The human oral microbiome is the most studied human microflora, but 53% of the species have not yet been validly named and 35% remain uncultivated. The uncultivated taxa are known primarily from 16S rRNA sequence information. Sequence information tied solely to obscure isolate or clone numbers, and usually lacking accurate phylogenetic placement, is a major impediment to working with human oral microbiome data. The goal of creating the Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD) is to provide the scientific community with a body site-specific comprehensive database for the more than 600 prokaryote species that are present in the human oral cavity based on a curated 16S rRNA gene-based provisional naming scheme. Currently, two primary types of information are provided in HOMD—taxonomic and genomic. Named oral species and taxa identified from 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of oral isolates and cloning studies were placed into defined 16S rRNA phylotypes and each given unique Human Oral Taxon (HOT) number. The HOT interlinks phenotypic, phylogenetic, genomic, clinical and bibliographic information for each taxon. A BLAST search tool is provided to match user 16S rRNA gene sequences to a curated, full length, 16S rRNA gene reference data set. For genomic analysis, HOMD provides comprehensive set of analysis tools and maintains frequently updated annotations for all the human oral microbial genomes that have been sequenced and publicly released. Oral bacterial genome sequences, determined as part of the Human Microbiome Project, are being added to the HOMD as they become available. We provide HOMD as a conceptual model for the presentation of microbiome data for other human body sites.
Database URL: http://www.homd.org
Prokaryotes represent one-half of the living biomass on Earth, with the vast majority remaining elusive to culture and study within the laboratory. As a result, we lack a basic understanding of the functions that many species perform in the natural world. To address this issue, we developed complementary population and single-cell stable isotope (13C)-linked analyses to determine microbial identity and function in situ. We demonstrated that the use of rRNA/mRNA stable isotope probing (SIP) recovered the key phylogenetic and functional RNAs. This was followed by single-cell physiological analyses of these populations to determine and quantify in situ functions within an aerobic naphthalene-degrading groundwater microbial community. Using these culture-independent approaches, we identified three prokaryote species capable of naphthalene biodegradation within the groundwater system: two taxa were isolated in the laboratory (Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida), whereas the third eluded culture (an Acidovorax sp.). Using parallel population and single-cell stable isotope technologies, we were able to identify an unculturable Acidovorax sp. which played the key role in naphthalene biodegradation in situ, rather than the culturable naphthalene-biodegrading Pseudomonas sp. isolated from the same groundwater. The Pseudomonas isolates actively degraded naphthalene only at naphthalene concentrations higher than 30 μM. This study demonstrated that unculturable microorganisms could play important roles in biodegradation in the ecosystem. It also showed that the combined RNA SIP-Raman-fluorescence in situ hybridization approach may be a significant tool in resolving ecology, functionality, and niche specialization within the unculturable fraction of organisms residing in the natural environment.
The etiology of dental caries remains elusive because of our limited understanding of the complex oral microbiomes. The current methodologies have been limited by insufficient depth and breadth of microbial sampling, paucity of data for diseased hosts particularly at the population level, inconsistency of sampled sites and the inability to distinguish the underlying microbial factors. By cross-validating 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based and whole-genome-based deep-sequencing technologies, we report the most in-depth, comprehensive and collaborated view to date of the adult saliva microbiomes in pilot populations of 19 caries-active and 26 healthy human hosts. We found that: first, saliva microbiomes in human population were featured by a vast phylogenetic diversity yet a minimal organismal core; second, caries microbiomes were significantly more variable in community structure whereas the healthy ones were relatively conserved; third, abundance changes of certain taxa such as overabundance of Prevotella Genus distinguished caries microbiota from healthy ones, and furthermore, caries-active and normal individuals carried different arrays of Prevotella species; and finally, no ‘caries-specific' operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected, yet 147 OTUs were ‘caries associated', that is, differentially distributed yet present in both healthy and caries-active populations. These findings underscored the necessity of species- and strain-level resolution for caries prognosis, and were consistent with the ecological hypothesis where the shifts in community structure, instead of the presence or absence of particular groups of microbes, underlie the cariogenesis.
caries; metagenomics; oral-microbiome; Prevotella; saliva
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
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).
