Comparison of the Distal Gut Microbiota from People and Animals in Africa

Richard J. Ellis*, Kenneth D. Bruce, Claire Jenkins, J. Russell Stothard, Lilly Ajarova, Lawrence Mugisha, Mark E. Viney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The gut microbiota plays a key role in the maintenance of healthy gut function as well as many other aspects of health. High-throughput sequence analyses have revealed the composition of the gut microbiota, showing that there is a core signature to the human gut microbiota, as well as variation in its composition between people. The gut microbiota of animals is also being investigated. We are interested in the relationship between bacterial taxa of the human gut microbiota and those in the gut microbiota of domestic and semi-wild animals. While it is clear that some human gut bacterial pathogens come from animals (showing that human - animal transmission occurs), the extent to which the usually nonpathogenic commensal taxa are shared between humans and animals has not been explored. To investigate this we compared the distal gut microbiota of humans, cattle and semi-captive chimpanzees in communities that are geographically sympatric in Uganda. The gut microbiotas of these three host species could be distinguished by the different proportions of bacterial taxa present. We defined multiple operational taxonomic units (OTUs) by sequence similarity and found evidence that some OTUs were common between human, cattle and chimpanzees, with the largest number of shared OTUs occurring between chimpanzees and humans, as might be expected with their close physiological similarity. These results show the potential for the sharing of usually commensal bacterial taxa between humans and other animals. This suggests that further investigation of this phenomenon is needed to fully understand how it drives the composition of human and animal gut microbiotas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberARTN e54783
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • INTESTINAL MICROBIOTA
  • SEQUENCES
  • INFLAMMATORY-BOWEL-DISEASE
  • AMPLICONS
  • RIBOSOMAL-RNA GENES
  • DIVERSITY
  • FECAL MICROBIOTA
  • IMMUNE-SYSTEM
  • SOFTWARE
  • EVOLUTION

Projects

Why is infection unequal?

Viney, M.

1/05/101/03/11

Project: Research

Cite this

Ellis, R. J., Bruce, K. D., Jenkins, C., Stothard, J. R., Ajarova, L., Mugisha, L., & Viney, M. E. (2013). Comparison of the Distal Gut Microbiota from People and Animals in Africa. PLoS ONE, 8(1), [ARTN e54783]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0054783