analyzed with standard statistical tools and shared or meta-analyzed without sharing primary DNA data. Our data indicate that standard reference tests have power comparable to MiRKAT's (and to permutational multivariate analysis of variance), but more simulations and applications are needed to confirm this.

RevDate: 2020-10-27
CmpDate: 2020-10-27

Walters KE, JBH Martiny (2020)

Alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity of bacteria varies across habitats.

PloS one, 15(9):e0233872.

Bacteria are essential parts of ecosystems and are the most diverse organisms on the planet. Yet, we still do not know which habitats support the highest diversity of bacteria across multiple scales. We analyzed alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity of bacterial assemblages using 11,680 samples compiled by the Earth Microbiome Project. We found that soils contained the highest bacterial richness within a single sample (alpha-diversity), but sediment assemblages displayed the highest gamma-diversity. Sediment, biofilms/mats, and inland water exhibited the most variation in community composition among geographic locations (beta-diversity). Within soils, agricultural lands, hot deserts, grasslands, and shrublands contained the highest richness, while forests, cold deserts, and tundra biomes consistently harbored fewer bacterial species. Surprisingly, agricultural soils encompassed similar levels of beta-diversity as other soil biomes. These patterns were robust to the alpha- and beta- diversity metrics used and the taxonomic binning approach. Overall, the results support the idea that spatial environmental heterogeneity is an important driver of bacterial diversity.

RevDate: 2021-03-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

Zhang Z, Wang J, Wang J, et al (2020)

Estimate of the sequenced proportion of the global prokaryotic genome.

Microbiome, 8(1):134.

BACKGROUND: Sequencing prokaryotic genomes has revolutionized our understanding of the many roles played by microorganisms. However, the cell and taxon proportions of genome-sequenced bacteria or archaea on earth remain unknown. This study aimed to explore this basic question using large-scale alignment between the sequences released by the Earth Microbiome Project and 155,810 prokaryotic genomes from public databases.

RESULTS: Our results showed that the median proportions of the genome-sequenced cells and taxa (at 100% identities in the 16S-V4 region) in different biomes reached 38.1% (16.4-86.3%) and 18.8% (9.1-52.6%), respectively. The sequenced proportions of the prokaryotic genomes in biomes were significantly negatively correlated with the alpha diversity indices, and the proportions sequenced in host-associated biomes were significantly higher than those in free-living biomes. Due to a set of cosmopolitan OTUs that are found in multiple samples and preferentially sequenced, only 2.1% of the global prokaryotic taxa are represented by sequenced genomes. Most of the biomes were occupied by a few predominant taxa with a high relative abundance and much higher genome-sequenced proportions than numerous rare taxa.

CONCLUSIONS: These results reveal the current situation of prokaryotic genome sequencing for earth biomes, provide a more reasonable and efficient exploration of prokaryotic genomes, and promote our understanding of microbial ecological functions. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2020-10-21
CmpDate: 2020-10-21

Guerrini V, Louza FA, G Rosone (2020)

Metagenomic analysis through the extended Burrows-Wheeler transform.

BMC bioinformatics, 21(Suppl 8):299.

BACKGROUND: The development of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has had a major impact on the study of genetic sequences. Among problems that researchers in the field have to face, one of the most challenging is the taxonomic classification of metagenomic reads, i.e., identifying the microorganisms that are present in a sample collected directly from the environment. The analysis of environmental samples (metagenomes) are particularly important to figure out the microbial composition of different ecosystems and it is used in a wide variety of fields: for instance, metagenomic studies in agriculture can help understanding the interactions between plants and microbes, or in ecology, they can provide valuable insights into the functions of environmental communities.

RESULTS: In this paper, we describe a new lightweight alignment-free and assembly-free framework for metagenomic classification that compares each unknown sequence in the sample to a collection of known genomes. We take advantage of the combinatorial properties of an extension of the Burrows-Wheeler transform, and we sequentially scan the required data structures, so that we can analyze unknown sequences of large collections using little internal memory. The tool LiME (Lightweight Metagenomics via eBWT) is available at https://github.com/veronicaguerrini/LiME .

CONCLUSIONS: In order to assess the reliability of our approach, we run several experiments on NGS data from two simulated metagenomes among those provided in benchmarking analysis and on a real metagenome from the Human Microbiome Project. The experiment results on the simulated data show that LiME is competitive with the widely used taxonomic classifiers. It achieves high levels of precision and specificity - e.g. 99.9% of the positive control reads are correctly assigned and the percentage of classified reads of the negative control is less than 0.01% - while keeping a high sensitivity. On the real metagenome, we show that LiME is able to deliver classification results comparable to that of MagicBlast. Overall, the experiments confirm the effectiveness of our method and its high accuracy even in negative control samples.

RevDate: 2021-07-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

Golovko G, Kamil K, Albayrak L, et al (2020)

Identification of multidimensional Boolean patterns in microbial communities.

Microbiome, 8(1):131.

BACKGROUND: Identification of complex multidimensional interaction patterns within microbial communities is the key to understand, modulate, and design beneficial microbiomes. Every community has members that fulfill an essential function affecting multiple other community members through secondary metabolism. Since microbial community members are often simultaneously involved in multiple relations, not all interaction patterns for such microorganisms are expected to exhibit a visually uninterrupted pattern. As a result, such relations cannot be detected using traditional correlation, mutual information, principal coordinate analysis, or covariation-based network inference approaches.

RESULTS: We present a novel pattern-specific method to quantify the strength and estimate the statistical significance of two-dimensional co-presence, co-exclusion, and one-way relation patterns between abundance profiles of two organisms as well as extend this approach to allow search and visualize three-, four-, and higher dimensional patterns. The proposed approach has been tested using 2380 microbiome samples from the Human Microbiome Project resulting in body site-specific networks of statistically significant 2D patterns as well as revealed the presence of 3D patterns in the Human Microbiome Project data.

CONCLUSIONS: The presented study suggested that search for Boolean patterns in the microbial abundance data needs to be pattern specific. The reported presence of multidimensional patterns (which cannot be reduced to a combination of two-dimensional patterns) suggests that multidimensional (multi-organism) relations may play important roles in the organization of microbial communities, and their detection (and appropriate visualization) may lead to a deeper understanding of the organization and dynamics of microbial communities. Video Abstract.

RevDate: 2021-12-03
CmpDate: 2021-05-27

Reyes-Gibby CC, Wang J, Zhang L, et al (2020)

Oral microbiome and onset of oral mucositis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

Cancer, 126(23):5124-5136.

BACKGROUND: Oral mucositis (OM) is a debilitating sequela for patients treated for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC). This study investigated whether oral microbial features before treatment or during treatment are associated with the time to onset of severe OM in patients with HNSCC.

METHODS: This was a cohort study of newly diagnosed patients with locoregional HNSCC who received chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy from April 2016 to September 2017. OM was based on the National Cancer Institute's Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. The oral microbiome was characterized on the basis of the 16S ribosomal RNA V4 region with the Illumina platform. A mixture cure model was used to generate hazard ratios for the onset of severe OM.

RESULTS: Eighty-six percent of the patients developed OM (n = 57 [33 nonsevere cases and 24 severe cases]) with a median time to onset of OM of 21 days. With adjustments for age, sex, and smoking status, genera abundance was associated with the hazard for the onset of severe OM as follows: 1) at the baseline (n = 66), Cardiobacterium (P = .03) and Granulicatella (P = .04); 2) immediately before the development of OM (n = 57), Prevotella (P = .03), Fusobacterium (P = .03), and Streptococcus (P = .01); and 3) immediately before the development of severe OM (n = 24), Megasphaera (P = .0001) and Cardiobacterium (P = .03). There were no differences in α-diversity between the baseline samples and Human Microbiome Project data.

