September 22, 2019  |  

An intact gut microbiota may be required for lactoferrin-driven immunomodulation in rats

Lactoferrin can modulate both the host immunity and gut microbiota. However, whether the immune modulation requires the gut microbiota has not been directly shown. Thus, our study compared (1) lactoferrin-driven immunomodulation profiles and (2) changes in fecal phylogenic metagenome with and without antibiotics-induced dysbiosis in rats. Rats receiving only lactoferrin but not both lactoferrin and antibiotics had a Th-1 type cytokine serum profile. Significant differences were detected between the fecal microbiota of the lactoferrin and control groups at day 19 and/or day 33 but not initially, with a shift in the major contributors for community dissimilarity to Clostridium, Lactobacillus, and Oscillibacter valericigenes. The antibiotics-induced dysbiosis enriched the proinflammatory phyla, Proteobacteria and Deferribacteres, together with the anti-inflammatory species, Akkermansia muciniphila, while suppressed some butyrate-producers from the Firmicutes phylum. Our study shows that an intact microbiota is necessary for lactoferrin-driven immunomodulation.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-term microbiota and virome in a Zürich patient after fecal transplantation against Clostridium difficile infection.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an emerging therapeutic option for Clostridium difficile infections that are refractory to conventional treatment. FMT introduces fecal microbes into the patient’s intestine that prevent the recurrence of C. difficile, leading to rapid expansion of bacteria characteristic of healthy microbiota. However, the long-term effects of FMT remain largely unknown. The C. difficile patient described in this paper revealed protracted microbiota adaptation processes from 6 to 42 months post-FMT. Ultimately, bacterial communities were donor similar, suggesting sustainable stool engraftment. Since little is known about the consequences of transmitted viruses during C. difficile infection, we also interrogated virome changes. Our approach allowed identification of about 10 phage types per sample that represented larger viral communities, and phages were found to be equally abundant in the cured patient and donor. The healthy microbiota appears to be characterized by low phage abundance. Although viruses were likely transferred, the patient established a virome distinct from the donor. Surprisingly, the patient had sequences of algal giant viruses (chloroviruses) that have not previously been reported for the human gut. Chloroviruses have not been associated with intestinal disease, but their presence in the oropharynx may influence cognitive abilities. The findings suggest that the virome is an important indicator of health or disease. A better understanding of the role of viruses in the gut ecosystem may uncover novel microbiota-modulating therapeutic strategies.© 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.


September 22, 2019  |  

Metataxonomic and metagenomic approaches vs. culture-based techniques for clinical pathology.

Diagnoses that are both timely and accurate are critically important for patients with life-threatening or drug resistant infections. Technological improvements in High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) have led to its use in pathogen detection and its application in clinical diagnoses of infectious diseases. The present study compares two HTS methods, 16S rRNA marker gene sequencing (metataxonomics) and whole metagenomic shotgun sequencing (metagenomics), in their respective abilities to match the same diagnosis as traditional culture methods (culture inference) for patients with ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). The metagenomic analysis was able to produce the same diagnosis as culture methods at the species-level for five of the six samples, while the metataxonomic analysis was only able to produce results with the same species-level identification as culture for two of the six samples. These results indicate that metagenomic analyses have the accuracy needed for a clinical diagnostic tool, but full integration in diagnostic protocols is contingent on technological improvements to decrease turnaround time and lower costs.


September 22, 2019  |  

Metataxonomics reveal vultures as a reservoir for Clostridium perfringens.

The Old World vulture may carry and spread pathogens for emerging infections since they feed on the carcasses of dead animals and participate in the sky burials of humans, some of whom have died from communicable diseases. Therefore, we studied the precise fecal microbiome of the Old World vulture with metataxonomics, integrating the high-throughput sequencing of almost full-length small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene amplicons in tandem with the operational phylogenetic unit (OPU) analysis strategy. Nine vultures of three species were sampled using rectal swabs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Using the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform, we obtained 54 135 high-quality reads of 16S rRNA amplicons with an average of 1442±6.9?bp in length and 6015±1058 reads per vulture. Those sequences were classified into 314 OPUs, including 102 known species, 50 yet to be described species and 161 unknown new lineages of uncultured representatives. Forty-five species have been reported to be responsible for human outbreaks or infections, and 23 yet to be described species belong to genera that include pathogenic species. Only six species were common to all vultures. Clostridium perfringens was the most abundant and present in all vultures, accounting for 30.8% of the total reads. Therefore, using the new technology, we found that vultures are an important reservoir for C. perfringens as evidenced by the isolation of 107 strains encoding for virulence genes, representing 45 sequence types. Our study suggests that the soil-related C. perfringens and other pathogens could have a reservoir in vultures and other animals.


