The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to trillions of microbes. Within the same GI tract, substantial differences in the bacterial species that inhabit the oral cavity and intestinal tract have been noted. While the influence of host environments and nutritional availability in shaping different microbial communities is widely accepted, we hypothesize that the existing microbial flora also plays a role in selecting the bacterial species that are being integrated into the community. In this study, we used cultivable microbial communities isolated from different parts of the GI tract of mice (oral cavity and intestines) as a model system to examine this hypothesis. Microbes from these two areas were harvested and cultured using the same nutritional conditions, which led to two distinct microbial communities, each with about 20 different species as revealed by PCR-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis. In vitro community competition assays showed that the two microbial floras exhibited antagonistic interactions toward each other. More interestingly, all the original isolates tested and their closely related species displayed striking community preferences: They persisted when introduced into the bacterial community of the same origin, while their viable count declined more than three orders of magnitude after 4 days of coincubation with the microbial flora of foreign origin. These results suggest that an existing microbial community might impose a selective pressure on incoming foreign bacterial species independent of host selection. The observed inter-flora interactions could contribute to the protective effect of established microbial communities against the integration of foreign bacteria to maintain the stability of the existing communities.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00248-010-9711-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Within the same human gastrointestinal (GI) tract, substantial differences in the bacterial species that inhabit oral cavity and intestinal tract have been noted. Previous research primarily attributed the differences to the influences of host environments and nutritional availabilities (“host habitat” effect). Our recent study indicated that, other than the host habitat effect, an existing microbial community could impose a selective pressure on incoming foreign bacterial species independent of host-mediated selection (“community selection” effect). In this study, we employed in vitro microbial floras representing microorganisms that inhabit the oral cavities and intestinal tract of mice in combination with Escherichia coli as a model intestinal bacterium and demonstrated that E. coli displays a striking community preference. It thrived when introduced into the intestinal microbial community, and survived poorly in the microbial flora of foreign origin (oral community). A more detailed examination of this phenomenon showed that the oral community produced oxygen free radicals in the presence of wild type E. coli while mutants deficient in lipopolysaccharides (LPS) did not trigger significant production of these cell damaging agents. Furthermore, mutants of E. coli defective in the oxidative stress response experienced a more drastic reduction in viability when co-cultivated with the oral flora, while the exogenous addition of the anti-oxidant vitamin C was able to rescue it. We concluded that the oral-derived microbial community senses the E. coli LPS and kills the bacterium with oxygen free radicals. This study reveals a new mechanism of community invasion resistance employed by established microflora to defend their domains.
Within the same human gastrointestinal tract, substantial differences in the bacterial species that inhabit oral cavity and intestinal tract have been noted. Previous research primarily attributed the differences to the influences of host environments and nutritional availabilities (“host habitat” effect). Our recent study indicated that, other than the host habitat effect, an existing microbial community could impose a selective pressure on incoming foreign bacterial species independent of host-mediated selection (“community selection” effect). In this study, we employed in vitro microbial floras representing microorganisms that inhabit the oral cavities and intestinal tract of mice in combination with Escherichia coli as a model intestinal bacterium and demonstrated that E. coli displays a striking community preference. It thrived when introduced into the intestinal microbial community and survived poorly in the microbial flora of foreign origin (oral community). A more detailed examination of this phenomenon showed that the oral community produced oxygen-free radicals in the presence of wild-type E. coli while mutants deficient in lipopolysaccharides (LPS) did not trigger significant production of these cell-damaging agents. Furthermore, mutants of E. coli defective in the oxidative stress response experienced a more drastic reduction in viability when cocultivated with the oral flora, while the exogenous addition of the antioxidant vitamin C was able to rescue it. We concluded that the oral-derived microbial community senses the E. coli LPS and kills the bacterium with oxygen-free radicals. This study reveals a new mechanism of community invasion resistance employed by established microflora to defend their domains.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00248-010-9708-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
As part of the human gastrointestinal tract, the oral cavity represents a complex biological system and harbors diverse bacterial species. Unlike the gut microbiota which is often considered a health asset, studies of the oral commensal microbial flora have been largely limited to their implication in oral diseases such as dental caries and periodontal diseases; Little emphasis has been given to their potential beneficial roles, especially the protective effects against oral colonization by foreign/pathogenic bacteria. In this study, we used the salivary microbiota derived from healthy human subjects to investigate protective effects against the colonization and integration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen, into developing and pre-formed salivary biofilms. When co-cultivated in saliva medium, P. aeruginosa persisted in the planktonic phase, but failed to integrate into salivary microbial community during biofilm formation. Furthermore, in the saliva medium supplemented with 0.05% (w/v) sucrose, the oral flora inhibited the growth of P. aeruginosa by producing lactic acid. More interestingly, while pre-formed salivary biofilms were able to prevent P. aeruginosa colonization, the same biofilms recovered from mild chlorhexidine gluconate treatment displayed a shift in microbial composition and showed a drastic reduction in protection. Our study indicates that normal oral communities with balanced microbial compositions could be important in effectively preventing the integration of foreign/pathogenic bacterial species, such as P. aeruginosa.
