Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tracing microbes between individuals towards personalized oral health care

Date:
December 14, 2010
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
The human body harbors a complex ecosystem of microbes recognized as having a role in health and disease. Viruses can attack bacterial communities, yet little is known about how this might influence human health. Scientists have now performed the first metagenomic analysis of a bacterial immune system in humans over time, finding that defenses of the oral microbiome are unique and traceable, information that could personalize oral health care in the future.

The human body is home to a complex ecosystem of microbes increasingly recognized as having a critical role in both health and disease. Viruses can attack and change the composition of bacterial communities, yet little is known about how this might influence human health. In a new study published online in Genome Research, scientists have performed the first metagenomic analysis of a bacterial immune system in humans over time, finding that the defenses of the oral microbiome are unique and traceable, information that could help personalize oral health care in the future.

With recent advances in sequencing technologies, researchers are now sampling the genetic diversity of entire microbial and viral communities at once, including those residing within us. Recent studies have investigated viral communities of the respiratory and digestive tracts, suggesting that viruses might influence the microbial ecosystem and health of the human host. Less is known about how viruses affect the oral microbiome, which could have significant implications for diseases of the oral cavity.

A strategy for monitoring the interaction between bacterial communities and viruses is to sequence specific bacterial DNA elements that confer acquired immunity against viral attack, called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs). Bacteria integrate foreign DNA from encountered pathogens into "spacers" between the repeats, using the spacers to later recognize and respond to the attacker.

In this study, a team of scientists has for the first time analyzed the evolution of the CRISPR bacterial immune system over time in the human body, specifically investigating the oral microbiome. "We knew that bacteria developed specific resistance to viruses," said David Pride of the University of California, San Diego and lead author of the report, "but before this study, we had no idea of the extent to which certain oral bacteria in humans have utilized these resistance mechanisms against viruses."

Pride and colleagues obtained saliva samples from four healthy subjects over the course of 17 months, sequencing CRISPR elements from multiple streptococcal bacteria, the predominant oral community members in many people. The team's analysis of CRISPR repeat and spacer sequences revealed that although there is a set of CRISPRs maintained within each subject over time, ranging from 7% to 22%, there was a remarkable amount of change observed even in short periods.

"Each time we sampled our human subjects, approximately one-third of the immune repertoire in the bacterial community was new," Pride explained, "which suggests that the development of resistance to viruses is occurring at least on a daily basis, if not more frequently."

Pride added that because the bacterial immune repertoire was traceable within the individuals over time, they should be able to track the system within each person and also track bacteria passed between subjects.

"Because these immune features can be used to track bacteria and their respective viruses in humans," Pride said, "it may open to door to more personalized oral health care, where lineages of microbes are traced as a part of routine health care for individuals."

Scientists from the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA), the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA), the Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, CA), and the University of California, San Francisco (San Francisco, CA) contributed to this study.

This work was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the UNCF-Merck Science Initiative, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pride DT, Sun CL, Salzman J, Rao N, Loomer P, Armitage GC, Banfield JF, Relman DA. Analysis of streptococcal CRISPRs from human saliva reveals substantial sequence diversity within and between subjects over time. Genome Res, 2010 DOI: 10.1101/gr.111732.110

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Tracing microbes between individuals towards personalized oral health care." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212194139.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2010, December 14). Tracing microbes between individuals towards personalized oral health care. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212194139.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Tracing microbes between individuals towards personalized oral health care." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101212194139.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins