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

Ellis, Richard J., Bruce, Kenneth D., Jenkins, Claire, Stothard, Russell ORCID:, Ajarova, Lilly, Mugisha, Lawrence and Viney, Mark E. (2013) 'Comparison of the Distal Gut Microbiota from People and Animals in Africa'. PLoS ONE, Vol 8, Issue 1, e54783.

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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 non-pathogenic 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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Genetics > QU 470 Genetic structures
QW Microbiology and Immunology > QW 50 Bacteria (General). Bacteriology. Archaea
QW Microbiology and Immunology > QW 51 Morphology and variability of microorganisms. Microbial genetics.
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2014 11:27
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2019 12:52


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