bacterial interference; microbial flora; oral cavity; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; salivary biofilm
Dynamic, multicompartment in vitro gastrointestinal simulators are often used to monitor gut microbial dynamics and activity. These reactors need to harbor a microbial community that is stable upon inoculation, colon region specific, and relevant to in vivo conditions. Together with the reproducibility of the colonization process, these criteria are often overlooked when the modulatory properties from different treatments are compared. We therefore investigated the microbial colonization process in two identical simulators of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (SHIME), simultaneously inoculated with the same human fecal microbiota with a high-resolution phylogenetic microarray: the human intestinal tract chip (HITChip). Following inoculation of the in vitro colon compartments, microbial community composition reached steady state after 2 weeks, whereas 3 weeks were required to reach functional stability. This dynamic colonization process was reproducible in both SHIME units and resulted in highly diverse microbial communities which were colon region specific, with the proximal regions harboring saccharolytic microbes (e.g., Bacteroides spp. and Eubacterium spp.) and the distal regions harboring mucin-degrading microbes (e.g., Akkermansia spp.). Importantly, the shift from an in vivo to an in vitro environment resulted in an increased Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio, whereas Clostridium cluster IX (propionate producers) was enriched compared to clusters IV and XIVa (butyrate producers). This was supported by proportionally higher in vitro propionate concentrations. In conclusion, high-resolution analysis of in vitro-cultured gut microbiota offers new insight on the microbial colonization process and indicates the importance of digestive parameters that may be crucial in the development of new in vitro models.
The determination of the composition of the microbial community in the oral cavity is usually based on cultivation methods; however, nearly half of the bacteria in the saliva and the dental plaque are not cultivable. In this study, we evaluated the difference in oral microbial diversity between children with severe early-childhood caries (S-ECC) and caries-free (CF) controls by means of a cultivation-independent approach called denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Pooled dental plaque samples were collected from 20 children aged 2 to 8 years. Total microbial genomic DNA was isolated from those subjects, and a portion of the 16S rRNA gene locus was PCR amplified by using universal primers. We observed that the mean species richness of the bacterial population was greater in the CF children (n = 12) (42 ± 3.7) than in the S-ECC children (n = 8) (35 ± 4.3); the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.005). The overall diversity of plaque samples as measured by the Shannon index was 3.5 for the S-ECC group and 3.7 for the CF group (P = 0.004). Differences in DGGE profiles were distinguished on the basis of a cluster analysis. Sequence analysis of excised DGGE bands consisted of 2.7 phylotypes, on average. After adjusting for the number of observed bands, we estimated that the S-ECC group exhibited 94.5 total phylotypes and that the CF group exhibited 113.4. These results suggest that the microbial diversity and complexity of the microbial biota in dental plaque are significantly less in S-ECC children than in CF children.
Microbial communities within the human oral cavity are dynamic associations of more than 500 bacterial species that form biofilms on the soft and hard tissues of the mouth. Understanding the development and spatial organization of oral biofilms has been facilitated by the use of in vitro models. We used a saliva-conditioned flow cell, with saliva as the sole nutritional source, as a model to examine the development of multispecies biofilm communities from an inoculum containing the coaggregation partners Streptococcus gordonii, Actinomyces naeslundii, Veillonella atypica, and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Biofilms inoculated with individual species in a sequential order were compared with biofilms inoculated with coaggregates of the four species. Our results indicated that flow cells inoculated sequentially produced biofilms with larger biovolumes compared to those biofilms inoculated with coaggregates. Individual-species biovolumes within the four-species communities also differed between the two modes of inoculation. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with genus- and species-specific probes revealed that the majority of cells in both sequentially and coaggregate-inoculated biofilms were S. gordonii, regardless of the inoculation order. However, the representation of A. naeslundii and V. atypica was significantly higher in biofilms inoculated with coaggregates compared to sequentially inoculated biofilms. Thus, these results indicate that the development of multispecies biofilm communities is influenced by coaggregations preformed in planktonic phase. Coaggregating bacteria such as certain streptococci are especially adapted to primary colonization of saliva-conditioned surfaces independent of the mode of inoculation and order of addition in the multispecies inoculum. Preformed coaggregations favor other bacterial strains and may facilitate symbiotic relationships.
