Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Microbiome Related Abstracts

9 Predicting Potential Protein Therapeutic Candidates from the Gut Microbiome

Authors: Prasanna Ramachandran, Kareem Graham, Helena Kiefel, Sunit Jain, Todd DeSantis


Microbes that reside inside the mammalian GI tract, commonly referred to as the gut microbiome, have been shown to have therapeutic effects in animal models of disease. We hypothesize that specific proteins produced by these microbes are responsible for this activity and may be used directly as therapeutics. To speed up the discovery of these key proteins from the big-data metagenomics, we have applied machine learning techniques. Using amino acid sequences of known epitopes and their corresponding binding partners, protein interaction descriptors (PID) were calculated, making a positive interaction set. A negative interaction dataset was calculated using sequences of proteins known not to interact with these same binding partners. Using Random Forest and positive and negative PID, a machine learning model was trained and used to predict interacting versus non-interacting proteins. Furthermore, the continuous variable, cosine similarity in the interaction descriptors was used to rank bacterial therapeutic candidates. Laboratory binding assays were conducted to test the candidates for their potential as therapeutics. Results from binding assays reveal the accuracy of the machine learning prediction and are subsequently used to further improve the model.

Keywords: Microbiome, Metagenomics, Machine-Learning, protein-interactions

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8 Nutritional Genomics Profile Based Personalized Sport Nutrition

Authors: Eszter Repasi, Akos Koller


Our genetic information determines our look, physiology, sports performance and all our features. Maximizing the performances of athletes have adopted a science-based approach to the nutritional support. Nowadays genetics studies have blended with nutritional sciences, and a dynamically evolving, new research field have appeared. Nutritional genomics is needed to be used by nutritional experts. This is a recent field of nutritional science, which can provide a solution to reach the best sport performance using correlations between the athlete’s genome, nutritions, molecules, included human microbiome (links between food, microbiome and epigenetics), nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics. Nutritional genomics has a tremendous potential to change the future of dietary guidelines and personal recommendations. Experts need to use new technology to get information about the athletes, like nutritional genomics profile (included the determination of the oral and gut microbiome and DNA coded reaction for food components), which can modify the preparation term and sports performance. The influence of nutrients on the genes expression is called Nutrigenomics. The heterogeneous response of gene variants to nutrients, dietary components is called Nutrigenetics. The human microbiome plays a critical role in the state of health and well-being, and there are more links between food or nutrition and the human microbiome composition, which can develop diseases and epigenetic changes as well. A nutritional genomics-based profile of athletes can be the best technic for a dietitian to make a unique sports nutrition diet plan. Using functional food and the right food components can be effected on health state, thus sports performance. Scientists need to determine the best response, due to the effect of nutrients on health, through altering genome promote metabolites and result changes in physiology. Nutritional biochemistry explains why polymorphisms in genes for the absorption, circulation, or metabolism of essential nutrients (such as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or epigallocatechin-3-gallate), would affect the efficacy of that nutrient. Controlled nutritional deficiencies and failures, prevented the change of health state or a newly discovered food intolerance are observed by a proper medical team, can support better sports performance. It is important that the dietetics profession informed on gene-diet interactions, that may be leading to optimal health, reduced risk of injury or disease. A special medical application for documentation and monitoring of data of health state and risk factors can uphold and warn the medical team for an early action and help to be able to do a proper health service in time. This model can set up a personalized nutrition advice from the status control, through the recovery, to the monitoring. But more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms and to be able to change the composition of the microbiome, environmental and genetic risk factors in cases of athletes.

Keywords: Microbiome, gene-diet interaction, multidisciplinary team, diet plan

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7 Insights into Archaeological Human Sample Microbiome Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing

Authors: Alisa Kazarina, Guntis Gerhards, Elina Petersone-Gordina, Ilva Pole, Viktorija Igumnova, Janis Kimsis, Valentina Capligina, Renate Ranka


Human body is inhabited by a vast number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, and there is a tremendous interest in evolutionary changes in human microbial ecology, diversity and function. The field of paleomicrobiology, study of ancient human microbiome, is powered by modern techniques of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows extracting microbial genomic data directly from archaeological sample of interest. One of the major techniques is 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by which certain 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions are being amplified and sequenced. However, some limitations of this method exist including the taxonomic precision and efficacy of different regions used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic sensitivity of different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions for microbiome studies in the archaeological samples. Towards this aim, archaeological bone samples and corresponding soil samples from each burial environment were collected in Medieval cemeteries in Latvia. The Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit targeting different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions was used for library construction (Ion Torrent technologies). Sequenced data were analysed by using appropriate bioinformatic techniques; alignment and taxonomic representation was done using Mothur program. Sequences of most abundant genus were further aligned to E. coli 16S rRNA gene reference sequence using MEGA7 in order to identify the hypervariable region of the segment of interest. Our results showed that different hypervariable regions had different discriminatory power depending on the groups of microbes, as well as the nature of samples. On the basis of our results, we suggest that wider range of primers used can provide more accurate recapitulation of microbial communities in archaeological samples. Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the ERAF grant Nr.

