Project description:Recent findings have implicated the gut microbiota as a contributor of metabolic diseases through the modulation of host metabolism and inflammation. Atherosclerosis is associated with lipid accumulation and inflammation in the arterial wall, and bacteria have been suggested as a causative agent of this disease. Here we use shotgun sequencing of the gut metagenome to demonstrate that the genus Collinsella was enriched in patients with symptomatic atherosclerosis, defined as stenotic atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery leading to cerebrovascular events, whereas Roseburia and Eubacterium were enriched in healthy controls. Further characterization of the functional capacity of the metagenomes revealed that patient gut metagenomes were enriched in genes encoding peptidoglycan synthesis and depleted in phytoene dehydrogenase; patients also had reduced serum levels of ?-carotene. Our findings suggest that the gut metagenome is associated with the inflammatory status of the host and patients with symptomatic atherosclerosis harbor characteristic changes in the gut metagenome.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that humans could be considered as holobionts in which the gut microbiota play essential functions. Initial metagenomic studies reported a pattern of shared genes in the gut microbiome of different individuals, leading to the definition of the minimal gut metagenome as the set of microbial genes necessary for homeostasis and present in all healthy individuals. This study analyses the minimal gut metagenome of the most comprehensive dataset available, including individuals from agriculturalist and industrialist societies, also embodying highly diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds. The outcome, based on metagenomic predictions for community composition data, resulted in a minimal metagenome comprising 3412 genes, mapping to 1856 reactions and 128 metabolic pathways predicted to occur across all individuals. These results were substantiated by the analysis of two additional datasets describing the microbial community compositions of larger Western cohorts, as well as a substantial shotgun metagenomics dataset. Subsequent analyses showed the plausible metabolic complementarity provided by the minimal gut metagenome to the human genome.