September 22, 2019  |  

Lactobacillus fermentum FTDC 8312 combats hypercholesterolemia via alteration of gut microbiota.

In this study, hypercholesterolemic mice fed with Lactobacillus fermentum FTDC 8312 after a seven-week feeding trial showed a reduction in serum total cholesterol (TC) levels, accompanied by a decrease in serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, an increase in serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, and a decreased ratio of apoB100:apoA1 when compared to those fed with control or a type strain, L. fermentum JCM 1173. These have contributed to a decrease in atherogenic indices (TC/HDL-C) of mice on the FTDC 8312 diet. Serum triglyceride (TG) levels of mice fed with FTDC 8312 and JCM 1173 were comparable to those of the controls. A decreased ratio of cholesterol and phospholipids (C/P) was also observed for mice fed with FTDC 8312, leading to a decreased number of spur red blood cells (RBC) formation in mice. Additionally, there was an increase in fecal TC, TG, and total bile acid levels in mice on FTDC 8312 diet compared to those with JCM 1173 and controls. The administration of FTDC 8312 also altered the gut microbiota population such as an increase in the members of genera Akkermansia and Oscillospira, affecting lipid metabolism and fecal bile excretion in the mice. Overall, we demonstrated that FTDC 8312 exerted a cholesterol lowering effect that may be attributed to gut microbiota modulation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Analyses of intestinal microbiota: culture versus sequencing.

Analyzing human as well as animal microbiota composition has gained growing interest because structural components and metabolites of microorganisms fundamentally influence all aspects of host physiology. Originally dominated by culture-dependent methods for exploring these ecosystems, the development of molecular techniques such as high throughput sequencing has dramatically increased our knowledge. Because many studies of the microbiota are based on the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene targets, they can, at least in principle, be compared to determine the role of the microbiome composition for developmental processes, host metabolism, and physiology as well as different diseases. In our review, we will summarize differences and pitfalls in current experimental protocols, including all steps from nucleic acid extraction to bioinformatical analysis which may produce variation that outweighs subtle biological differences. Future developments, such as integration of metabolomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic data sets and standardization of the procedures, will be discussed. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


September 22, 2019  |  

The human microbiome and understanding the 16S rRNA gene in translational nursing science.

As more is understood regarding the human microbiome, it is increasingly important for nurse scientists and healthcare practitioners to analyze these microbial communities and their role in health and disease. 16S rRNA sequencing is a key methodology in identifying these bacterial populations that has recently transitioned from use primarily in research to having increased utility in clinical settings.The objectives of this review are to (a) describe 16S rRNA sequencing and its role in answering research questions important to nursing science; (b) provide an overview of the oral, lung, and gut microbiomes and relevant research; and (c) identify future implications for microbiome research and 16S sequencing in translational nursing science.Sequencing using the 16S rRNA gene has revolutionized research and allowed scientists to easily and reliably characterize complex bacterial communities. This type of research has recently entered the clinical setting, one of the best examples involving the use of 16S sequencing to identify resistant pathogens, thereby improving the accuracy of bacterial identification in infection control. Clinical microbiota research and related requisite methods are of particular relevance to nurse scientists-individuals uniquely positioned to utilize these techniques in future studies in clinical settings.


September 22, 2019  |  

Cow-to-mouse fecal transplantations suggest intestinal microbiome as one cause of mastitis.