Keywords: Bioinformatics, Genomics, Archaeology, Molecular Biology, Microbiome, Next-generation sequencing, ancient human microbiome

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6 Soil and the Gut Microbiome: Supporting the 'Hygiene Hypothesis'

Authors: Gal Winter, Chris George, Adam Hamlin, Lily Pereg, Richard Charlesworth


Background: According to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ the current rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases stems mainly from reduced microbial exposure due, amongst other factors, to urbanisation and distance from soil. However, this hypothesis is based on epidemiological and not biological data. Useful insights into the underlying mechanisms of this hypothesis can be gained by studying our interaction with soil. Soil microbiota may be directly ingested or inhaled by humans, enter the body through skin-soil contact or using plants as vectors. This study aims to examine the ability of soil microbiota to colonise the gut, study the interaction of soil microbes with the immune system and their potential protective activity. Method: The nutrition of the rats was supplemented daily with fresh or autoclaved soil for 21 days followed by 14 days of no supplementations. Faecal samples were collected throughout and analysed using 16S sequencing. At the end of the experiment rats were sacrificed and tissues and digesta were collected. Results/Conclusion: Results showed significantly higher richness and diversity following soil supplementation even after recovery. Specific soil microbial groups identified as able to colonise the gut. Of particular interest was the mucosal layer which emerged as a receptive host for soil microorganisms. Histological examination revealed innate and adaptive immune activation. Findings of this study reinforce the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ by demonstrating the ability of soil microbes to colonise the gut and activate the immune system. This paves the way for further studies aimed to examine the interaction of soil microorganisms with the immune system.

Keywords: Soil, Gut Microbiota, Microbiome, hygiene hypothesis

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5 Isolation of Bacterial Species with Potential Capacity for Siloxane Removal in Biogas Upgrading

Authors: Ellana Boada, Eric Santos-Clotas, Alba Cabrera-Codony, Maria Martin, Lluis Baneras, Frederic Gich


Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMS) are a group of manmade silicone compounds widely used in household and industrial applications that end up on the biogas produced through the anaerobic digestion of organic matter in landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The presence of VMS during the biogas energy conversion can cause damage on the engines, reducing the efficiency of this renewable energy source. Non regenerative adsorption onto activated carbon is the most widely used technology to remove siloxanes from biogas, while new trends point out that biotechnology offers a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional technologies. The first objective of this research was to enrich, isolate and identify bacterial species able to grow using siloxane molecules as a sole carbon source: anoxic wastewater sludge was used as initial inoculum in liquid anoxic enrichments, adding D4 (as representative siloxane compound) previously adsorbed on activated carbon. After several months of acclimatization, liquid enrichments were plated onto solid media containing D4 and thirty-four bacterial isolates were obtained. 16S rRNA gene sequencing allowed the identification of strains belonging to the following species: Ciceribacter lividus, Alicycliphilus denitrificans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas citronellolis which are described to be capable to degrade toxic volatile organic compounds. Kinetic assays with 8 representative strains revealed higher cell growth in the presence of D4 compared to the control. Our second objective was to characterize the community composition and diversity of the microbial community present in the enrichments and to elucidate whether the isolated strains were representative members of the community or not. DNA samples were extracted, the 16S rRNA gene was amplified (515F & 806R primer pair), and the microbiome analyzed from sequences obtained with a MiSeq PE250 platform. Results showed that the retrieved isolates only represented a minor fraction of the microorganisms present in the enrichment samples, which were represented by Alpha, Beta, and Gamma proteobacteria as dominant groups in the category class thus suggesting that other microbial species and/or consortia may be important for D4 biodegradation. These results highlight the need of additional protocols for the isolation of relevant D4 degraders. Currently, we are developing molecular tools targeting key genes involved in siloxane biodegradation to identify and quantify the capacity of the isolates to metabolize D4 in batch cultures supplied with a synthetic gas stream of air containing 60 mg m⁻³ of D4 together with other volatile organic compounds found in the biogas mixture (i.e. toluene, hexane and limonene). The isolates were used as inoculum in a biotrickling filter containing lava rocks and activated carbon to assess their capacity for siloxane removal. Preliminary results of biotrickling filter performance showed 35% of siloxane biodegradation in a contact time of 14 minutes, denoting that biological siloxane removal is a promising technology for biogas upgrading.

