Image_1_Microbial Similarity and Preference for Specific Sites in Healthy Oral Cavity and Esophagus.PDF

Human microbial communities are highly complex ecosystems, but it remains unclear if microbial compositions have any similarity in distinct sites of the oral cavity and esophagus in particular. Clinical samples were collected from three niches (saliva, tongue dorsum and supragingival plaque) of the oral cavity and three segments (upper, middle, and lower) of the esophagus in 27 healthy individuals. Bacterial V3-V4 region of 16S rRNA gene in these samples was amplified and sequenced on Illumina sequencing platform, followed by data analysis using QIIME and LEfSe softwares. Highly diverse bacterial flora with 365 genera belonging to 29 phyla resided in the oral cavity and 594 genera belonging to 29 phyla in the esophagus. The phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Fusobacteria, and TM7 were most abundant in both the oral cavity and the esophagus, but the phyla Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were preferable in the oral cavity and Firmicutes in the esophagus. The genera Streptococcus, Neisseria, Prevotella, Actinobacillus, and Veillonella were most abundant in both oral cavity and esophagus, but Neisseria was preferable in the oral cavity and Streptococcus in the esophagus. Different niche-specific bacterial signatures were found in the oral cavity, e.g., the class Flavobacteria in the supragingival plaque, class Bacteroides in the saliva and the class Clostridia in the tongue dorsum. By contrast, no site specific bacteria for three different segments of esophagus were found. However, high variability of microbial compositions between individuals was observed. In conclusion, this study confirmed microbial diversity at different taxonomic levels in healthy oral cavity and esophagus, and identified the site-preferable bacterial signatures in six niches of the upper digestive tract. These findings provide a critical baseline for future studies interpreting microbiome-related diseases.