CONCLUSIONS: Changes in the abundance of genera over the course of treatment were associated with the onset of severe OM. The mechanism and therapeutic implications of these findings need to be investigated in future studies.

RevDate: 2020-10-31

Katongole P, Sande OJ, Joloba M, et al (2020)

The human microbiome and its link in prostate cancer risk and pathogenesis.

Infectious agents and cancer, 15:53.

There is growing evidence of the microbiome's role in human health and disease since the human microbiome project. The microbiome plays a vital role in influencing cancer risk and pathogenesis. Several studies indicate microbial pathogens to account for over 15-20% of all cancers. Furthermore, the interaction of the microbiota, especially the gut microbiota in influencing response to chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiotherapy remains an area of active research. Certain microbial species have been linked to the improved clinical outcome when on different cancer therapies. The recent discovery of the urinary microbiome has enabled the study to understand its connection to genitourinary malignancies, especially prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males worldwide. Therefore research into understanding the factors and mechanisms associated with prostate cancer etiology, pathogenesis, and disease progression is of utmost importance. In this review, we explore the current literature concerning the link between the gut and urinary microbiome and prostate cancer risk and pathogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-09-10
CmpDate: 2021-09-10

Brenner LA, Stamper CE, Hoisington AJ, et al (2020)

Microbial Diversity and Community Structures Among Those With Moderate to Severe TBI: A United States-Veteran Microbiome Project Study.

The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation, 35(5):332-341.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between distal moderate/severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) history and the human gut microbiome.

SETTING: Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

PARTICIPANTS: Veterans from the United States-Veteran Microbiome Project (US-VMP). Veterans with moderate/severe TBI (n = 34) were compared with (1) Veterans with a history of no TBI (n = 79) and (2) Veterans with a history of no TBI or mild TBI only (n = 297).

DESIGN: Microbiome analyses from 16S rRNA gene sequencing with gut microbiota function inferred using PICRUSt2.

MAIN MEASURES: α-Diversity and β-diversity of the gut microbiome, as well as taxonomic and functional signatures associated with moderate/severe TBI.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in gut bacterial α- and β-diversity associated with moderate/severe TBI status. No differentially abundant taxa were identified when comparing samples from moderate/severe TBI to those with no TBI or no TBI/mild TBI.

CONCLUSION: Results suggest that moderate/severe TBI-related changes to the gut microbiome do not persist for years postinjury.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Odogwu NM, Olayemi OO, AO Omigbodun (2020)

The vaginal microbiome of sub-Saharan African women: revealing important gaps in the era of next-generation sequencing.

PeerJ, 8:e9684.

Accurate characterization of the vaginal microbiome remains a fundamental goal of the Human Microbiome project (HMP). For over a decade, this goal has been made possible deploying high-throughput next generation sequencing technologies (NGS), which indeed has revolutionized medical research and enabled large-scale genomic studies. The 16S rRNA marker-gene survey is the most commonly explored approach for vaginal microbial community studies. With this approach, prior studies have elucidated substantial variations in the vaginal microbiome of women from different ethnicities. This review provides a comprehensive account of studies that have deployed this approach to describe the vaginal microbiota of African women in health and disease. On the basis of published data, the few studies reported from the African population are mainly in non-pregnant post pubertal women and calls for more detailed studies in pregnant and postnatal cohorts. We provide insight on the use of more sophisticated cutting-edge technologies in characterizing the vaginal microbiome. These technologies offer high-resolution detection of vaginal microbiome variations and community functional capabilities, which can shed light into several discrepancies observed in the vaginal microbiota of African women in an African population versus women of African descent in the diaspora.

RevDate: 2021-05-24
CmpDate: 2021-05-24

Nascimento Lemos L, Manoharan L, William Mendes L, et al (2020)

Metagenome assembled-genomes reveal similar functional profiles of CPR/Patescibacteria phyla in soils.

Environmental microbiology reports, 12(6):651-655.

Soil microbiome is one of the most heterogeneous biological systems. State-of-the-art molecular approaches such as those based on single-amplified genomes (SAGs) and metagenome assembled-genomes (MAGs) are now improving our capacity for disentailing soil microbial-mediated processes. Here, we analysed publicly available datasets of soil microbial genomes and MAG's reconstructed from the Amazon's tropical soil (primary forest and pasture) and active layer of permafrost, aiming to evaluate their genome size. Our results suggest that the Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR)/Patescibacteria phyla have genomes with an average size fourfold smaller than the mean identified in the RefSoil database, which lacks any representative of this phylum. Also, by analysing the potential metabolism of 888 soil microbial genomes, we show that CPR/Patescibacteria representatives share similar functional profiles, but different from other microbial phyla and are frequently neglected in the soil microbial surveys. Finally, we argue that the use of MAGs may be a better choice over SAGs to expand the soil microbial databases, like RefSoil.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Chadha J, Nandi D, Atri Y, et al (2021)

Significance of human microbiome in breast cancer: Tale of an invisible and an invincible.

Seminars in cancer biology, 70:112-127.

The human microbiome is a mysterious treasure of the body playing endless important roles in the well-being of the host metabolism, digestion, and immunity. On the other hand, it actively participates in the development of a variety of pathological conditions including cancer. With the Human Microbiome Project initiative, metagenomics, and next-generation sequencing technologies in place, the last decade has witnessed immense explorations and investigations on the enigmatic association of breast cancer with the human microbiome. However, the connection between the human microbiome and breast cancer remains to be explored in greater detail. In fact, there are several emerging questions such as whether the host microbiota contributes to disease initiation, or is it a consequence of the disease is an irrevocably important question that demands a valid answer. Since the microbiome is an extremely complex community, gaps still remain on how this vital microbial organ plays a role in orchestrating breast cancer development. Nevertheless, undeniable evidence from studies has pinpointed the presence of specific microbial elements of the breast and gut to play a role in governing breast cancer. It is still unclear if an alteration in microbiome/dysbiosis leads to breast cancer or is it vice versa. Though specific microbial signatures have been detected to be associated with various breast cancer subtypes, the structure and composition of a core "healthy" microbiome is yet to be established. Probiotics seem to be a promising antidote for targeted prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Interestingly, these microbial communities can serve as potential biomarkers for prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer, thereby leading to the rise of a completely new era of personalized medicine. This review is a humble attempt to summarize the research findings on the human microbiome and its relation to breast cancer.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Joseph TA, Pasarkar AP, I Pe'er (2020)

Efficient and Accurate Inference of Mixed Microbial Population Trajectories from Longitudinal Count Data.

Cell systems, 10(6):463-469.e6.

The recently completed second phase of the Human Microbiome Project has highlighted the relationship between dynamic changes in the microbiome and disease, motivating new microbiome study designs based on longitudinal sampling. Yet, analysis of such data is hindered by presence of technical noise, high dimensionality, and data sparsity. Here, we introduce LUMINATE (longitudinal microbiome inference and zero detection), a fast and accurate method for inferring relative abundances from noisy read count data. We demonstrate that LUMINATE is orders of magnitude faster than current approaches, with better or similar accuracy. We further show that LUMINATE can accurately distinguish biological zeros, when a taxon is absent from the community, from technical zeros, when a taxon is below the detection threshold. We conclude by demonstrating the utility of LUMINATE on a real dataset, showing that LUMINATE smooths trajectories observed from noisy data. LUMINATE is freely available from https://github.com/tyjo/luminate.

