OPEN Applied and environmental microbiology | 28 Jun 2016
C Urbaniak, GB Gloor, M Brackstone, L Scott, M Tangney and G Reid
In the United States, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Along with genetics, the environment also contributes to disease development but what these exact environmental factors are remain unknown. We have previously shown that breast tissue is not sterile but contains a diverse population of bacteria. We thus believe that the host’s local microbiome could be modulating the risk of breast cancer development. Using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing we show that bacterial profiles differ between normal adjacent tissue from women with breast cancer and tissue from healthy controls. Women with breast cancer had higher relative abundances of Bacillus, Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus Escherichia coli (member of the Enterobacteriaceae family) and Staphylococcus epidermidis, isolated from breast cancer patients, were shown to induce DNA double stranded breaks in HeLa cells using the γH2AX assay. We also found that microbial profiles are similar between normal adjacent tissue and tissue sampled directly from the tumour. This novel study raises important questions as to what role the breast microbiome plays in disease development or progression and how we can manipulate this microbiome for possible therapeutics or prevention.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com