Comparing bacterial 16S rDNA sequences to GenBank and other large public databases via BLAST often provides results of little use for identification and taxonomic assignment of the organisms of interest. The human microbiome, and in particular the oral microbiome, includes many taxa, and accurate identification of sequence data is essential for studies of these communities. For this purpose, a phylogenetically curated 16S rDNA database of the core oral microbiome, CORE, was developed. The goal was to include a comprehensive and minimally redundant representation of the bacteria that regularly reside in the human oral cavity with computationally robust classification at the level of species and genus. Clades of cultivated and uncultivated taxa were formed based on sequence analyses using multiple criteria, including maximum-likelihood-based topology and bootstrap support, genetic distance, and previous naming. A number of classification inconsistencies for previously named species, especially at the level of genus, were resolved. The performance of the CORE database for identifying clinical sequences was compared to that of three publicly available databases, GenBank nr/nt, RDP and HOMD, using a set of sequencing reads that had not been used in creation of the database. CORE offered improved performance compared to other public databases for identification of human oral bacterial 16S sequences by a number of criteria. In addition, the CORE database and phylogenetic tree provide a framework for measures of community divergence, and the focused size of the database offers advantages of efficiency for BLAST searching of large datasets. The CORE database is available as a searchable interface and for download at http://microbiome.osu.edu.
Numerous microbes inhabit the human intestine, many of which are uncharacterized or uncultivable. They form a complex microbial community that deeply affects human physiology. To identify the genomic features common to all human gut microbiomes as well as those variable among them, we performed a large-scale comparative metagenomic analysis of fecal samples from 13 healthy individuals of various ages, including unweaned infants. We found that, while the gut microbiota from unweaned infants were simple and showed a high inter-individual variation in taxonomic and gene composition, those from adults and weaned children were more complex but showed a high functional uniformity regardless of age or sex. In searching for the genes over-represented in gut microbiomes, we identified 237 gene families commonly enriched in adult-type and 136 families in infant-type microbiomes, with a small overlap. An analysis of their predicted functions revealed various strategies employed by each type of microbiota to adapt to its intestinal environment, suggesting that these gene sets encode the core functions of adult and infant-type gut microbiota. By analysing the orphan genes, 647 new gene families were identified to be exclusively present in human intestinal microbiomes. In addition, we discovered a conjugative transposon family explosively amplified in human gut microbiomes, which strongly suggests that the intestine is a ‘hot spot’ for horizontal gene transfer between microbes.
metagenomics; human gut microbiota; gene family; conjugative transposon
The oral microbiome, the complex ecosystem of microbes inhabiting the human mouth, harbors several thousands of bacterial types. The proliferation of pathogenic bacteria within the mouth gives rise to periodontitis, an inflammatory disease known to also constitute a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. While much is known about individual species associated with pathogenesis, the system-level mechanisms underlying the transition from health to disease are still poorly understood. Through the sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and of whole community DNA we provide a glimpse at the global genetic, metabolic, and ecological changes associated with periodontitis in 15 subgingival plaque samples, four from each of two periodontitis patients, and the remaining samples from three healthy individuals. We also demonstrate the power of whole-metagenome sequencing approaches in characterizing the genomes of key players in the oral microbiome, including an unculturable TM7 organism. We reveal the disease microbiome to be enriched in virulence factors, and adapted to a parasitic lifestyle that takes advantage of the disrupted host homeostasis. Furthermore, diseased samples share a common structure that was not found in completely healthy samples, suggesting that the disease state may occupy a narrow region within the space of possible configurations of the oral microbiome. Our pilot study demonstrates the power of high-throughput sequencing as a tool for understanding the role of the oral microbiome in periodontal disease. Despite a modest level of sequencing (∼2 lanes Illumina 76 bp PE) and high human DNA contamination (up to ∼90%) we were able to partially reconstruct several oral microbes and to preliminarily characterize some systems-level differences between the healthy and diseased oral microbiomes.
