Article

Sputum Microbiota in Tuberculosis as Revealed by 16S rRNA Pyrosequencing

School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 01/2013; 8(1):e54574. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054574

ABSTRACT Background: Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global threat in the 21st century. Traditional studies of the disease are focused on the single pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis . Recent studies have revealed associations of some diseases with an imbalance in the microbial community. Characterization of the TB microbiota could allow a better understanding of the disease.

Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, the sputum microbiota in TB infection was examined by using 16S rRNA pyrosequencing. A total of 829,873 high-quality sequencing reads were generated from 22 TB and 14 control sputum samples. Firmicutes , Proteobacteria , Bacteroidetes , Actinobacteria , and Fusobacteria were the five major bacterial phyla
recovered, which together composed over 98% of the microbial community. Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were more represented in the TB samples and Firmicutes was more predominant in the controls. Sixteen major bacterial genera were recovered. Streptococcus , Neisseria and Prevotella were the most predominant genera, which were dominated by several operational taxonomic units grouped at a 97% similarity level. Actinomyces , Fusobacterium , Leptotrichia , Prevotella , Streptococcus , and Veillonella were found in all TB samples, possibly representing the core genera in TB sputum microbiota. The less represented genera Mogibacterium , Moryella and Oribacterium were enriched statistically in the TB samples, while a genus belonging to the unclassified Lactobacillales was enriched in the controls. The diversity of microbiota was similar in the TB and control samples.

Conclusions/Significance: The composition and diversity of sputum microbiota in TB infection was characterized for the first time by using high-throughput pyrosequencing. It lays the framework for examination of potential roles played by the diverse microbiota in TB pathogenesis and progression, and could ultimately facilitate advances in TB treatment.

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