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Microbial Metagenome Of Urinary Tract Infection

By Ahmed Moustafa, Harinder Singh, Weizhong Li, Kelvin J. Moncera, Manolito G. Torralba, Yanbao Yu, Oriol Manuel, William Biggs, J. Craig Venter, Karen E. Nelson, Rembert Pieper, Amalio Telenti

Posted 04 May 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/134320 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22660-8)

Urine culture and microscopy techniques are used to profile the bacterial species present in urinary tract infections. To gain insight into the urinary flora in infection and health, we analyzed clinical laboratory features and the microbial metagenome of 121 clean-catch urine samples. 16S rDNA gene signatures were successfully obtained for 116 participants, while whole genome shotgun sequencing data was successfully generated for samples from 49 participants. Analysis of these datasets supports the definition of the patterns of infection and colonization/contamination. Although 16S rDNA sequencing was more sensitive, whole genome shotgun sequencing allowed for a more comprehensive and unbiased representation of the microbial flora, including eukarya and viral pathogens, and of bacterial virulence factors. Urine samples positive by whole genome shotgun sequencing contained a plethora of bacterial (median 41 genera/sample), eukarya (median 2 species/sample) and viral sequences (median 3 viruses/sample). Genomic analyses revealed cases of infection with potential pathogens (e.g., Alloscardovia sp, Actinotignum sp, Ureaplasma sp) that are often missed during routine urine culture due to species specific growth requirements. We also observed gender differences in the microbial metagenome. While conventional microbiological methods are inadequate to identify a large diversity of microbial species that are present in urine, genomic approaches appear to comprehensively and quantitatively describe the urinary microbiome.

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