The understanding of microbial interactions and trophic networks is a prerequisite for the elucidation of the turnover and transformation of organic materials in soils. To elucidate the incorporation of biomass carbon into a soil microbial food web, we added 13C-labeled Escherichia coli biomass to an agricultural soil and identified those indigenous microbes that were specifically active in its mineralization and carbon sequestration. rRNA stable isotope probing (SIP) revealed that uncultivated relatives of distinct groups of gliding bacterial micropredators (Lysobacter spp., Myxococcales, and the Bacteroidetes) lead carbon sequestration and mineralization from the added biomass. In addition, fungal populations within the Microascaceae were shown to respond to the added biomass after only 1 h of incubation and were thus surprisingly reactive to degradable labile carbon. This RNA-SIP study identifies indigenous microbes specifically active in the transformation of a nondefined complex carbon source, bacterial biomass, directly in a soil ecosystem.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory disorder characterized by incompletely reversible airflow obstruction. Bacterial infection of the lower respiratory tract contributes to approximately 50% of COPD exacerbations. Even during periods of stable lung function, the lung harbors a community of bacteria, termed the microbiome. The role of the lung microbiome in the pathogenesis of COPD remains unknown. The COPD lung microbiome, like the healthy lung microbiome, appears to reflect microaspiration of oral microflora. Here we describe the COPD lung microbiome of 22 patients with Moderate or Severe COPD compared to 10 healthy control patients. The composition of the lung microbiomes was determined using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA found in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Sequences were analyzed using mothur, Ribosomal Database Project, Fast UniFrac, and Metastats. Our results showed a significant increase in microbial diversity with the development of COPD. The main phyla in all samples were Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria. Principal coordinate analyses demonstrated separation of control and COPD samples, but samples did not cluster based on disease severity. However, samples did cluster based on the use of inhaled corticosteroids and inhaled bronchodilators. Metastats analyses demonstrated an increased abundance of several oral bacteria in COPD samples.
Although substantial epidemiologic evidence links Streptococcus mutans to caries, the pathobiology of caries may involve more complex communities of bacterial species. Molecular methods for bacterial identification and enumeration now make it possible to more precisely study the microbiota associated with dental caries. The purpose of this study was to compare the bacteria found in early childhood caries (ECC) to those found in caries-free children by using molecular identification methods. Cloning and sequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal DNAs from a healthy subject and a subject with ECC were used for identification of novel species or uncultivated phylotypes and species not previously associated with dental caries. Ten novel phylotypes were identified. A number of species or phylotypes that may play a role in health or disease were identified and warrant further investigation. In addition, quantitative measurements for 23 previously known bacterial species or species groups were obtained by a reverse capture checkerboard assay for 30 subjects with caries and 30 healthy controls. Significant differences were observed for nine species: S. sanguinis was associated with health and, in order of decreasing cell numbers, Actinomyces gerencseriae, Bifidobacterium, S. mutans, Veillonella, S. salivarius, S. constellatus, S. parasanguinis, and Lactobacillus fermentum were associated with caries. These data suggest that A. gerencseriae and other Actinomyces species may play an important role in caries initiation and that a novel Bifidobacterium may be a major pathogen in deep caries. Further investigation could lead to the identification of targets for biological interventions in the caries process and thereby contribute to improved prevention of and treatment for this significant public health problem.
Most studies examining the commensal human oral microbiome are focused on disease or are limited in methodology. In order to diagnose and treat diseases at an early and reversible stage an in-depth definition of health is indispensible. The aim of this study therefore was to define the healthy oral microbiome using recent advances in sequencing technology (454 pyrosequencing).
We sampled and sequenced microbiomes from several intraoral niches (dental surfaces, cheek, hard palate, tongue and saliva) in three healthy individuals. Within an individual oral cavity, we found over 3600 unique sequences, over 500 different OTUs or "species-level" phylotypes (sequences that clustered at 3% genetic difference) and 88 - 104 higher taxa (genus or more inclusive taxon). The predominant taxa belonged to Firmicutes (genus Streptococcus, family Veillonellaceae, genus Granulicatella), Proteobacteria (genus Neisseria, Haemophilus), Actinobacteria (genus Corynebacterium, Rothia, Actinomyces), Bacteroidetes (genus Prevotella, Capnocytophaga, Porphyromonas) and Fusobacteria (genus Fusobacterium).