Keywords: Microbiome, biogas upgrading, siloxanes, bacterial cultivation

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4 Changes in the fecal Microbiome of Periparturient Dairy Cattle and Associations with the Onset of Salmonella Shedding

Authors: Lohendy Munoz-Vargas, Stephen O. Opiyo, Rose Digianantonio, Michele L. Williams, Asela Wijeratne, Gregory Habing


Non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic pathogen with critical importance in animal and public health. The persistence of Salmonella on farms affects animal productivity and health, and represents a risk for food safety. The intestinal microbiota plays a fundamental role in the colonization and invasion of this ubiquitous microorganism. To overcome the colonization resistance imparted by the gut microbiome, Salmonella uses invasion strategies and the host inflammatory response to survive, proliferate, and establish infections with diverse clinical manifestations. Cattle serve as reservoirs of Salmonella, and periparturient cows have high prevalence of Salmonella shedding; however, to author`s best knowledge, little is known about the association between the gut microbiome and the onset of Salmonella shedding during the periparturient period. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the association between changes in bacterial communities and the onset of Salmonella shedding in cattle approaching parturition. In a prospective cohort study, fecal samples from 98 dairy cows originating from four different farms were collected at four time points relative to calving (-3 wks, -1 wk, +1 wk, +3 wks). All 392 samples were cultured for Salmonella. Sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene using the Illumina platform was completed to evaluate the fecal microbiome in a selected sample subset. Analyses of microbial composition, diversity, and structure were performed according to time points, farm, and Salmonella onset status. Individual cow fecal microbiomes, predominated by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Spirochaetes, and Proteobacteria phyla, significantly changed before and after parturition. Microbial communities from different farms were distinguishable based on multivariate analysis. Although there were significant differences in some bacterial taxa between Salmonella positive and negative samples, our results did not identify differences in the fecal microbial diversity or structure for cows with and without the onset of Salmonella shedding. These data suggest that determinants other than the significant changes in the fecal microbiome influence the periparturient onset of Salmonella shedding in dairy cattle.

Keywords: Microbiome, Dairy Cattle, salmonella, periparturient

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3 The Gut Microbiome in Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Characterization of Disease-Related Microbial Signature and the Possible Impact of Life Style and Nutrition

Authors: Lena Lapidot, Amir Amnon, Rita Nosenko, Veitsman Ella, Cohen-Ezra Oranit, Davidov Yana, Segev Shlomo, Koren Omry, Safran Michal, Ben-Ari Ziv


Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer related mortality worldwide. Liver Cirrhosis is the main predisposing risk factor for the development of HCC. The factor(s) influencing disease progression from Cirrhosis to HCC remain unknown. Gut microbiota has recently emerged as a major player in different liver diseases, however its association with HCC is still a mystery. Moreover, there might be an important association between the gut microbiota, nutrition, life style and the progression of Cirrhosis and HCC. The aim of our study was to characterize the gut microbial signature in association with life style and nutrition of patients with Cirrhosis, HCC-Cirrhosis and healthy controls. Design: Stool samples were collected from 95 individuals (30 patients with HCC, 38 patients with Cirrhosis and 27 age, gender and BMI-matched healthy volunteers). All participants answered lifestyle and Food Frequency Questionnaires. 16S rRNA sequencing of fecal DNA was performed (MiSeq Illumina). Results: There was a significant decrease in alpha diversity in patients with Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.033) and in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.032) compared to healthy controls. The microbiota of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to patients with Cirrhosis, was characterized by a significant overrepresentation of Clostridium (pvalue=0.024) and CF231 (pvalue=0.010) and lower expression of Alphaproteobacteria (pvalue=0.039) and Verrucomicrobia (pvalue=0.036) in several taxonomic levels: Verrucomicrobiae, Verrucomicrobiales, Verrucomicrobiaceae and the genus Akkermansia (pvalue=0.039). Furthermore, we performed an analysis of predicted metabolic pathways (Kegg level 2) that resulted in a significant decrease in the diversity of metabolic pathways in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.015) compared to controls, one of which was amino acid metabolism. Furthermore, investigating the life style and nutrition habits of patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, we found significant correlations between intake of artificial sweeteners and Verrucomicrobia (qvalue=0.12), High sugar intake and Synergistetes (qvalue=0.021) and High BMI and the pathogen Campylobacter (qvalue=0.066). Furthermore, overweight in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis modified bacterial diversity (qvalue=0.023) and composition (qvalue=0.033). Conclusions: To the best of the our knowledge, we present the first report of the gut microbial composition in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, compared with Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. We have demonstrated in our study that there are significant differences in the gut microbiome of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. Our findings are even more pronounced because the significantly increased bacteria Clostridium and CF231 in HCC-Cirrhosis weren't influenced by diet and lifestyle, implying this change is due to the development of HCC. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and assess causality.