A stable intestinal microbiota is important in maintaining human physiology and health. Although there have been a number of studies using in vitro and in vivo approaches to determine the impact of diet and xenobiotics on intestinal microbiota, there is no consensus for the best in vitro culture conditions for growth of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. To investigate the dynamics and activities of intestinal microbiota, it is important for the culture conditions to support the growth of a wide range of intestinal bacteria and maintain a complex microbial community representative of the human gastrointestinal tract. Here, we compared the bacterial community in three culture media: brain heart infusion broth and high- and low-carbohydrate medium with different growth supplements. The bacterial community was analyzed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), pyrosequencing and real-time PCR. Based on the molecular analysis, this study indicated that the 3% fecal inoculum in low-concentration carbohydrate medium with 1% autoclaved fecal supernatant provided enhanced growth conditions to conduct in vitro studies representative of the human intestinal microbiota.
The microbial communities that inhabit the intestinal tract are essential for mammalian health. Communication between the microbiota and the host establishes and maintains immune homeostasis, enabling protective immune responses against pathogens while preventing adverse inflammatory responses to harmless commensal microbes. Specific bacteria, such as segmented filamentous bacteria, Clostridium species, and Bacteroides fragilis, are key contributors to immune homeostasis in the gut. The cellular and molecular interactions between intestinal microbes and the immune system are rapidly being elucidated. Here, we review advances in our understanding of the microbial populations that shape the mucosal immune system and create a protective defense that prevents infection while tolerating friendly commensals.
Information on co-adherence of different oral bacterial species is important for understanding interspecies interactions within oral microbial community. Current knowledge on this topic is heavily based on pariwise coaggregation of known, cultivable species. In this study, we employed a membrane binding assay coupled with polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) to systematically analyze the co-adherence profiles of oral bacterial species, and achieved a more profound knowledge beyond pairwise coaggregation. Two oral bacterial species were selected to serve as “bait”: Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. nucleatum) whose ability to adhere to a multitude of oral bacterial species has been extensively studied for pairwise interactions and Streptococcus mutans(S. mutans) whose interacting partners are largely unknown. To enable screening of interacting partner species within bacterial mixtures, cells of the “bait” oral bacterium were immobilized on nitrocellulose membranes which were washed and blocked to prevent unspecific binding. The “prey” bacterial mixtures (including known species or natural saliva samples) were added, unbound cells were washed off after the incubation period and the remaining cells were eluted using 0.2 mol·L−1 glycine. Genomic DNA was extracted, subjected to 16S rRNAPCR amplification and separation of the resulting PCR products by DGGE. Selected bands were recovered from the gel, sequenced and identified via Nucleotide BLAST searches against different databases. While few bacterial species bound to S. mutans, consistent with previous findings F.nucleatum adhered to a variety of bacterial species including uncultivable and uncharacterized ones. This new approach can more effectively analyze the co-adherence profiles of oral bacteria, and could facilitate the systematic study of interbacterial binding of oral microbial species.
membrane binding assay; polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; coaggregation; Fusobacterium nucleatum; Streptococcus mutans
Summary: While reductionism has greatly advanced microbiology in the past 400 years, assembly of smaller pieces just could not explain the whole! Modern microbiologists are learning “system thinking” and “holism.” Such an approach is changing our understanding of microbial physiology and our ability to diagnose/treat microbial infections. This review uses oral microbial communities as a focal point to describe this new trend. With the common name “dental plaque,” oral microbial communities are some of the most complex microbial floras in the human body, consisting of more than 700 different bacterial species. For a very long time, oral microbiologists endeavored to use reductionism to identify the key genes or key pathogens responsible for oral microbial pathogenesis. The limitations of reductionism forced scientists to begin adopting new strategies using emerging concepts such as interspecies interaction, microbial community, biofilms, polymicrobial disease, etc. These new research directions indicate that the whole is much more than the simple sum of its parts, since the interactions between different parts resulted in many new physiological functions which cannot be observed with individual components. This review describes some of these interesting interspecies-interaction scenarios.