Each individual sample harboured on average 266 "species-level" phylotypes (SD 67; range 123 - 326) with cheek samples being the least diverse and the dental samples from approximal surfaces showing the highest diversity. Principal component analysis discriminated the profiles of the samples originating from shedding surfaces (mucosa of tongue, cheek and palate) from the samples that were obtained from solid surfaces (teeth).
There was a large overlap in the higher taxa, "species-level" phylotypes and unique sequences among the three microbiomes: 84% of the higher taxa, 75% of the OTUs and 65% of the unique sequences were present in at least two of the three microbiomes. The three individuals shared 1660 of 6315 unique sequences. These 1660 sequences (the "core microbiome") contributed 66% of the reads. The overlapping OTUs contributed to 94% of the reads, while nearly all reads (99.8%) belonged to the shared higher taxa.
We obtained the first insight into the diversity and uniqueness of individual oral microbiomes at a resolution of next-generation sequencing. We showed that a major proportion of bacterial sequences of unrelated healthy individuals is identical, supporting the concept of a core microbiome at health.
Outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections emphasize the importance of surveillance of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Genomic sequencing of clinical microbiological specimens expands our capacity to study cultivable, fastidious and uncultivable members of the bacterial community. Herein, we compared the primary data collected by the NIH’s Human Microbiome Project (HMP) with published epidemiological surveillance data of Staphylococcus aureus.
The HMP’s initial dataset contained microbial survey data from five body regions (skin, nares, oral cavity, gut and vagina) of 242 healthy volunteers. A significant component of the HMP dataset was deep sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, which contains variable regions enabling taxonomic classification. Since species-level identification is essential in clinical microbiology, we built a reference database and used phylogenetic placement followed by most recent common ancestor classification to look at the species distribution for Staphylococcus, Klebsiella and Enterococcus.
We show that selecting the accurate region of the 16S rRNA gene to sequence is analogous to carefully selecting culture conditions to distinguish closely related bacterial species. Analysis of the HMP data showed that Staphylococcus aureus was present in the nares of 36% of healthy volunteers, consistent with culture-based epidemiological data. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Enterococcus faecalis were found less frequently, but across many habitats.
This work demonstrates that large 16S rRNA survey studies can be used to support epidemiological goals in the context of an increasing awareness that microbes flourish and compete within a larger bacterial community. This study demonstrates how genomic techniques and information could be critically important to trace microbial evolution and implement hospital infection control.
Determining the bacterial composition of the canine oral microbiome is of interest for two primary reasons. First, while the human oral microbiome has been well studied using molecular techniques, the oral microbiomes of other mammals have not been studied in equal depth using culture independent methods. This study allows a comparison of the number of bacterial taxa, based on 16S rRNA-gene sequence comparison, shared between humans and dogs, two divergent mammalian species. Second, canine oral bacteria are of interest to veterinary and human medical communities for understanding their roles in health and infectious diseases. The bacteria involved are mostly unnamed and not linked by 16S rRNA-gene sequence identity to a taxonomic scheme. This manuscript describes the analysis of 5,958 16S rRNA-gene sequences from 65 clone libraries. Full length 16S rRNA reference sequences have been obtained for 353 canine bacterial taxa, which were placed in 14 bacterial phyla, 23 classes, 37 orders, 66 families, and 148 genera. Eighty percent of the taxa are currently unnamed. The bacterial taxa identified in dogs are markedly different from those of humans with only 16.4% of oral taxa are shared between dogs and humans based on a 98.5% 16S rRNA sequence similarity cutoff. This indicates that there is a large divergence in the bacteria comprising the oral microbiomes of divergent mammalian species. The historic practice of identifying animal associated bacteria based on phenotypic similarities to human bacteria is generally invalid. This report describes the diversity of the canine oral microbiome and provides a provisional 16S rRNA based taxonomic scheme for naming and identifying unnamed canine bacterial taxa.