RevDate: 2021-07-09
CmpDate: 2021-07-09

Huh JW, TY Roh (2020)

Opportunistic detection of Fusobacterium nucleatum as a marker for the early gut microbial dysbiosis.

BMC microbiology, 20(1):208.

BACKGROUND: The essential roles of gut microbiome have been emphasized in modulating human health and disease. Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum), an obligate Gram-negative microorganism residing in oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and elsewhere, has been recently considered as a potential oncobacterium associated with human cancers. However, the consequence of its enrichment was not extensively explored in terms of microbial homeostasis and stability at the early stage of disease development.

RESULT: Our analysis on longitudinal metagenomic data generated by the Integrative Human Microbiome Project (iHMP) showed that F. nucleatum was frequently found in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) subjects with reduced microbial diversity. Using non-parametric logarithmic linear discriminant analysis (LDA) effect size (LEfSe) algorithm, 12 IBD- and 14 non-IBD-specific bacterial species were identified in the fecal metagenome and the IBD-specific ones were over-represented in the F. nucleatum-experienced subjects during long-term surveillance. In addition, F. nucleatum experience severely abrogated intra-personal stability of microbiome in IBD patients and induced highly variable gut microbiome between subjects. From the longitudinal comparison between microbial distributions prior and posterior to F. nucleatum detection, 41 species could be proposed as indicative "classifiers" for dysbiotic gut state. By multiple logistic regression models established on these classifiers, the high probability of experiencing F. nucleatum was significantly correlated with decreased alpha-diversity and increased number of biomarker species for IBD and colorectal cancer (CRC). Finally, microbial clustering confirmed that biomarker species for IBD and non-IBD conditions as well as CRC signature markers were well distinguishable and could be utilized for explaining gut symbiosis and dysbiosis.

CONCLUSION: F. nucleatum opportunistically appeared under early dysbiotic condition in gut, and discriminative classifier species associated with F. nucleatum were successfully applied to predict microbial alterations in both IBD and non-IBD conditions. Our prediction model and microbial classifier biomarkers for estimating gut dysbiosis should provide a novel aspect of microbial homeostasis/dynamics and useful information on non-invasive biomarker screening.

RevDate: 2021-09-13
CmpDate: 2021-09-13

Ames NJ, Barb JJ, Schuebel K, et al (2020)

Longitudinal gut microbiome changes in alcohol use disorder are influenced by abstinence and drinking quantity.

Gut microbes, 11(6):1608-1631.

Many patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) consume alcohol chronically and in large amounts that alter intestinal microbiota, damage the gastrointestinal tract, and thereby injure other organs via malabsorption and intestinal inflammation. We hypothesized that alcohol consumption and subsequent abstinence would change the gut microbiome in adults admitted to a treatment program. Stool and oral specimens, diet data, gastrointestinal assessment scores, anxiety, depression measures and drinking amounts were collected longitudinally for up to 4 weeks in 22 newly abstinent inpatients with AUD who were dichotomized as less heavy drinkers (LHD, <10 drinks/d) and very heavy drinkers (VHD, 10 or more drinks/d). Next-generation 16 S rRNA gene sequencing was performed to measure the gut and oral microbiome at up to ten time points/subject and LHD and VHD were compared for change in principal components, Shannon diversity index and specific genera. The first three principal components explained 46.7% of the variance in gut microbiome diversity across time and all study subjects, indicating the change in gut microbiome following abstinence. The first time point was an outlier in three-dimensional principal component space versus all other time points. The gut microbiota in LHD and VHD were significantly dissimilar in change from day 1 to day 5 (p = .03) and from day 1 to week 3 (p = .02). The VHD drinking group displayed greater change from baseline. The Shannon diversity index of the gut microbiome changed significantly during abstinence in five participants. In both groups, the Shannon diversity was lower in the oral microbiome than gut. Ten total genera were shared between oral and stool in the AUD participants. These data were compared with healthy controls from the Human Microbiome Project to investigate the concept of a core microbiome. Rapid changes in gut microbiome following abstinence from alcohol suggest resilience of the gut microbiome in AUD and reflects the benefits of refraining from the highest levels of alcohol and potential benefits of abstinence.

RevDate: 2021-01-10

Hu Y, Fang L, Nicholson C, et al (2020)

Implications of Error-Prone Long-Read Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing on Characterizing Reference Microbiomes.

iScience, 23(6):101223.

Long-read sequencing techniques, such as the Oxford Nanopore Technology, can generate reads that are tens of kilobases in length and are therefore particularly relevant for microbiome studies. However, owing to the higher per-base error rates than typical short-read sequencing, the application of long-read sequencing on microbiomes remains largely unexplored. Here we deeply sequenced two human microbiota mock community samples (HM-276D and HM-277D) from the Human Microbiome Project. We showed that assembly programs consistently achieved high accuracy (∼99%) and completeness (∼99%) for bacterial strains with adequate coverage. We also found that long-read sequencing provides accurate estimates of species-level abundance (R = 0.94 for 20 bacteria with abundance ranging from 0.005% to 64%). Our results not only demonstrate the feasibility of characterizing complete microbial genomes and populations from error-prone Nanopore sequencing data but also highlight necessary bioinformatics improvements for future metagenomics tool development.

RevDate: 2021-06-11
CmpDate: 2020-11-30

Fukui S, Morimoto S, Ichinose K, et al (2020)

Comparison of lung microbiota between antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis and sarcoidosis.

Scientific reports, 10(1):9466.

Microbial involvement in the pathogenesis have been suggested in both antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) and sarcoidosis, both of which have lung involvement. However, exhaustive research to assess the bacteria in the lung in AAV and in sarcoidosis have not been performed. We sought to elucidate the distinct dysbiotic lung microbiota between AAV and sarcoidosis. We used 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing to obtain the bacterial community composition of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) in patients with AAV (n = 16) compared to patients with sarcoidosis (n = 21). The patients had not undergone therapy with immunosuppressive medication when their BALF was acquired. No difference was observed in α-diversity between patients with AAV and patients with sarcoidosis when using all the detected taxa. We defined the taxa of the oral cavity by using the data of oral microbiota of healthy individuals from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). The analysis using only oral taxa made the difference in α-diversity between AAV and sarcoidosis clearer compared with those using all the detected taxa. Besides, the analysis using detected taxa except for oral taxa also made the difference in α-diversity between AAV and sarcoidosis clearer compared with those using all the detected taxa. A linear negative relationship between the α-diversity and Birmingham vasculitis activity score (BVAS) was detected in the AAV group. The observed p-value for the effect of the disease groups on the ß-diversity was small while the effect of other factors including sex and smoking status did not have small p-values. By excluding oral taxa from all the detected taxa, we found a cluster mainly consisted of sarcoidosis patients which was characterized with microbial community monopolized by Erythrobacteraceae family. Our results suggested the importance of considering the influence of oral microbiota in evaluating lung microbiota.

RevDate: 2021-06-09
CmpDate: 2020-12-08

Chen YR, Zheng HM, Zhang GX, et al (2020)

High Oscillospira abundance indicates constipation and low BMI in the Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project.

Scientific reports, 10(1):9364.