The development of multispecies oral microbial communities involves complex intra- and interspecies interactions at various levels. The ability to adhere to the resident bacteria or the biofilm matrix and overcome community resistance are among the key factors that determine whether a bacterium can integrate into a community. In this study, we focus on community integration of Fusobacterium nucleatum, a prevalent Gram-negative oral bacterial species that is considered an important member of the oral community due to its ability to adhere to Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative species. This interaction with a variety of different species is thought to facilitate the establishment of multispecies oral microbial community. However, the majority of experiments thus far has focused on the physical adherence between two species as measured by in vitro co-aggregation assays, while the community-based effects on the integration of F. nucleatum into multispecies microbial community remains to be investigated. In this study, we demonstrated using an established in vitro mice oral microbiota (O-mix) that the viability of F. nucleatum was significantly reduced upon addition to the O-mix due to cell contact-dependent induction of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production by oral community. Interestingly, this inhibitory effect was significantly alleviated when F. nucleatum was allowed to adhere to its known interacting partner species (such as Streptococcus sanguinis) prior to addition. Furthermore, this aggregate formation-dependent protection was absent in the F. nucleatum mutant strain ΔFn1526 that is unable to bind to a number of Gram-positive species. More importantly, this protective effect was also observed during integration of F. nucleatum into a human salivary microbial community (S-mix). These results support the idea that by adhering to other oral microbes, such as streptococci, F. nucleatum is able to mask the surface components that are recognized by H2O2 producing oral community members. This evasion strategy prevents detection by antagonistic oral bacteria and allows integration into the developing oral microbial community.
coaggregation; Fusobacterium nucleatum; microbial flora; oral cavity; community resistance
The gastrointestinal lumen is home to over 400 species of microorganisms. The composition of this microbial community varies along the length of the gastrointestinal tract as a function of regional epithelial secretory activity as well as diet and other defined and undefined determinants. Improved understanding of the factors that impact luminal microbial populations and development of means to modulate gut microbes for therapeutic benefit hold great promise. The gastrointestinal epithelium, which regulates interactions between microbes and the mammalian host, is the topic of this review.
intestine; epithelium; secretion; absorption; tight junction; myosin; microbes
Higher termites are characterized by a purely prokaryotic gut microbiota and an increased compartmentation of their intestinal tract. In soil-feeding species, each gut compartment has different physicochemical conditions and is colonized by a specific microbial community. Although considerable information has accumulated also for wood-feeding species of the genus Nasutitermes, including cellulase activities and metagenomic data, a comprehensive study linking physicochemical gut conditions with the structure of the microbial communities in the different gut compartments is lacking. In this study, we measured high-resolution profiles of H2, O2, pH, and redox potential in the gut of Nasutitermes corniger termites, determined the fermentation products accumulating in the individual gut compartments, and analyzed the bacterial communities in detail by pyrotag sequencing of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA genes. The dilated hindgut paunch (P3 compartment) was the only anoxic gut region, showed the highest density of bacteria, and accumulated H2 to high partial pressures (up to 12 kPa). Molecular hydrogen is apparently produced by a dense community of Spirochaetes and Fibrobacteres, which also dominate the gut of other Nasutitermes species. All other compartments, such as the alkaline P1 compartment (average pH, 10.0), showed high redox potentials and comprised small but distinct populations characteristic for each gut region. In the crop and the posterior hindgut compartments, the community was even more diverse than in the paunch. Similarities in the communities of the posterior hindgut and crop suggested that proctodeal trophallaxis or coprophagy also occurs in higher termites. The large sampling depths of pyrotag sequencing in combination with the determination of important physicochemical parameters allow cautious conclusions concerning the functions of particular bacterial lineages in the respective gut sections to be drawn.