Endodontic infections have been traditionally studied by culture methods, but recent reports showing that over 50% of the oral microbiota is still uncultivable (B. J. Paster et al., J. Bacteriol. 183:3770-3783, 2001) raise the possibility that many endodontic pathogens remain unknown. This study intended to investigate the prevalence of several uncultivated oral phylotypes, as well as newly named species in primary or persistent endodontic infections associated with chronic periradicular diseases. Samples were taken from the root canals of 21 untreated teeth and 22 root-filled teeth, all of them with radiographic evidence of periradicular bone destruction. Genomic DNA was isolated directly from each sample, and 16S rRNA gene-based nested or heminested PCR assays were used to determine the presence of 13 species or phylotypes of bacteria. Species-specific primers had already been validated in the literature or were developed by aligning closely related 16S rRNA gene sequences. Species specificity for each primer pair was confirmed by running PCRs against a panel of several oral bacteria and by sequencing DNA from representative positive samples. All species or phylotypes were detected in at least one case of primary infections. The most prevalent species or phylotypes found in primary infections were Dialister invisus (81%), Synergistes oral clone BA121 (33%), and Olsenella uli (33%). Of the target bacteria, only these three species were detected in persistent infections. Detection of uncultivated phylotypes and newly named species in infected root canals suggests that there are previously unrecognized bacteria that may play a role in the pathogenesis of periradicular diseases.
High throughput sequencing technology has opened a window into the vast communities of bacteria that live on and in humans, demonstrating tremendous variability, and that they play a large role in health and disease. The eukaryotic component of the human gut microbiome remains relatively unexplored with these methods, but turning these tools toward microbial eukaryotes in the gut will likely yield myriad insights into disease as well as the ecological and evolutionary principles that govern the gut microbiota. Microbial eukaryotes are common inhabitants of the human gut worldwide and parasitic taxa are a major source of morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries, though there are also taxa that cause no harm or are beneficial. While the role microbial eukaryotes play in healthy individuals is much less clear, there are likely many complex interactions between the bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic microbiota that influence human health. Integrating eukaryotic microbes into a broad view of microbiome function requires an integrated ecological approach rather than one focused on specific, disease-causing taxa. Moving forward, we expect broad surveys of the eukaryotic microbiota and associated bacteria from geographically and socioeconomically diverse populations to paint a more complete picture of the human gut microbiome in health and disease.
intestinal protozoa; host-associated communities; eukaryotic diversity
Analysis of human body microbial diversity is fundamental to understanding community structure, biology and ecology. The National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project (HMP) has provided an unprecedented opportunity to examine microbial diversity within and across body habitats and individuals through pyrosequencing-based profiling of 16 S rRNA gene sequences (16 S) from habits of the oral, skin, distal gut, and vaginal body regions from over 200 healthy individuals enabling the application of statistical techniques. In this study, two approaches were applied to elucidate the nature and extent of human microbiome diversity. First, bootstrap and parametric curve fitting techniques were evaluated to estimate the maximum number of unique taxa, Smax, and taxa discovery rate for habitats across individuals. Next, our results demonstrated that the variation of diversity within low abundant taxa across habitats and individuals was not sufficiently quantified with standard ecological diversity indices. This impact from low abundant taxa motivated us to introduce a novel rank-based diversity measure, the Tail statistic, (“τ”), based on the standard deviation of the rank abundance curve if made symmetric by reflection around the most abundant taxon. Due to τ’s greater sensitivity to low abundant taxa, its application to diversity estimation of taxonomic units using taxonomic dependent and independent methods revealed a greater range of values recovered between individuals versus body habitats, and different patterns of diversity within habitats. The greatest range of τ values within and across individuals was found in stool, which also exhibited the most undiscovered taxa. Oral and skin habitats revealed variable diversity patterns, while vaginal habitats were consistently the least diverse. Collectively, these results demonstrate the importance, and motivate the introduction, of several visualization and analysis methods tuned specifically for next-generation sequence data, further revealing that low abundant taxa serve as an important reservoir of genetic diversity in the human microbiome.
The oral cavity of healthy individuals contains hundreds of different bacterial, viral, and fungal species. Many of these can associate to form biofilms, which are resistant to mechanical stress or antibiotic treatment. Most are also commensal species, but they can become pathogenic in responses to changes in the environment or other triggers in the oral cavity, including the quality of an individual’s personal hygiene. The complexity of the oral microbiome is being characterized through the newly developed tools of metagenomics. How the microbiome of the oral cavity contributes to health and disease is attracting the interest of a growing number of cell biologists, microbiologists, and immunologists.