Oscillospira is a common yet rarely cultivated gut bacterial genus. Recently human gut microbiota studies have demonstrated its underlying significance for host health. However, little is known about Oscillospira-related host information and the links between Oscillospira and other members of the gut microbial community. To study the ecology of Oscillospira and gain insights into Oscillospira-related host physiological conditions, we analyzed data from the Guangdong Gut Microbiome Project, one of the largest gut microbiota database currently. Data of 6376 participants were analyzed. We studied the prevalence and relative abundance of Oscillospira as well as the profiles of associated microbial communities. We found that Oscillospira is closely related to human health because its abundance was positively correlated with microbial diversity, high density lipoprotein, and sleep time, and was inversely correlated with diastolic blood pressure, systolic blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, uric acid and Bristol stool type. Moreover, random forest analysis with five-fold cross validation showed Oscillospira could be a predictor of low BMI and constipation in the subset. Overall, in this study, we provide a basic understanding of Oscillospira-related microbiota profile and physiological parameters of the host. Our results indicate Oscillospira may play a role in aggravating constipation.

RevDate: 2021-08-09
CmpDate: 2021-08-09

Voth E, S Khanna (2020)

The Integrative Human microbiome project: a mile stone in the understanding of the gut microbiome.

Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology, 14(8):639-642.

RevDate: 2021-03-01
CmpDate: 2021-03-01

Ma B, Wang Y, Ye S, et al (2020)

Earth microbial co-occurrence network reveals interconnection pattern across microbiomes.

Microbiome, 8(1):82.

BACKGROUND: Microbial interactions shape the structure and function of microbial communities; microbial co-occurrence networks in specific environments have been widely developed to explore these complex systems, but their interconnection pattern across microbiomes in various environments at the global scale remains unexplored. Here, we have inferred an Earth microbial co-occurrence network from a communal catalog with 23,595 samples and 12,646 exact sequence variants from 14 environments in the Earth Microbiome Project dataset.

RESULTS: This non-random scale-free Earth microbial co-occurrence network consisted of 8 taxonomy distinct modules linked with different environments, which featured environment specific microbial co-occurrence relationships. Different topological features of subnetworks inferred from datasets trimmed into uniform size indicate distinct co-occurrence patterns in the microbiomes of various environments. The high number of specialist edges highlights that environmental specific co-occurrence relationships are essential features across microbiomes. The microbiomes of various environments were clustered into two groups, which were mainly bridged by the microbiomes of plant and animal surface. Acidobacteria Gp2 and Nisaea were identified as hubs in most of subnetworks. Negative edges proportions ranged from 1.9% in the soil subnetwork to 48.9% the non-saline surface subnetwork, suggesting various environments experience distinct intensities of competition or niche differentiation. Video abstract CONCLUSION: This investigation highlights the interconnection patterns across microbiomes in various environments and emphasizes the importance of understanding co-occurrence feature of microbiomes from a network perspective.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Zhang XL, Yang X, Wang SJ, et al (2020)

Draft Genome Sequences of Nine Cultivable Heterotrophic Proteobacteria Isolated from Phycosphere Microbiota of Toxic Alexandrium catenella LZT09.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(22):.

Microscopic interactions between phycosphere microbiota and host algae play crucial roles in aquatic ecosystems. Despite their significance, there is a scarcity of available genome sequences derived from the phycosphere microbiome. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of nine heterotrophic proteobacterial strains isolated from the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella LZT09 during execution of our Phycosphere Microbiome Project. Further exploration of the genomic features of the alga-associated bacterial community will profoundly help in deeply deciphering the processes and mechanisms governing the host-microbe interactome within algal holobionts in the ocean.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Abdelsalam NA, Ramadan AT, ElRakaiby MT, et al (2020)

Toxicomicrobiomics: The Human Microbiome vs. Pharmaceutical, Dietary, and Environmental Xenobiotics.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 11:390.

The harmful impact of xenobiotics on the environment and human health is being more widely recognized; yet, inter- and intraindividual genetic variations among humans modulate the extent of harm, mostly through modulating the outcome of xenobiotic metabolism and detoxification. As the Human Genome Project revealed that host genetic, epigenetic, and regulatory variations could not sufficiently explain the complexity of interindividual variability in xenobiotics metabolism, its sequel, the Human Microbiome Project, is investigating how this variability may be influenced by human-associated microbial communities. Xenobiotic-microbiome relationships are mutual and dynamic. Not only does the human microbiome have a direct metabolizing potential on xenobiotics, but it can also influence the expression of the host metabolizing genes and the activity of host enzymes. On the other hand, xenobiotics may alter the microbiome composition, leading to a state of dysbiosis, which is linked to multiple diseases and adverse health outcomes, including increased toxicity of some xenobiotics. Toxicomicrobiomics studies these mutual influences between the ever-changing microbiome cloud and xenobiotics of various origins, with emphasis on their fate and toxicity, as well the various classes of microbial xenobiotic-modifying enzymes. This review article discusses classic and recent findings in toxicomicrobiomics, with examples of interactions between gut, skin, urogenital, and oral microbiomes with pharmaceutical, food-derived, and environmental xenobiotics. The current state and future prospects of toxicomicrobiomic research are discussed, and the tools and strategies for performing such studies are thoroughly and critically compared.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Lee-Sarwar KA, Lasky-Su J, Kelly RS, et al (2020)

Metabolome-Microbiome Crosstalk and Human Disease.

Metabolites, 10(5):.

In this review, we discuss the growing literature demonstrating robust and pervasive associations between the microbiome and metabolome. We focus on the gut microbiome, which harbors the taxonomically most diverse and the largest collection of microorganisms in the human body. Methods for integrative analysis of these "omics" are under active investigation and we discuss the advances and challenges in the combined use of metabolomics and microbiome data. Findings from large consortia, including the Human Microbiome Project and Metagenomics of the Human Intestinal Tract (MetaHIT) and others demonstrate the impact of microbiome-metabolome interactions on human health. Mechanisms whereby the microbes residing in the human body interact with metabolites to impact disease risk are beginning to be elucidated, and discoveries in this area will likely be harnessed to develop preventive and treatment strategies for complex diseases.

RevDate: 2021-03-10
CmpDate: 2020-12-18

Zhou X, Johnson JS, Spakowicz D, et al (2020)

Longitudinal Analysis of Serum Cytokine Levels and Gut Microbial Abundance Links IL-17/IL-22 With Clostridia and Insulin Sensitivity in Humans.

Diabetes, 69(8):1833-1842.

Recent studies using mouse models suggest that interaction between the gut microbiome and IL-17/IL-22-producing cells plays a role in the development of metabolic diseases. We investigated this relationship in humans using data from the prediabetes study of the Integrated Human Microbiome Project (iHMP). Specifically, we addressed the hypothesis that early in the onset of metabolic diseases there is a decline in serum levels of IL-17/IL-22, with concomitant changes in the gut microbiome. Clustering iHMP study participants on the basis of longitudinal IL-17/IL-22 profiles identified discrete groups. Individuals distinguished by low levels of IL-17/IL-22 were linked to established markers of metabolic disease, including insulin sensitivity. These individuals also displayed gut microbiome dysbiosis, characterized by decreased diversity, and IL-17/IL-22-related declines in the phylum Firmicutes, class Clostridia, and order Clostridiales This ancillary analysis of the iHMP data therefore supports a link between the gut microbiome, IL-17/IL-22, and the onset of metabolic diseases. This raises the possibility for novel, microbiome-related therapeutic targets that may effectively alleviate metabolic diseases in humans as they do in animal models.