Keywords: Nutrition, Microbiome, Liver Disease, Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, life style

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2 Scalable and Accurate Detection of Pathogens from Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing

Authors: Janos Juhasz, Sandor Pongor, Balazs Ligeti


Next-generation sequencing, especially whole genome shotgun sequencing, is becoming a common approach to gain insight into the microbiomes in a culture-independent way, even in clinical practice. It does not only give us information about the species composition of an environmental sample but opens the possibility to detect antimicrobial resistance and novel, or currently unknown, pathogens. Accurately and reliably detecting the microbial strains is a challenging task. Here we present a sensitive approach for detecting pathogens in metagenomics samples with special regard to detecting novel variants of known pathogens. We have developed a pipeline that uses fast, short read aligner programs (i.e., Bowtie2/BWA) and comprehensive nucleotide databases. Taxonomic binning is based on the lowest common ancestor (LCA) principle; each read is assigned to a taxon, covering the most significantly hit taxa. This approach helps in balancing between sensitivity and running time. The program was tested both on experimental and synthetic data. The results implicate that our method performs as good as the state-of-the-art BLAST-based ones, furthermore, in some cases, it even proves to be better, while running two orders magnitude faster. It is sensitive and capable of identifying taxa being present only in small abundance. Moreover, it needs two orders of magnitude less reads to complete the identification than MetaPhLan2 does. We analyzed an experimental anthrax dataset (B. anthracis strain BA104). The majority of the reads (96.50%) was classified as Bacillus anthracis, a small portion, 1.2%, was classified as other species from the Bacillus genus. We demonstrate that the evaluation of high-throughput sequencing data is feasible in a reasonable time with good classification accuracy.

Keywords: Pathogens, Microbiome, Metagenomics, taxonomy binning, B. anthracis

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1 The Comparison Study of Human Microbiome in Chronic Rhinosinusitis between Adults and Children

Authors: Il Ho Park, Joong Seob Lee, Sung Hun Kang, Jae-Min Shin, Il Seok Park, Seok Min Hong, Seok Jin Hong


Introduction: The human microbiota is the aggregate of microorganisms, and the bacterial microbiome of the human digestive tract contributes to both health and disease. In health, bacteria are key components in the development of mucosal barrier function and in innate and adaptive immune responses, and they also work to suppress the establishment of pathogens. In human upper airway, the sinonasal microbiota might play an important role in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). The purpose of this study is to investigate the human upper airway microbiome in CRS patients and to compare the sinonasal microbiome of adults with children. Materials and methods: A total of 19 samples from 19 patients (Group1; 9 CRS in children, aged 5 to 14 years versus Group 2; 10 CRS in adults aged 21 to 59 years) were examined. Swabs were collected from the middle meatus and/or anterior ethmoid region under general anesthesia during endoscopic sinus surgery or tonsillectomy. After DNA extraction from swab samples, we analysed bacterial microbiome consortia using 16s rRNA gene sequencing approach (the Illumina MiSeq platform). Results: In this study, relatively abundance of the six bacterial phyla and tremendous genus and species found in substantial amounts in the individual sinus swab samples, include Corynebacterium, Hemophilus, Moraxella, and Streptococcus species. Anaerobes like Fusobacterium and Bacteroides were abundantly present in the children group, Bacteroides and Propionibacterium were present in adults group. In genus, Haemophilus was the most common CRS microbiome in children and Corynebacterium was the most common CRS microbiome in adults. Conclusions: Our results show the diversity of human upper airway microbiome, and the findings will suggest that CRS is a polymicrobial infection. The Corynebacterium and Hemophilus may live as commensals on mucosal surfaces of sinus in the upper respiratory tract. The further study will be needed for analysis of microbiome-human interactions in upper airway and CRS.

Keywords: Microbiome, upper airway, chronic rhinosinusitis, adult and children

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