The oral cavity of healthy individuals contains hundreds of different bacterial, viral, and fungal species. Many of these can associate to form biofilms, which are resistant to mechanical stress or antibiotic treatment. Most are also commensal species, but they can become pathogenic in responses to changes in the environment or other triggers in the oral cavity, including the quality of an individual's personal hygiene. The complexity of the oral microbiome is being characterized through the newly developed tools of metagenomics. How the microbiome of the oral cavity contributes to health and disease is attracting the interest of a growing number of cell biologists, microbiologists, and immunologists.
Next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized the analysis of microbial communities in diverse environments, including the human body. This article reviews several aspects of one of these technologies, the pyrosequencing technique, including its principles, applications, and significant contribution to the study of the human microbiome, with especial emphasis on the oral microbiome. The results brought about by pyrosequencing studies have significantly contributed to refining and augmenting the knowledge of the community membership and structure in and on the human body in healthy and diseased conditions. Because most oral infectious diseases are currently regarded as biofilm-related polymicrobial infections, high-throughput sequencing technologies have the potential to disclose specific patterns related to health or disease. Further advances in technology hold the perspective to have important implications in terms of accurate diagnosis and more effective preventive and therapeutic measures for common oral diseases.
next-generation DNA sequencing; pyrosequencing; human microbiome; oral microbiome
Characterization of the topographical and temporal diversity of the microbial collective (microbiome) hosted by healthy human skin established a reference for studying disease-causing microbiomes. Physiologic changes occur in the skin as humans mature from infancy to adulthood. Thus, characterizations of adult microbiomes might have limitations when considering pediatric disorders such as atopic dermatitis (AD) or issues such as sites of microbial carriage. The objective of this study was to determine if microbial communities at several body sites in children differed significantly from adults.
Using 16S-rRNA gene sequencing technology, we characterized and compared the bacterial communities of four body sites in relation to Tanner stage of human development. Body sites sampled included skin sites characteristically involved in AD (antecubital/popliteal fossae), a control skin site (volar forearm), and the nares. Twenty-eight healthy individuals aged from 2 to 40 years were evaluated at the outpatient dermatology clinic in the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center. Exclusion criteria included the use of systemic antibiotics within 6 months, current/prior chronic skin disorders, asthma, allergic rhinitis, or other chronic medical conditions.
Bacterial communities in the nares of children (Tanner developmental stage 1) differed strikingly from adults (Tanner developmental stage 5). Firmicutes (Streptococcaceae), Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria (β, γ) were overrepresented in Tanner 1 compared to Tanner 5 individuals, where Corynebacteriaceae and Propionibacteriaceae predominated. While bacterial communities were significantly different between the two groups in all sites, the most marked microbial shifts were observed in the nares, a site that can harbor pathogenic species, including Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia.
Significant shifts in the microbiota associated with progressive sexual maturation as measured by Tanner staging suggest that puberty-dependent shifts in the skin and nares microbiomes may have significant implications regarding prevention and treatment of pediatric disorders involving microbial pathogens and colonization.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria associated with an algal bloom in Tampa Bay, FL, were investigated by stable isotope probing (SIP) with uniformly labeled [13C]naphthalene. The dominant sequences in clone libraries constructed from 13C-enriched bacterial DNA (from naphthalene enrichments) were identified as uncharacterized members of the family Rhodobacteraceae. Quantitative PCR primers targeting the 16S rRNA gene of these uncultivated organisms were used to determine their abundance in incubations amended with unlabeled naphthalene and phenanthrene, both of which showed substantial increases in gene copy numbers during the experiments. As demonstrated by this work, the application of uniformly 13C-labeled PAHs in SIP experiments can successfully be used to identify novel PAH-degrading bacteria in marine waters.