RevDate: 2020-07-07
CmpDate: 2020-07-07

Manasson J, Blank RB, JU Scher (2020)

The microbiome in rheumatology: Where are we and where should we go?.

Annals of the rheumatic diseases, 79(6):727-733.

From birth, humans coexist and coevolve with trillions of micro-organisms inhabiting most body surfaces and cavities, referred to as the human microbiome. Advances in sequencing technologies and computational methods have propelled the exploration of the microbiome's contribution to human health and disease, spearheaded by massive efforts such as the Human Microbiome Project and the Europe-based MetaHit Consortium. Yet, despite the accumulated body of literature and a growing awareness among patients, microbiome research in rheumatology has not had a key impact on clinical practice. Herein, we describe some of the landmark microbiome studies in autoimmunity and rheumatology, the challenges and opportunities of microbiome research and how to navigate them, advances in related fields that have overcome these pitfalls, and future directions of harnessing the microbiome for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Yang X, Jiang ZW, Chen Z, et al (2020)

Complete Genome Sequence of a Toxic and Bioactive Exopolysaccharide-Bearing Bacterium, Sulfitobacter sp. Strain AM1-D1.

Microbiology resource announcements, 9(16):.

Sulfitobacter sp. strain AM1-D1, a toxic bacterium of the family Rhodobacteraceae, was isolated from the cultivable phycosphere microbiota of marine toxigenic dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum amtk4. The complete 4.69-Mb genome comprises one single circular chromosome and five circular plasmids. It has 4,559 coding genes, including those for biosynthesis or degradation of saxitoxin and bioactive exopolysaccharides.

RevDate: 2021-01-10

Rinaldi F, Trink A, D Pinto (2020)

Efficacy of Postbiotics in a PRP-Like Cosmetic Product for the Treatment of Alopecia Area Celsi: A Randomized Double-Blinded Parallel-Group Study.

Dermatology and therapy, 10(3):483-493.

INTRODUCTION: Alopecia areata (AA), also known as 'area Celsi', is the second most common form of hair loss affecting the scalp. Newly proposed treatments for AA include low-level light therapy, biologics such as Janus kinase inhibitors and autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is a well-known "elixir" for hair growth. Bioactive peptides developed through biotechnological applications have been used to overcome the limitations of PRP. More recently, the involvement of microbiota in hair growth disorders, in AA in particular, has been reported, and the usefulness of microbial metabolites, i.e. postbiotics, has been suggested.

METHODS: This study was a randomized double-blinded parallel-group study in which 160 persons of both sexes affected by AA and aged between 18 and 60 years were enrolled. The subjects were randomly assigned to a treatment group (group 1), receiving the TR-PRP plus-Celsi cosmetic product, and a placebo group (group 2). The SALT (Severity of Alopecia Tool) score was determined in both groups at baseline and after 2 and 3 months of treatment, and the results compared between groups.

RESULTS: The subjects in group 1 showed a significant change from baseline in SALT score at 2 months of treatment (61.04% ± 3.45%; p < 0.0001), with a further improvement at the end of treatment (3 months) (69.56% ± 4.32%; p < 0.0001). No significant changes from baseline were reported for the subjects in group 2 (T1: 26.45% ± 3.64%; T3: 27.63% ± 7.61%).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study provide further proof of the efficacy of bioactive peptides that mimick the growth factors present in PRP in subjects affected by AA. They also add to our knowledge of the link between microbiota and hair growth disorders, emphasizing the importance of studies on the microbial community and microbial metabolites as a novel therapeutic approach.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Keshavarzian A, Engen P, Bonvegna S, et al (2020)

The gut microbiome in Parkinson's disease: A culprit or a bystander?.

Progress in brain research, 252:357-450.

In recent years, large-scale metagenomics projects such as the Human Microbiome Project placed the gut microbiota under the spotlight of research on its role in health and in the pathogenesis several diseases, as it can be a target for novel therapeutical approaches. The emerging concept of a microbiota modulation of the gut-brain axis in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders has been explored in several studies in animal models, as well as in human subjects. Particularly, research on changes in the composition of gut microbiota as a potential trigger for alpha-synuclein (α-syn) pathology in Parkinson's disease (PD) has gained increasing interest. In the present review, we first provide the basis to the understanding of the role of gut microbiota in healthy subjects and the molecular basis of the gut-brain interaction, focusing on metabolic and neuroinflammatory factors that could trigger the alpha-synuclein conformational changes and aggregation. Then, we critically explored preclinical and clinical studies reporting on the changes in gut microbiota in PD, as compared to healthy subjects. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between the gut microbiota and PD clinical features, discussing data consistently reported across studies, as well as the potential sources of inconsistencies. As a further step toward understanding the effects of gut microbiota on PD, we discussed the relationship between dysbiosis and response to dopamine replacement therapy, focusing on Levodopa metabolism. We conclude that further studies are needed to determine whether the gut microbiota changes observed so far in PD patients is the cause or, instead, it is merely a consequence of lifestyle changes associated with the disease. Regardless, studies so far strongly suggest that changes in microbiota appears to be impactful in pathogenesis of neuroinflammation. Thus, dysbiotic microbiota in PD could influence the disease course and response to medication, especially Levodopa. Future research will assess the impact of microbiota-directed therapeutic intervention in PD patients.

RevDate: 2021-12-04
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Bruessow F, H Brüssow (2020)

Our extended genotype-An argument for the study of domesticated microbes.

Environmental microbiology, 22(5):1669-1674.

We interpret the domesticated organisms-plants, animals, and the domesticated microbes used for food fermentation-as an extended genotype of humans due to their close relationship with our species. We propose to analyse the role of microbes in traditionally fermented food with the approaches used in the human microbiome project, and we expect to find associations with ethnic groups, explaining part of human (culinary) culture.

RevDate: 2021-07-02
CmpDate: 2020-12-21

Greene LK, Williams CV, Junge RE, et al (2020)

A role for gut microbiota in host niche differentiation.

The ISME journal, 14(7):1675-1687.

If gut microbes influence host behavioral ecology in the short term, over evolutionary time, they could drive host niche differentiation. We explored this possibility by comparing the gut microbiota of Madagascar's folivorous lemurs from Indriidae and Lepilemuridae. Occurring sympatrically in the eastern rainforest, our four, target species have different dietary specializations, including frugo-folivory (sifakas), young-leaf folivory (indri and woolly lemurs), and mature-leaf folivory (sportive lemurs). We collected fecal samples, from 2013 to 2017, and used amplicon sequencing, metagenomic sequencing, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, respectively, to integrate analyses of gut microbiome structure and function with analysis of the colonic metabolome. The lemurs harbored species-specific microbiomes, metagenomes, and metabolomes that were tuned to their dietary specializations: Frugo-folivores had greater microbial and metagenomic diversity, and harbored generalist taxa. Mature-leaf folivores had greater individual microbiome variation, and taxa and metabolites putatively involved in cellulolysis. The consortia even differed between related, young-leaf specialists, with indri prioritizing metabolism of fiber and plant secondary compounds, and woolly lemurs prioritizing amino-acid cycling. Specialized gut microbiota and associated gastrointestinal morphologies enable folivores to variably tolerate resource fluctuation and support nutrient extraction from challenging resources (e.g., by metabolizing plant secondary compounds or recalcitrant fibers), perhaps ultimately facilitating host species' diversity and specialized feeding ecologies.