More than 700 bacterial species have been detected in human oral cavity. They form highly organized microbial communities and are responsible for many oral infectious diseases, such as dental caries and periodontal disease. The prevention and treatment of these diseases require a comprehensive knowledge of oral microbial communities, which largely relies on culture-dependent methods to have detailed phenotypic and physiological analysis of these communities. However, most of the currently available lab media can only selectively support the growth of a limited number of bacterial species within these communities, and fail to sustain the original oral microbial diversity. In this study, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) as an index to systematically survey and analyze the selectivity of commonly used lab media, we developed a new medium (SHI medium) by combining the ingredients of several selected media which can support different sub-populations within the original oral microbial community derived from pooled saliva. DGGE and 454 pyrosequencing analysis showed that SHI medium was capable of supporting a more diversified community with a microbial profile closest to that of the original oral microbiota. Furthermore, 454 pyrosequencing revealed that SHI medium supported the growth of many oral species that have not been cultured so far. Crystal violet assay and the CLSM (confocal laser scanning microscope) analysis indicated that, compared with other media, SHI medium is able to support more complex saliva-derived biofilm with higher biomass yield and more diversified species. This DGGE-guided method could also be used to develop novel media for other complex microbial communities.
oral microbial community; growth medium; 454 pyrosequencing
The human oral cavity contains a complex microbial community that, until recently, has not been well characterized. Studies using molecular tools have begun to enumerate and quantify the species residing in various niches of the oral cavity; yet, virtually every study has revealed additional new species, and little is known about the structural dynamics of the oral microbial community or how it changes with disease. Current estimates of bacterial diversity in the oral cavity range up to 700 species, although in any single individual this number is much lower. Oral microbes are responsible for common chronic diseases and are suggested to be sentinels of systemic human diseases. Microarrays are now being used to study oral microbiota in a systematic and robust manner. Although this technology is still relatively young, improvements have been made in all aspects of the technology, including advances that provide better discrimination between perfect-match hybridizations from non-specific (and closely-related) hybridizations. This review addresses a core technology using gel-based microarrays and the initial integration of this technology into a single device needed for system-wide studies of complex microbial community structure and for the development of oral diagnostic devices.
The oral cavity of humans is inhabited by hundreds of bacterial species and some of them have a key role in the development of oral diseases, mainly dental caries and periodontitis. We describe for the first time the metagenome of the human oral cavity under health and diseased conditions, with a focus on supragingival dental plaque and cavities. Direct pyrosequencing of eight samples with different oral-health status produced 1 Gbp of sequence without the biases imposed by PCR or cloning. These data show that cavities are not dominated by Streptococcus mutans (the species originally identified as the ethiological agent of dental caries) but are in fact a complex community formed by tens of bacterial species, in agreement with the view that caries is a polymicrobial disease. The analysis of the reads indicated that the oral cavity is functionally a different environment from the gut, with many functional categories enriched in one of the two environments and depleted in the other. Individuals who had never suffered from dental caries showed an over-representation of several functional categories, like genes for antimicrobial peptides and quorum sensing. In addition, they did not have mutans streptococci but displayed high recruitment of other species. Several isolates belonging to these dominant bacteria in healthy individuals were cultured and shown to inhibit the growth of cariogenic bacteria, suggesting the use of these commensal bacterial strains as probiotics to promote oral health and prevent dental caries.
metagenomics; human microbiome; dental caries; Streptococcus mutans; pyrosequencing; probiotics
This review describes the importance of microbial adhesion in the ecology of the urogenital and intestinal tracts and the influence of host and microbial factors in bacterial interference. In a recent revival of interest in bacterial interference, lactobacillus administration has been studied as a means of treating and preventing disease. Although evidence is conflicting, Lactobacillus acidophilus appears to be involved in beneficial antagonistic and cooperative reactions that interfere with establishment of pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. The mechanisms of action are believed to involve competitive exclusion and production of inhibitory substances, including bacteriocins. These characteristics, as well as demonstrated adherence abilities in vitro, led to selection of certain Lactobacillus strains for clinical studies of cystitis. Weekly intravaginal Lactobacillus therapy reduced the recurrence rate of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections in women. Use of Lactobacillus strains resistant to Nonoxynol-9, a spermicide that kills members of the protective normal vaginal flora, may have potential for use in women with recurrent cystitis using this contraceptive agent. In veterinary studies, bacterial interference by administration of probiotics has also been beneficial in disease prevention in animals. Carefully selected bacterial mixtures integrate with the gastrointestinal flora of the animals and can confer disease resistance and improve physiological function. Additional human and animal trials are needed to determine the practical, long-term usefulness of bacterial interference as a protective mechanism against infectious diseases.