The subgingival microbiome is largely uncultivated, and therefore, cultivation-based and targeted molecular approaches have limited value in examining the effect of smoking on this community. We tested the hypothesis that the subgingival biofilm is compositionally different in current and never-smokers by using an open-ended molecular approach for bacterial identification. Subgingival plaque from deep sites of current and never-smokers matched for disease was analyzed by 16S sequencing. Smokers demonstrated greater abundance of Parvimonas, Fusobacterium, Campylobacter, Bacteroides, and Treponema and lower levels of Veillonella, Neisseria, and Streptococcus. Several uncultivated Peptostreptococci, Parvimonas micra, Campy-lobacter gracilis, Treponema socranskii, Dialister pneumosintes, and Tannerella forsythia were elevated in this group, while Veillonella sp. oral clone B2, Neisseria sp. oral clone 2.24, Streptococcus sanguinis, and Capnocytophaga sp. clone AH015 were at lower levels. The microbial profile of smoking-associated periodontitis is distinct from that of non-smokers, with significant differences in the prevalence and abundance of disease-associated and health-compatible organisms.
bacteria; subgingival; molecular; DNA; smoking; periodontitis
The microbiome of the male urogenital tract is poorly described but it has been suggested that bacterial colonization of the male urethra might impact risk of sexually transmitted infection (STI). Previous cultivation-dependent studies showed that a variety of non-pathogenic bacteria colonize the urethra but did not thoroughly characterize these microbiomes or establish links between the compositions of urethral microbiomes and STI.
Here, we used 16S rRNA PCR and sequencing to identify bacteria in urine specimens collected from men who lacked symptoms of urethral inflammation but who differed in status for STI. All of the urine samples contained multiple bacterial genera and many contained taxa that colonize the human vagina. Uncultivated bacteria associated with female genital tract pathology were abundant in specimens from men who had STI.
Urine microbiomes from men with STI were dominated by fastidious, anaerobic and uncultivated bacteria. The same taxa were rare in STI negative individuals. Our findings suggest that the composition of male urine microbiomes is related to STI.
Oral bacterial communities contain species that promote health and others that have been implicated in oral and/or systemic diseases. Culture-independent approaches provide the best means to assess the diversity of oral bacteria because most of them remain uncultivable.
The salivary microbiota from five adults was analyzed at three time-points by means of the 454 pyrosequencing technology. The V1-V3 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA genes was amplified by PCR using saliva lysates and broad-range primers. The bar-coded PCR products were pooled and sequenced unidirectionally to cover the V3 hypervariable region. Of 50,708 obtained sequences, 31,860 passed the quality control. Non-bacterial sequences (2.2%) were removed leaving 31,170 reads. Samples were dominated by seven major phyla: members of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and candidate division TM7 were identified in all samples; Fusobacteria and Spirochaetes were identified in all individuals, but not at all time-points. The dataset was represented by 3,011 distinct sequences (100%-ID phylotypes) of ~215 nucleotides and 583 phylotypes defined at ≥97% identity (97%-ID phylotypes). We compared saliva samples from different individuals in terms of the phylogeny of their microbial communities. Based on the presence and absence of phylotypes defined at 100% or 97% identity thresholds, samples from each subject formed separate clusters. Among individual taxa, phylum Bacteroidetes and order Clostridiales (Firmicutes) were the best indicators of intraindividual similarity of the salivary flora over time. Fifteen out of 81 genera constituted 73 to 94% of the total sequences present in different samples. Of these, 8 were shared by all time points of all individuals, while 15-25 genera were present in all three time-points of different individuals. Representatives of the class Sphingobacteria, order Sphingobacteriales and family Clostridiaceae were found only in one subject.
The salivary microbial community appeared to be stable over at least 5 days, allowing for subject-specific grouping using UniFrac. Inclusion of all available samples from more distant time points (up to 29 days) confirmed this observation. Samples taken at closer time intervals were not necessarily more similar than samples obtained across longer sampling times. These results point to the persistence of subject-specific taxa whose frequency fluctuates between the time points. Genus Gemella, identified in all time-points of all individuals, was not defined as a core-microbiome genus in previous studies of salivary bacterial communities. Human oral microbiome studies are still in their infancy and larger-scale projects are required to better define individual and universal oral microbiome core.