RevDate: 2021-03-23
CmpDate: 2021-03-23

Al-Nasiry S, Ambrosino E, Schlaepfer M, et al (2020)

The Interplay Between Reproductive Tract Microbiota and Immunological System in Human Reproduction.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:378.

In the last decade, the microbiota, i.e., combined populations of microorganisms living inside and on the surface of the human body, has increasingly attracted attention of researchers in the medical field. Indeed, since the completion of the Human Microbiome Project, insight and interest in the role of microbiota in health and disease, also through study of its combined genomes, the microbiome, has been steadily expanding. One less explored field of microbiome research has been the female reproductive tract. Research mainly from the past decade suggests that microbial communities residing in the reproductive tract represent a large proportion of the female microbial network and appear to be involved in reproductive failure and pregnancy complications. Microbiome research is facing technological and methodological challenges, as detection techniques and analysis methods are far from being standardized. A further hurdle is understanding the complex host-microbiota interaction and the confounding effect of a multitude of constitutional and environmental factors. A key regulator of this interaction is the maternal immune system that, during the peri-conceptional stage and even more so during pregnancy, undergoes considerable modulation. This review aims to summarize the current literature on reproductive tract microbiota describing the composition of microbiota in different anatomical locations (vagina, cervix, endometrium, and placenta). We also discuss putative mechanisms of interaction between such microbial communities and various aspects of the immune system, with a focus on the characteristic immunological changes during normal pregnancy. Furthermore, we discuss how abnormal microbiota composition, "dysbiosis," is linked to a spectrum of clinical disorders related to the female reproductive system and how the maternal immune system is involved. Finally, based on the data presented in this review, the future perspectives in diagnostic approaches, research directions and therapeutic opportunities are explored.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Falcon T, Foletto KC, Siebert M, et al (2020)

Metabarcoding reveals that a non-nutritive sweetener and sucrose yield similar gut microbiota patterns in Wistar rats.

Genetics and molecular biology, 43(1):e20190028.

The effects of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) on the gut microbiota are an area of increasing research interest due to their potential influence on weight gain, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Studies have shown that mice and rats fed saccharin develop weight gain and metabolic alterations, possibly related to changes in gut microbiota. Here, we hypothesized that chronic exposure to a commercial NNS would change the gut microbiota composition in Wistar rats when compared to sucrose exposure. To test this hypothesis, Wistar rats were fed either NNS- or sucrose-supplemented yogurt for 17 weeks alongside standard chow (ad libitum). The gut microbiome was assessed by 16S rDNA deep sequencing. Assembly and quantification were conducted using the Brazilian Microbiome Project pipeline for Ion Torrent data with modifications. Statistical analyses were performed in the R software environment. We found that chronic feeding of a commercial NNS-sweetened yogurt to Wistar rats, within the recommended dose range, did not significantly modify gut microbiota composition in comparison to sucrose-sweetened yogurt. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that moderate exposure to NNS is associated with changes in gut microbiota pattern compared to sucrose, at least in this experimental model.

RevDate: 2020-10-28

Pan S, Hullar MAJ, Lai LA, et al (2020)

Gut Microbial Protein Expression in Response to Dietary Patterns in a Controlled Feeding Study: A Metaproteomic Approach.

Microorganisms, 8(3):.

Although the gut microbiome has been associated with dietary patterns linked to health, microbial metabolism is not well characterized. This ancillary study was a proof of principle analysis for a novel application of metaproteomics to study microbial protein expression in a controlled dietary intervention. We measured the response of the microbiome to diet in a randomized crossover dietary intervention of a whole-grain, low glycemic load diet (WG) and a refined-grain, high glycemic load diet (RG). Total proteins in stools from 9 participants at the end of each diet period (n = 18) were analyzed by LC MS/MS and proteins were identified using the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) human gut microbiome database and UniProt human protein databases. T-tests, controlling for false discovery rate (FDR) <10%, were used to compare the Gene Ontology (GO) biological processes and bacterial enzymes between the two interventions. Using shotgun proteomics, more than 53,000 unique peptides were identified including microbial (89%) and human peptides (11%). Forty-eight bacterial enzymes were statistically different between the diets, including those implicated in SCFA production and degradation of fatty acids. Enzymes associated with degradation of human mucin were significantly enriched in the RG diet. These results illustrate that the metaproteomic approach is a valuable tool to study the microbial metabolism of diets that may influence host health.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Vairakkani R, Fernando ME, TY Raj (2020)

Metabolome and microbiome in kidney diseases.

Saudi journal of kidney diseases and transplantation : an official publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia, 31(1):1-9.

Despite several decades of intensive research and hard work in nephrology, a void exists in the availability of markers for identifying at-risk individuals, diagnosing diseases at incipient stage, and predicting treatment response. Most of the current widely available diagnostic tools such as creatinine, urine analysis, and imaging studies are quite insensitive such that about half of the kidney function is lost before perceivable changes are observed with these tests. In addition, these parameters are affected by factors other than renal, questioning their specificity. Renal biopsy, though specific, is quite expensive, risky, and invasive. The recent surge in the knowledge of small molecules in the tissue and body fluids, "metabolomics," thanks to the Human Metabolome Database created by the Human Metabolome Project, has opened a new avenue for better understanding the disease pathogenesis and, in parallel, to identify novel biomarkers and druggable targets. Kidney, by virtue of its metabolic machinery and also being a major handler of metabolites generated by other tissues, is very much amenable to the metabolomic approach of studying its various perturbations. The gut microbiome, characterized by the Human Microbiome Project, is one of the principal players in metabolomics. Changes in metabolite profile due to alterations in gut microbiome can occur either as a cause or consequence of renal diseases. Unmasking the renal-metabolome-microbiome link has a great potential to script a new era in the diagnosis and management of renal diseases.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Rosa BA, Mihindukulasuriya K, Hallsworth-Pepin K, et al (2020)

Improving Characterization of Understudied Human Microbiomes Using Targeted Phylogenetics.

mSystems, 5(1):.

Whole-genome bacterial sequences are required to better understand microbial functions, niche-specific bacterial metabolism, and disease states. Although genomic sequences are available for many of the human-associated bacteria from commonly tested body habitats (e.g., feces), as few as 13% of bacterium-derived reads from other sites such as the skin map to known bacterial genomes. To facilitate a better characterization of metagenomic shotgun reads from underrepresented body sites, we collected over 10,000 bacterial isolates originating from 14 human body habitats, identified novel taxonomic groups based on full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences, clustered the sequences to ensure that no individual taxonomic group was overselected for sequencing, prioritized bacteria from underrepresented body sites (such as skin and respiratory and urinary tracts), and sequenced and assembled genomes for 665 new bacterial strains. Here, we show that addition of these genomes improved read mapping rates of Human Microbiome Project (HMP) metagenomic samples by nearly 30% for the previously underrepresented phylum Fusobacteria, and 27.5% of the novel genomes generated here had high representation in at least one of the tested HMP samples, compared to 12.5% of the sequences in the public databases, indicating an enrichment of useful novel genomic sequences resulting from the prioritization procedure. As our understanding of the human microbiome continues to improve and to enter the realm of therapy developments, targeted approaches such as this to improve genomic databases will increase in importance from both an academic and a clinical perspective.IMPORTANCE The human microbiome plays a critically important role in health and disease, but current understanding of the mechanisms underlying the interactions between the varying microbiome and the different host environments is lacking. Having access to a database of fully sequenced bacterial genomes provides invaluable insights into microbial functions, but currently sequenced genomes for the human microbiome have largely come from a limited number of body sites (primarily feces), while other sites such as the skin, respiratory tract, and urinary tract are underrepresented, resulting in as little as 13% of bacterium-derived reads mapping to known bacterial genomes. Here, we sequenced and assembled 665 new bacterial genomes, prioritized from a larger database to select underrepresented body sites and bacterial taxa in the existing databases. As a result, we substantially improve mapping rates for samples from the Human Microbiome Project and provide an important contribution to human bacterial genomic databases for future studies.