Mastitis, which affects nearly all lactating mammals including human, is generally thought to be caused by local infection of the mammary glands. For treatment, antibiotics are commonly prescribed, which however are of concern in both treatment efficacy and neonate safety. Here, using bovine mastitis which is the most costly disease in the dairy industry as a model, we showed that intestinal microbiota alone can lead to mastitis.Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from mastitis, but not healthy cows, to germ-free (GF) mice resulted in mastitis symptoms in mammary gland and inflammations in serum, spleen, and colon. Probiotic intake in parallel with FMT from diseased cows led to relieved mastitis symptoms in mice, by shifting the murine intestinal microbiota to a state that is functionally distinct from either healthy or diseased microbiota yet structurally similar to the latter. Despite conservation in mastitis symptoms, diseased cows and mice shared few mastitis-associated bacterial organismal or functional markers, suggesting striking divergence in mastitis-associated intestinal microbiota among lactating mammals. Moreover, an “amplification effect” of disease-health distinction in both microbiota structure and function was apparent during the cow-to-mouse FMT.Hence, dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota may be one cause of mastitis, and probiotics that restore intestinal microbiota function are an effective and safe strategy to treat mastitis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Crosstalk between gut microbiota and Sirtuin-3 in colonic inflammation and tumorigenesis.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a disease involving a variety of genetic and environmental factors. Sirtuin-3 (Sirt3) is expressed at a low level in cancer tissues of CRC, but it is unclear how Sirt3 modulates colonic tumorigenesis. In this study, we found that gut microbiota play a central role in the resistance to CRC tumor formation in wild-type (WT) mice through APC (Adenomatous Polyposis Coli)-mutant mouse microbiota transfer via Wnt signaling. We also found that Sirt3-deficient mice were hypersusceptible to colonic inflammation and tumor development through altered intestinal integrity and p38 signaling, respectively. Furthermore, susceptibility to colorectal tumorigenesis was aggravated by initial commensal microbiota deletion via Wnt signaling. Mice with Sirt3-deficient microbiota transfer followed by chemically induced colon tumorigenesis had low Sirt3 expression compared to WT control microbiome transfer, mainly due to a decrease in Escherichia/Shigella, as well as an increase in Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus taiwanensis. Collectively, our data revealed that Sirt3 is an anti-inflammatory and tumor-suppressing gene that interacts with the gut microbiota during colon tumorigenesis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Precise fecal microbiome of the herbivorous Tibetan antelope inhabiting high-altitude alpine plateau

The metataxonomic approach combining 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing using the PacBio technology with the application of the operational phylogenetic unit (OPU) approach, has been used to analyze the fecal microbial composition of the high-altitude and herbivorous Tibetan antelopes. The fecal samples of the antelope were collected in Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve, at an altitude over 4500 m, the largest depopulated zone in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, where non-native animals or humans may experience life-threatening acute mountain sickness. In total, 104 antelope fecal samples were enrolled in this study, and were clustered into 61,258 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at an identity of 98.7% and affiliated with 757 OPUs, including 144 known species, 256 potentially new species, 103 potentially higher taxa within known lineages. In addition, 254 comprised sequences not affiliating with any known family, and the closest relatives were unclassified lineages of existing orders or classes. A total of 42 out of 757 OPUs conformed to the core fecal microbiome, of which four major lineages, namely, un-cultured Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Akkermansia and Christensenellaceae were associated with human health or longevity. The current study reveals that the fecal core microbiome of antelope is mainly composited of uncultured bacteria. The most abundant core taxa, namely, uncultured Ruminococcaceae, uncultured Akkermansia, uncultured Bacteroides, uncultured Christensenellaceae, uncultured Mollicutes, and uncultured Lachnospiraceae, may represent new bacterial candidates at high taxa levels, and several may have beneficial roles in health promotion or anti-intestinal dysbiosis. These organisms should be further isolated and evaluated for potential effect on human health and longevity.


September 22, 2019  |  

Diversified microbiota of meconium is affected by maternal diabetes status.

This study was aimed to assess the diversity of the meconium microbiome and determine if the bacterial community is affected by maternal diabetes status.The first intestinal discharge (meconium) was collected from 23 newborns stratified by maternal diabetes status: 4 mothers had pre-gestational type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) including one mother with dizygotic twins, 5 developed gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and 13 had no diabetes. The meconium microbiome was profiled using multi-barcode 16S rRNA sequencing followed by taxonomic assignment and diversity analysis.All meconium samples were not sterile and contained diversified microbiota. Compared with adult feces, the meconium showed a lower species diversity, higher sample-to-sample variation, and enrichment of Proteobacteria and reduction of Bacteroidetes. Among the meconium samples, the taxonomy analyses suggested that the overall bacterial content significantly differed by maternal diabetes status, with the microbiome of the DM group showing higher alpha-diversity than that of no-diabetes or GDM groups. No global difference was found between babies delivered vaginally versus via Cesarean-section. Regression analysis showed that the most robust predictor for the meconium microbiota composition was the maternal diabetes status that preceded pregnancy. Specifically, Bacteroidetes (phyla) and Parabacteriodes (genus) were enriched in the meconium in the DM group compared to the no-diabetes group.Our study provides evidence that meconium contains diversified microbiota and is not affected by the mode of delivery. It also suggests that the meconium microbiome of infants born to mothers with DM is enriched for the same bacterial taxa as those reported in the fecal microbiome of adult DM patients.


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