Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurobiological disorders that impair social interactions and communication and lead to restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. The causes of these disorders remain poorly understood, but gut microbiota, the 10(13) bacteria in the human intestines, have been implicated because children with ASD often suffer gastrointestinal (GI) problems that correlate with ASD severity. Several previous studies have reported abnormal gut bacteria in children with ASD. The gut microbiome-ASD connection has been tested in a mouse model of ASD, where the microbiome was mechanistically linked to abnormal metabolites and behavior. Similarly, a study of children with ASD found that oral non-absorbable antibiotic treatment improved GI and ASD symptoms, albeit temporarily. Here, a small open-label clinical trial evaluated the impact of Microbiota Transfer Therapy (MTT) on gut microbiota composition and GI and ASD symptoms of 18 ASD-diagnosed children.
Microbial interaction between human-associated objects and the environments we inhabit may have forensic implications, and the extent to which microbes are shared between individuals inhabiting the same space may be relevant to human health and disease transmission. In this study, two participants sampled the front and back of their cell phones, four different locations on the soles of their shoes, and the floor beneath them every waking hour over a 2-day period. A further 89 participants took individual samples of their shoes and phones at three different scientific conferences.
Early-life exposure to household pets has the capacity to reduce risk for overweight and allergic disease, especially following caesarean delivery. Since there is some evidence that pets also alter the gut microbial composition of infants, changes to the gut microbiome are putative pathways by which pet exposure can reduce these risks to health. To investigate the impact of pre- and postnatal pet exposure on infant gut microbiota following various birth scenarios, this study employed a large subsample of 746 infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study (CHILD) cohort, whose mothers were enrolled during pregnancy between 2009 and 2012. Participating mothers were asked to report on household pet ownership at recruitment during the second or third trimester and 3 months postpartum. Infant gut microbiota were profiled with 16S rRNA sequencing from faecal samples collected at the mean age of 3.3 months. Two categories of pet exposure (i) only during pregnancy and (ii) pre- and postnatally were compared to no pet exposure under different birth scenarios.
Gastrointestinal disturbances are among symptoms commonly reported by individuals diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). However, whether ME/CFS is associated with an altered microbiome has remained uncertain. Here, we profiled gut microbial diversity by sequencing 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) genes from stool as well as inflammatory markers from serum for cases (n = 48) and controls (n = 39). We also examined a set of inflammatory markers in blood: C-reactive protein (CRP), intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), LPS-binding protein (LBP), and soluble CD14 (sCD14).
The variation of microbial communities associated with the human body can be the cause of many factors, including the human genetic makeup, diet, age, surroundings, and sexual behavior. In this study, we investigated the effects of intimate kissing on the oral microbiota of 21 couples by self-administered questionnaires about their past kissing behavior and by the evaluation of tongue and salivary microbiota samples in a controlled kissing experiment. In addition, we quantified the number of bacteria exchanged during intimate kissing by the use of marker bacteria introduced through the intake of a probiotic yoghurt drink by one of the partners prior to a second intimate kiss.
The International Space Station (ISS) is a unique built environment due to the effects of microgravity, space radiation, elevated carbon dioxide levels, and especially continuous human habitation. Understanding the composition of the ISS microbial community will facilitate further development of safety and maintenance practices. The primary goal of this study was to characterize the viable microbiome of the ISS-built environment. A second objective was to determine if the built environments of Earth-based cleanrooms associated with space exploration are an appropriate model of the ISS environment.
Recently, the potential role of gut microbiome in metabolic diseases has been revealed, especially in cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension is one of the most prevalent cardiovascular diseases worldwide, yet whether gut microbiota dysbiosis participates in the development of hypertension remains largely unknown. To investigate this issue, we carried out comprehensive metagenomic and metabolomic analyses in a cohort of 41 healthy controls, 56 subjects with pre-hypertension, 99 individuals with primary hypertension, and performed fecal microbiota transplantation from patients to germ-free mice.
Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are widespread but cause problems only when present in pathogens. Environments where selection and transmission of antibiotic resistance frequently take place are likely to be characterized by high abundance and diversity of horizontally transferable ARGs. Large-scale quantitative data on ARGs is, however, lacking for most types of environments, including humans and animals, as is data on resistance genes to potential co-selective agents, such as biocides and metals. This paucity prevents efficient identification of risk environments.
A critical aspect regarding the global dispersion of pathogenic microorganisms is associated with atmospheric movement of soil particles. Especially, desert dust storms can transport alien microorganisms over continental scales and can deposit them in sensitive sink habitats. In winter 2014, the largest ever recorded Saharan dust event in Italy was efficiently deposited on the Dolomite Alps and was sealed between dust-free snow. This provided us the unique opportunity to overcome difficulties in separating dust associated from “domestic” microbes and thus, to determine with high precision microorganisms transported exclusively by desert dust.
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an effective treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) that often fails standard antibiotic therapy. Despite its widespread recent use, however, little is known about the stability of the fecal microbiota following FMT.