Table_3_Lifestyle-Induced Microbial Gradients: An Indian Perspective.xlsx (7.05 kB)
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Table_3_Lifestyle-Induced Microbial Gradients: An Indian Perspective.xlsx

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posted on 17.12.2019, 04:41 authored by Rashmi Singh, Mohammed Monzoorul Haque, Sharmila S. Mande

Introduction: Urbanization is a globally pervasive trend. Although urban settings provide better access to infrastructure and opportunities, urban lifestyles have certain negative consequences on human health. A number of recent studies have found interesting associations between the structure of human gut microbiota and the prevalence of metabolic conditions characterizing urban populations. The present study attempts to expand the footprint of these investigations to an Indian context. The objectives include elucidating specific patterns and gradients based on resident habitat and lifestyles (i.e., tribal and urban) that characterize gut microbial communities.

Methods: Available 16S rRNA sequence datasets corresponding to the gut microbiota of urban and tribal populations from multiple regions of India have been rigorously compared. This analysis was carried out to understand the overall community structure, resident taxa, and their (inferred) functional components as well as their correlations with available meta-information.

Results: The gut microbiota of urban and tribal communities are observed to have characteristically different signatures with respect to diversity as well as taxonomic and functional composition. Primarily, the gut microbiota in tribal communities is found to harbor significantly higher species diversity and richness as compared to that in urban populations. In spite of geographical segregation and diet-related differences, gut microbial diversity was not found to differ significantly between tribal groups. Furthermore, while the taxonomic profiles of different tribal communities cluster together irrespective of their geographic location, enterotype analysis indicates that samples from urban communities form two distinct clusters. Taxonomic analysis of samples in one of these clusters reveals the presence of microbes that are common to both urban and tribal cohorts, indicating a probable transient evolutionary state. Prevotella, previously reported to be the dominant genus resident in Indian gut microbiota, is found to have distinct OTUs and strain-specific oligotypes characterizing resident habitats and diet patterns. Certain interesting associations between microbial abundances and specific metadata have also been observed. Overall, urban lifestyle and diet appear to impact the structure and function of gut microbial communities, and the results of this study provide further evidence of this likely detrimental association.

Conclusion: This study attempts to analyze, in an Indian context, the impact of urbanization on the human gut microbiota. Overall, the analysis elucidates interesting taxonomic and functional signatures characterizing the evolutionary transition in gut microbiota from tribal to urban.