The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology is the official Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology, publishing high-quality, original research papers, short communications, commentary articles and reviews in the rapidly expanding and diverse discipline of microbial ecology.
Gut microbial communities often contain many Bacteroides or their close relatives, Prevotella, but not both. Prevotella strains are associated with plant-rich diets but are also linked with chronic inflammatory conditions. In 2015, papers probed the genomic diversity of Prevotella strains and interactions of Prevotella copri with its host and other bacteria.
Antibiotic therapy has varying effects on the species richness of the preterm infant gut microbiota, but can lead to a dominance of multi-drug resistant species and an enrichment of antibiotic resistance genes.
The intestinal microbiome is a unique ecosystem that influences metabolism in humans. Experimental evidence indicates that intestinal microbiota can transfer an obese phenotype from humans to mice. Since mothers transmit intestinal microbiota to their offspring during labor, we hypothesized that among vaginal deliveries, maternal body mass index is associated with neonatal gut microbiota composition. We report the association of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index on stool microbiota from 74 neonates, 18 born vaginally (5 to overweight or obese mothers) and 56 by elective C-section (26 to overweight or obese mothers). Compared to neonates delivered vaginally to normal weight mothers, neonates born to overweight or obese mothers had a distinct gut microbiota community structure (weighted UniFrac distance PERMANOVA, p < 0.001), enriched in Bacteroides and depleted in Enterococcus, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Hydrogenophilus. We show that these microbial signatures are predicted to result in functional differences in metabolic signaling and energy regulation. In contrast, among elective Cesarean deliveries, maternal body mass index was not associated with neonatal gut microbiota community structure (weighted UniFrac distance PERMANOVA, p = 0.628). Our findings indicate that excess maternal pre-pregnancy weight is associated with differences in neonatal acquisition of microbiota during vaginal delivery, but not Cesarean delivery. These differences may translate to altered maintenance of metabolic health in the offspring.
Assembly of metagenomic sequence data into microbial genomes is of fundamental value to improving our understanding of microbial ecology and metabolism by elucidating the functional potential of hard-to-culture microorganisms. Here, we provide a synthesis of available methods to bin metagenomic contigs into species-level groups and highlight how genetic diversity, sequencing depth, and coverage influence binning success. Despite the computational cost on application to deeply sequenced complex metagenomes (e.g., soil), covarying patterns of contig coverage across multiple datasets significantly improves the binning process. We also discuss and compare current genome validation methods and reveal how these methods tackle the problem of chimeric genome bins i.e., sequences from multiple species. Finally, we explore how population genome assembly can be used to uncover biogeographic trends and to characterize the effect of in situ functional constraints on the genome-wide evolution.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) afflicts approximately 10% of extremely preterm infants with high fatality. Inappropriate bacterial colonization with Enterobacteriaceae is implicated, but no specific pathogen has been identified. We identify uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) colonization as a significant risk factor for the development of NEC and subsequent mortality. We describe a large-scale deep shotgun metagenomic sequence analysis of the early intestinal microbiome of 144 preterm and 22 term infants. Using a pan-genomic approach to functionally subtype the E. coli, we identify genes associated with NEC and mortality that indicate colonization by UPEC. Metagenomic multilocus sequence typing analysis further defined NEC-associated strains as sequence types often associated with urinary tract infections, including ST69, ST73, ST95, ST127, ST131, and ST144. Although other factors associated with prematurity may also contribute, this report suggests a link between UPEC and NEC and indicates that further attention to these sequence types as potential causal agents is needed.
Most studies of the human microbiome have focused on westernized people with life-style practices that decrease microbial survival and transmission, or on traditional societies that are currently in transition to westernization. We characterize the fecal, oral, and skin bacterial microbiome and resistome of members of an isolated Yanomami Amerindian village with no documented previous contact with Western people. These Yanomami harbor a microbiome with the highest diversity of bacteria and genetic functions ever reported in a human group. Despite their isolation, presumably for >11,000 years since their ancestors arrived in South America, and no known exposure to antibiotics, they harbor bacteria that carry functional antibiotic resistance (AR) genes, including those that confer resistance to synthetic antibiotics and are syntenic with mobilization elements. These results suggest that westernization significantly affects human microbiome diversity and that functional AR genes appear to be a feature of the human microbiome even in the absence of exposure to commercial antibiotics. AR genes are likely poised for mobilization and enrichment upon exposure to pharmacological levels of antibiotics. Our findings emphasize the need for extensive characterization of the function of the microbiome and resistome in remote nonwesternized populations before globalization of modern practices affects potentially beneficial bacteria harbored in the human body.