RevDate: 2021-02-23
CmpDate: 2020-11-11

Marsland R, Cui W, P Mehta (2020)

A minimal model for microbial biodiversity can reproduce experimentally observed ecological patterns.

Scientific reports, 10(1):3308.

Surveys of microbial biodiversity such as the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) and the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) have revealed robust ecological patterns across different environments. A major goal in ecology is to leverage these patterns to identify the ecological processes shaping microbial ecosystems. One promising approach is to use minimal models that can relate mechanistic assumptions at the microbe scale to community-level patterns. Here, we demonstrate the utility of this approach by showing that the Microbial Consumer Resource Model (MiCRM) - a minimal model for microbial communities with resource competition, metabolic crossfeeding and stochastic colonization - can qualitatively reproduce patterns found in survey data including compositional gradients, dissimilarity/overlap correlations, richness/harshness correlations, and nestedness of community composition. By using the MiCRM to generate synthetic data with different environmental and taxonomical structure, we show that large scale patterns in the EMP can be reproduced by considering the energetic cost of surviving in harsh environments and HMP patterns may reflect the importance of environmental filtering in shaping competition. We also show that recently discovered dissimilarity-overlap correlations in the HMP likely arise from communities that share similar environments rather than reflecting universal dynamics. We identify ecologically meaningful changes in parameters that alter or destroy each one of these patterns, suggesting new mechanistic hypotheses for further investigation. These findings highlight the promise of minimal models for microbial ecology.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2020-05-20

Ordiz MI, Janssen S, Humphrey G, et al (2020)

The effect of legume supplementation on the gut microbiota in rural Malawian infants aged 6 to 12 months.

The American journal of clinical nutrition, 111(4):884-892.

BACKGROUND: Common bean and cowpea contain about 25% protein and 25% fiber, and are recommended as complementary foods in sub-Saharan Africa.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine if a daily legume supplement given to Malawian infants aged 6 to 12 mo alters the 16S configuration of the fecal microbiota as read out by amplicon sequence variants (ASVs).

METHODS: This study was conducted within the context of a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial to assess whether cowpea or common bean supplementation reduced intestinal permeability or increased linear growth. There were 2 village clusters in which the study was conducted. Fresh stool collections were flash frozen from 236 infants at ≤6 time points. The stools were sequenced using Earth Microbiome project protocols and data were processed using Qiime and Qiita, open-source, validated software packages. α-diversity was measured using the Faith's test. The 16S configuration was characterized by determining the weighted UniFrac distances of the ASVs and comparing them using permutational multivariate ANOVA.

RESULTS: Among the 1249 samples analyzed, the α-diversity of the fecal microbiome was unchanged among subjects after initiation of legume supplementation. Neither cowpea nor common bean altered the overall 16S configuration at any age. The 16S configuration differed between children with adequate and poor linear growth aged from 6 to 9 mo, but no specific ASVs differed in relative abundance. The 16S configuration differed between children with normal and abnormal intestinal permeability at 9 mo, but no specific ASVs differed in relative abundance. Among categorical characteristics of the population associated with different 16S configurations, village cluster was most pronounced.

CONCLUSION: Legume supplementation in breastfed, rural African infants did not affect the structure of the gut microbial communities until the children were aged 9 mo. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02472262.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Chowdhury S, SS Fong (2020)

Computational Modeling of the Human Microbiome.

Microorganisms, 8(2):.

The impact of microorganisms on human health has long been acknowledged and studied, but recent advances in research methodologies have enabled a new systems-level perspective on the collections of microorganisms associated with humans, the human microbiome. Large-scale collaborative efforts such as the NIH Human Microbiome Project have sought to kick-start research on the human microbiome by providing foundational information on microbial composition based upon specific sites across the human body. Here, we focus on the four main anatomical sites of the human microbiome: gut, oral, skin, and vaginal, and provide information on site-specific background, experimental data, and computational modeling. Each of the site-specific microbiomes has unique organisms and phenomena associated with them; there are also high-level commonalities. By providing an overview of different human microbiome sites, we hope to provide a perspective where detailed, site-specific research is needed to understand causal phenomena that impact human health, but there is equally a need for more generalized methodology improvements that would benefit all human microbiome research.

RevDate: 2021-01-04
CmpDate: 2021-01-04

Woodhams DC, Bletz MC, Becker CG, et al (2020)

Host-associated microbiomes are predicted by immune system complexity and climate.

Genome biology, 21(1):23.

BACKGROUND: Host-associated microbiomes, the microorganisms occurring inside and on host surfaces, influence evolutionary, immunological, and ecological processes. Interactions between host and microbiome affect metabolism and contribute to host adaptation to changing environments. Meta-analyses of host-associated bacterial communities have the potential to elucidate global-scale patterns of microbial community structure and function. It is possible that host surface-associated (external) microbiomes respond more strongly to variations in environmental factors, whereas internal microbiomes are more tightly linked to host factors.

RESULTS: Here, we use the dataset from the Earth Microbiome Project and accumulate data from 50 additional studies totaling 654 host species and over 15,000 samples to examine global-scale patterns of bacterial diversity and function. We analyze microbiomes from non-captive hosts sampled from natural habitats and find patterns with bioclimate and geophysical factors, as well as land use, host phylogeny, and trophic level/diet. Specifically, external microbiomes are best explained by variations in mean daily temperature range and precipitation seasonality. In contrast, internal microbiomes are best explained by host factors such as phylogeny/immune complexity and trophic level/diet, plus climate.

CONCLUSIONS: Internal microbiomes are predominantly associated with top-down effects, while climatic factors are stronger determinants of microbiomes on host external surfaces. Host immunity may act on microbiome diversity through top-down regulation analogous to predators in non-microbial ecosystems. Noting gaps in geographic and host sampling, this combined dataset represents a global baseline available for interrogation by future microbial ecology studies.

RevDate: 2020-03-25
CmpDate: 2020-03-25

Yadav A, Vilcáez J, Farag IF, et al (2020)

Candidatus Mcinerneyibacterium aminivorans gen. nov., sp. nov., the first representative of the candidate phylum Mcinerneyibacteriota phyl. nov. recovered from a high temperature, high salinity tertiary oil reservoir in north central Oklahoma, USA.

Systematic and applied microbiology, 43(2):126057.

