1Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, 3Department of Microbiology, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
April 16, 2016 3:30, A 602
Bacterial communities in the non-human primates’ (NHP) vaginal and gastrointestinal tracts are key factors of a multidimensional mechanism that functions as the first line of defense against disease, supports immunity development, and supplements the host metabolism. Understanding the microbiome in NHPs can shed light on the complex relationships between humans and their microbial communities. Many microbial studies are cross-sectionally designed and report the community structure at a single instance in time. However, the temporal dynamics of the microbial community is vital in understanding the stability of a community, exogenous effects, as well as detecting disruption events indicative of an abnormal condition. In this study, we examine the temporal dynamics of the bacteria communities in 39 healthy female macaques (Macaca nemestrina) by analysing matched vaginal, rectal and fecal samples obtained weekly over a 4-week period. We show how the vaginal, rectal, and gut microbiomes vary both within and between individuals, and how the microbiomes vary temporally over the course of the study. Our results show that the rectal and gut microbiomes are stable across time and tend to be stable both within and between individuals. We found that the vaginal microbiome, on the other hand, can vary more within an individual than the variation of the rectal or gut microbiomes between individuals. Although the vaginal microbiome shows large variation, we were unable to detect a consistent relationship between the changes in the vaginal microbiome and the estrous cycle. This highlights the need for more long-term studies of the microbiome in NHPs.
Funding provided by NIH N01-AI70013, NIH U19-AI060598, NSF 0820709, and NSF 0935347.