The adult human intestine contains trillions of bacteria, representing hundreds of species and thousands of subspecies. Little is known about the selective pressures that have shaped and are shaping this community's component species, which are dominated by members of the Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes divisions. To examine how the intestinal environment affects microbial genome evolution, we have sequenced the genomes of two members of the normal distal human gut microbiota, Bacteroides vulgatus and Bacteroides distasonis, and by comparison with the few other sequenced gut and non-gut Bacteroidetes, analyzed their niche and habitat adaptations. The results show that lateral gene transfer, mobile elements, and gene amplification have played important roles in affecting the ability of gut-dwelling Bacteroidetes to vary their cell surface, sense their environment, and harvest nutrient resources present in the distal intestine. Our findings show that these processes have been a driving force in the adaptation of Bacteroidetes to the distal gut environment, and emphasize the importance of considering the evolution of humans from an additional perspective, namely the evolution of our microbiomes.
The total number of microbes that colonize the surfaces of our adult bodies is thought to be ten times greater than the total number of our human cells. Our microbial partners provide us with certain features that we have not had to evolve on our own. In this sense, we should consider ourselves to be a supraorganism whose genetic landscape includes both our own genome as well as the genomes of our resident microbes, and whose physiologic features are a synthesis of human and microbial metabolic traits. The largest collection of microbes resides in our gut, which harbors trillions of bacteria, representing hundreds of species, most falling into two groups—the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. We have sequenced the genomes of two human gut-dwelling Bacteroidetes, and compared their genomes to the genomes of other bacteria that live both inside and outside of our bodies. Our results illustrate that adaptation to the gut habitat is a dynamic process that includes acquisition of genes from other microorganisms. These findings emphasize the importance of including the evolution of “our” microbial genomes when considering the evolution of humans.
Human microbiome evolution was explored by comparing human gut Bacteroidete genomic sequences to available data; common modes of evolution were revealed that have enabled these gut-dwelling microbes to adapt to their environments.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract that occur in genetically susceptible individuals. Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are two major types of IBD. In about 20–25% of patients, disease onset is during childhood and pediatric IBD can be considered the best model for studying immunopathogentic mechanisms. The fundamentals of IBD pathogenesis are considered a defective innate immunity and bacterial killing with overaggressive adaptive immune response. A condition of “dysbiosis”, with alterations of the gut microbial composition, is regarded as the basis of IBD pathogenesis. The human gastrointestinal (GI) microbial population is a complex, dynamic ecosystem and consists of up to one thousand different bacterial species. In healthy individuals, intestinal microbiota have a symbiotic relationship with the host organism and carry out important metabolic, “barrier,” and immune functions. Microbial dysbiosis in IBD with lack of beneficial bacteria, together with genetic predisposition, is the most relevant conditions in the pathogenesis of the pediatric IBD.
The overall complexity of the microbial communities in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of mammals has hindered observations of dynamics and interactions of individual bacterial populations. However, such information is crucial for understanding the diverse disease-causing and protective roles that gut microbiota play in their hosts. Here, we determine the spatial distribution, interanimal variation, and persistence of bacteria in the most complex defined-flora (gnotobiotic) model system to date, viz., mice colonized with the eight strains of the altered Schaedler flora (ASF). Quantitative PCR protocols based on the 16S rRNA sequence of each ASF strain were developed and optimized to specifically detect as few as 10 copies of each target. Total numbers of the ASF strains were determined in the different regions of the GI tracts of three C.B-17 SCID mice. Individual strain abundance was dependent on oxygen sensitivity, with microaerotolerant Lactobacillus murinus ASF361 present at 105 to 107 cells/g of tissue in the upper GI tract and obligate anaerobic ASF strains being predominant in the cecal and colonic flora at 108 to 1010 cells/g of tissue. The variation between the three mice was small for most ASF strains, except for Clostridium sp. strain ASF502 and Bacteroides sp. strain ASF519 in the cecum. A comparison of the relative distribution of the ASF strains in feces and the colon indicated large differences, suggesting that fecal bacterial levels may provide a poor approximation of colonic bacterial levels. All ASF strains were detected by PCR in the feces of C57BL/6 restricted flora mice, which had been maintained in an isolator without sterile food, water, or bedding for several generations, providing evidence for the stability of these strains in the face of potential competition by bacteria introduced into the gut.
Dental caries is one of the most common diseases in the world. However, our understanding of how the microbial community composition changes in vivo as caries develops is lacking.
An in vivo model was used in a longitudinal cohort study to investigate shifts in the microbial community composition associated with the development of enamel caries.