The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) identified the 16S rRNA gene sequences of 'most wanted' taxa—prevalent in the healthy human microbiota but distant from previously known sequences. Since 2012, few of the corresponding genomes have been isolated and sequenced, and only through advanced isolation techniques. We demonstrate that the genomes of the most wanted taxa can be identified computationally through their correlation in abundance across multiple public metagenomic data sets. We link over 200 most wanted sequences with nearly complete genome sequences, including half of the taxa identified as high-priority targets by the HMP. The genomes we identify have strong similarity to genomes reconstructed through expensive isolation techniques, and provide a more complete functional characterization of these organisms than can be extrapolated from their 16S rRNA gene. We also provide insights into the function of organisms for which 16S rRNA gene signatures were recently reported to be associated with health and host genetic factors.
Dietary modulation of the gut microbiota impacts human health. Here we investigated the hitherto unknown effects of resistant starch type 4 (RS4) enriched diet on gut microbiota composition and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations in paralle
Bäckhed et al. assessed the gut microbiomes of 98 Swedish mothers and their infants during the first year of life. Cessation of breast-feeding was identified as a major factor in determining gut microbiota maturation, with distinct shifts in signature species being hallmarks of its functional maturation.
It is increasingly apparent that bacteria in the gut are important determinants of health and disease in humans. However, we know remarkably little about how this organ transitions from a sterile/near-sterile state at birth to one that soon harbors
antly diminished the gut resistome and alleviated metabolic syndrome in obese children. Of the non-redundant metagenomic gene catalog of ~2 × 106 microbial genes, 399 ARGs were identified in 131 gene types a
Accumulating evidence shows that Helicobacter pylori protects against some metabolic and immunological diseases in which the development of these diseases coincide with temporal or permanent dysbiosis. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of H . pylori eradication on the human gut microbiome. Methods As part of the currently on-going ESSAY (Eradication Study in Stable Adults/Youths) study, we collected stool samples from 17 H . pylori -positive young adult (18–30 years-old) volunteers. The same cohort was followed up 6, 12 and 18 months-post H . pylori eradication. The impact of H . pylori on the human gut microbiome pre- and post-eradication was investigated using high throughput 16S rRNA gene (V3-V4 region) sequencing using the Illumina Miseq followed by data analysis using Qiime pipeline. Results We compared the composition and diversity of bacterial communities in the fecal microbiome of the H . pylori -positive volunteers, before and after H . pyl ori eradication therapy. The 16S rRNA gene was sequenced at an average of 150,000–170,000 reads/sample. The microbial diversity were similar pre- and post- H . pylori eradication with no significant differences in richness and evenness of bacterial species. Despite that the general profile of the gut microbiome was similar pre- and post-eradication, some changes in the bacterial communities at the phylum and genus levels were notable, particularly the decrease in relative abundance of Bacterioidetes and corresponding increase in Firmicutes after H . pylori eradication. The significant increase of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)-producing bacteria genera could also be associated with increased risk of metabolic disorders. Conclusions Our preliminary stool metagenomics study shows that eradication of H . pylori caused perturbation of the gut microbiome and may indirectly affect the health of human. Clinicians should be aware of the effect of broad spectrum antibiotics used in H . pylori eradication regimen and be cautious in the clinical management of H . pylori infection, particularly in immunocompromised patients.
Malnutrition in children is a persistent challenge that is not always remedied by improvements in nutrition. This is because a characteristic community of gut microbes seems to mediate some of the pathology. Human gut microbes can be transplanted effectively into germ-free mice to recapitulate their associated phenotypes. Using this model, Blanton et al. found that the microbiota of healthy children relieved the harmful effects on growth caused by the microbiota of malnourished children. In infant mammals, chronic undernutrition results in growth hormone resistance and stunting. In mice, Schwarzer et al. showed that strains of Lactobacillus plantarum in the gut microbiota sustained growth hormone activity via signaling pathways in the liver, thus overcoming growth hormone resistance. Together these studies reveal that specific beneficial microbes could potentially be exploited to resolve undernutrition syndromes.
Resident gut microbes co-exist with transient bacteria to form the gut microbiota. Despite increasing evidence suggesting a role for transient microbes on gut microbiota function, the interplay between resident and transient members of this microbial community is poorly defined. We aimed to determine the extent to which a host’s autochthonous gut microbiota influences niche permissivity to transient bacteria using a fermented milk product (FMP) as a vehicle for five food-borne bacterial strains. Using conventional and gnotobiotic rats and gut microbiome analyses (16S rRNA genes pyrosequencing and reverse transcription qPCR), we demonstrated that the clearance kinetics of one FMP bacterium, Lactococcus lactis CNCM I-1631, were dependent on the structure of the resident gut microbiota. Susceptibility of the resident gut microbiota to modulation by FMP intervention correlated with increased persistence of L. lactis. We also observed gut microbiome configurations that were associated with altered stability upon exposure to transient bacteria. Our study supports the concept that allochthonous bacteria have transient and subject-specific effects on the gut microbiome that can be leveraged to re-engineer the gut microbiome and improve dysbiosis-related diseases.
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