We report on the characterization of a novel genomic assembly (ARYD3) recovered from formation water (17.6% salinity) and crude oil enrichment amended by isolated soy proteins (0.2%), and incubated for 100 days under anaerobic conditions at 50°C. Phylogenetic and phylogenomic analysis demonstrated that the ARYD3 is unaffiliated with all currently described bacterial phyla and candidate phyla, as evident by the low AAI (34.7%), shared gene content (19.4%), and 78.9% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to Halothiobacillus neapolitanus, its closest cultured relative. Genomic characterization predicts a slow-growing, non-spore forming, and non-motile Gram-negative rod. Adaptation to high salinity is potentially mediated by the production of the compatible solutes cyclic 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (cDPG), α-glucosylglycerate, as well as the uptake of glycine betaine. Metabolically, the genome encodes primarily aminolytic capabilities for a wide range of amino acids and peptides. Interestingly, evidence of propionate degradation to succinate via methyl-malonyl CoA was identified, suggesting possible capability for syntrophic propionate degradation. Analysis of ARYD3 global distribution patterns identified its occurrence in a very small fraction of Earth Microbiome Project datasets examined (318/27,068), where it consistently represented an extremely rare fraction (maximum 0.28%, average 0.004%) of the overall community. We propose the Candidatus name Mcinerneyibacterium aminivorans gen. nov, sp. nov. for ARYD3T, with the genome serving as the type material for the novel family Mcinerneyibacteriaceae fam. nov., order Mcinerneyibacteriales ord. nov., class Mcinerneyibacteria class nov., and phylum Mcinerneyibacteriota phyl. nov. The type material genome assembly is deposited in GenBank under accession number VSIX00000000.

RevDate: 2021-11-04
CmpDate: 2021-11-04

Hopson LM, Singleton SS, David JA, et al (2020)

Bioinformatics and machine learning in gastrointestinal microbiome research and clinical application.

Progress in molecular biology and translational science, 176:141-178.

The scientific community currently defines the human microbiome as all the bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and eukaryotes that occupy the human body. When considering the variable locations, composition, diversity, and abundance of our microbial symbionts, the sheer volume of microorganisms reaches hundreds of trillions. With the onset of next generation sequencing (NGS), also known as high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies, the barriers to studying the human microbiome lowered significantly, making in-depth microbiome research accessible. Certain locations on the human body, such as the gastrointestinal, oral, nasal, and skin microbiomes have been heavily studied through community-focused projects like the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). In particular, the gastrointestinal microbiome (GM) has received significant attention due to links to neurological, immunological, and metabolic diseases, as well as cancer. Though HTS technologies allow deeper exploration of the GM, data informing the functional characteristics of microbiota and resulting effects on human function or disease are still sparse. This void is compounded by microbiome variability observed among humans through factors like genetics, environment, diet, metabolic activity, and even exercise; making GM research inherently difficult to study. This chapter describes an interdisciplinary approach to GM research with the goal of mitigating the hindrances of translating findings into a clinical setting. By applying tools and knowledge from microbiology, metagenomics, bioinformatics, machine learning, predictive modeling, and clinical study data from children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, we describe a proof-of-concept approach to clinical translation and precision application of GM research.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Tomassi D, Forzani L, Duarte S, et al (2021)

Sufficient dimension reduction for compositional data.

Biostatistics (Oxford, England), 22(4):687-705.

Recent efforts to characterize the human microbiome and its relation to chronic diseases have led to a surge in statistical development for compositional data. We develop likelihood-based sufficient dimension reduction methods (SDR) to find linear combinations that contain all the information in the compositional data on an outcome variable, i.e., are sufficient for modeling and prediction of the outcome. We consider several models for the inverse regression of the compositional vector or transformations of it, as a function of outcome. They include normal, multinomial, and Poisson graphical models that allow for complex dependencies among observed counts. These methods yield efficient estimators of the reduction and can be applied to continuous or categorical outcomes. We incorporate variable selection into the estimation via penalties and address important invariance issues arising from the compositional nature of the data. We illustrate and compare our methods and some established methods for analyzing microbiome data in simulations and using data from the Human Microbiome Project. Displaying the data in the coordinate system of the SDR linear combinations allows visual inspection and facilitates comparisons across studies.

RevDate: 2021-07-19
CmpDate: 2020-07-17

Martiny JBH, Whiteson KL, Bohannan BJM, et al (2020)

The emergence of microbiome centres.

Nature microbiology, 5(1):2-3.

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Ma ZS, W Li (2019)

How and Why Men and Women Differ in Their Microbiomes: Medical Ecology and Network Analyses of the Microgenderome.

Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), 6(23):1902054.

Microgenderome or sexual dimorphism in microbiome refers to the bidirectional interactions between microbiotas, sex hormones, and immune systems, and it is highly relevant to disease susceptibility. A critical step in exploring microgenderome is to dissect the sex differences in key community ecology properties, which has not been systematically analyzed. This study aims at filling the gap by reanalyzing the Human Microbiome Project datasets with two objectives: (i) dissecting the sex differences in community diversity and their intersubject scaling, species composition, core/periphery species, and high-salience skeletons (species interactions); (ii) offering mechanistic interpretations for (i). Conceptually, the Vellend-Hanson synthesis of community ecology that stipulates selection, drift, speciation, and dispersal as the four processes driving community dynamics is followed. Methodologically, seven approaches reflecting the state-of-the-art research in medical ecology of human microbiomes are harnessed to achieve the objectives. It is postulated that the revealed microgenderome characteristics (categorized as seven aspects of differences/similarities) exert far reaching influences on disease susceptibility, and are primarily due to the sex difference in selection effects (deterministic fitness differences in microbial species and/or species interactions with each other or with their hosts), which are, in turn, shaped/modulated by host physiology (immunity, hormones, gut-brain communications, etc.).

RevDate: 2021-01-10
CmpDate: 2020-11-23

Eguíluz VM, Salazar G, Fernández-Gracia J, et al (2019)

Scaling of species distribution explains the vast potential marine prokaryote diversity.

Scientific reports, 9(1):18710.

Global ocean expeditions have provided minimum estimates of ocean's prokaryote diversity, supported by apparent asymptotes in the number of prokaryotes with sampling effort, of about 40,000 species, representing <1% of the species cataloged in the Earth Microbiome Project, despite being the largest habitat in the biosphere. Here we demonstrate that the abundance of prokaryote OTUs follows a scaling that can be represented by a power-law distribution, and as a consequence, we demonstrate, mathematically and through simulations, that the asymptote of rarefaction curves is an apparent one, which is only reached with sample sizes approaching the entire ecosystem. We experimentally confirm these findings using exhaustive repeated sampling of a prokaryote community in the Red Sea and the exploration of global assessments of prokaryote diversity in the ocean. Our findings indicate that, far from having achieved a thorough sampling of prokaryote species abundance in the ocean, global expeditions provide just a start for this quest as the richness in the global ocean is much larger than estimated.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Orlandi E, Iacovelli NA, Tombolini V, et al (2019)

Potential role of microbiome in oncogenesis, outcome prediction and therapeutic targeting for head and neck cancer.

Oral oncology, 99:104453.

In the last decade, human microbiome research is rapidly growing involving several fields of clinical medicine and population health. Although the microbiome seems to be linked to all sorts of diseases, cancer has the biggest potential to be investigated. Following the publication of the National Institute of Health - Human Microbiome Project (NIH-HMP), the link between Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) and microbiome seems to be a fast-moving field in research area. However, robust evidence-based literature is still quite scarce. Nevertheless the relationship between oral microbiome and HNC could have important consequences for prevention and early detection of this type of tumors. The aims of the present review are: (i) to discuss current pre-clinical evidence of a role of oral microbiome in HNC; (ii) to report recent developments in understanding the human microbiome's relationship with HNC oncogenesis; (iii) to explore the issue of treatment response and treatment toxicity; (iv) to describe the role of microbiota as potentially modifiable factor suitable for targeting by therapeutics. Further studies are needed to better establish the causal relationship between oral microbiome and HNC oncogenesis. Future trials should continue to explore oral microbiome in order to build the scientific and clinical rationale of HNC preventative and ameliorate treatment outcome.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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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 )