White spot lesions were generated in vivo on human teeth predetermined to be extracted for orthodontic reasons. The bacterial microbiota on sound enamel and on developing carious lesions were identified using the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray (HOMIM), which permits the detection of about 300 of the approximate 600 predominant bacterial species in the oral cavity.
After only seven weeks, 75% of targeted teeth developed white spot lesions (8 individuals, 16 teeth). The microbial community composition of the plaque over white spot lesions differed significantly as compared to sound enamel. Twenty-five bacterial taxa, including Streptococcus
invisus, and species of Prevotella and Scardovia, were significantly associated with initial enamel lesions. In contrast, 14 bacterial taxa, including species of Fusobacterium, Campylobacter, Kingella, and Capnocytophaga, were significantly associated with sound enamel.
The bacterial community composition associated with the progression of enamel lesions is specific and much more complex than previously believed. This investigation represents one of the first longitudinally-derived studies for caries progression and supports microbial data from previous cross-sectional studies on the development of the disease. Thus, the in vivo experiments of generating lesions on teeth destined for extraction in conjunction with HOMIM analyses represent a valid model to study succession of supragingival microbial communities associated with caries development and to study efficacy of prophylactic and restorative treatments.
white spot lesions; caries; HOMIM; molecular microbiology
The complexity of the human microbiome makes it difficult to reveal organizational principles of the community and even more challenging to generate testable hypotheses. It has been suggested that in the gut microbiome species such as Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron are keystone in maintaining the stability and functional adaptability of the microbial community. In this study, we investigate the interspecies associations in a complex microbial biofilm applying systems biology principles. Using correlation network analysis we identified bacterial modules that represent important microbial associations within the oral community. We used dental plaque as a model community because of its high diversity and the well known species-species interactions that are common in the oral biofilm. We analyzed samples from healthy individuals as well as from patients with periodontitis, a polymicrobial disease. Using results obtained by checkerboard hybridization on cultivable bacteria we identified modules that correlated well with microbial complexes previously described. Furthermore, we extended our analysis using the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray (HOMIM), which includes a large number of bacterial species, among them uncultivated organisms present in the mouth. Two distinct microbial communities appeared in healthy individuals while there was one major type in disease. Bacterial modules in all communities did not overlap, indicating that bacteria were able to effectively re-associate with new partners depending on the environmental conditions. We then identified hubs that could act as keystone species in the bacterial modules. Based on those results we then cultured a not-yet-cultivated microorganism, Tannerella sp. OT286 (clone BU063). After two rounds of enrichment by a selected helper (Prevotella oris OT311) we obtained colonies of Tannerella sp. OT286 growing on blood agar plates. This system-level approach would open the possibility of manipulating microbial communities in a targeted fashion as well as associating certain bacterial modules to clinical traits (e.g.: obesity, Crohn's disease, periodontal disease, etc).
The gastrointestinal tract is the largest reservoir of commensal bacteria in the human body, providing nutrients and space for the survival of microbes while concurrently operating mucosal barriers to confine the microbial population. The epithelial cells linked by tight junctions not only physically separate the microbiota from the lamina propria, but also secrete proinflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species in response to pathogen invasion and metabolic stress and serve as a sentinel to the underlying immune cells. Accumulating evidence indicates that commensal bacteria are involved in various physiological functions in the gut and microbial imbalances (dysbiosis) may cause pathology. Commensal bacteria are involved in the regulation of intestinal epithelial cell turnover, promotion of epithelial restitution and reorganization of tight junctions, all of which are pivotal for fortifying barrier function. Recent studies indicate that aberrant bacterial lipopolysaccharide-mediated signaling in gut mucosa may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis. Our perception of enteric commensals has now changed from one of opportunistic pathogens to active participants in maintaining intestinal homeostasis. This review attempts to explain the dynamic interaction between the intestinal epithelium and commensal bacteria in disease and health status.
Intestinal barrier; Commensal bacteria; Enterocytes; Tight junctions; Lipopolysaccharide; CD14/TLR4; Inflammatory bowel disease; Colorectal cancer
The human oral cavity is host to a complex microbial community estimated to comprise > 700 bacterial species, of which at least half are thought to be not yet cultivable in vitro. To investigate the plasmids present in this community, we used a transposon-aided capture system, which allowed the isolation of plasmids from human oral supra- and subgingival plaque samples. Thirty-two novel plasmids and a circular molecule that could be an integrase-generated circular intermediate were isolated.
oral cavity; plasmid; TRACA; dental plaque; metagenome