January 18, 2022

Today’s digest contains interesting gut-brain axis articles, developments in bioinformatic multi-omic analyses, and some recent developments in long COVID research highlighted under non microbiome picks below. 

General microbiome

Substantial overlap between symptomatic and asymptomatic genitourinary microbiota states – Adu oppong et al. – Microbiome 

Human gut microbiome

Gut Ruminococcaceae levels at baseline correlate with risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea – Gu et al. – iScience

Home or hospital birth: the neonatal microbiota perspective – Stojanov et al. – The Lancet Microbe

A pilot exploration of multi-omics research of gut microbiome in major depressive disorders – Zhao et al – Translational Psychiatry

Post-ischemic protein restriction induces sustained neuroprotection, neurological recovery, brain remodeling, and gut microbiota rebalancing – de Carvalho et al. – Brain Behavior and Immunity

Bifidobacterium breve CCFM1025 attenuates major depression disorder via regulating gut microbiome and tryptophan metabolism: A randomized clinical trial – Tian et al.  – Brain Behavior and Immunity

Gestational insulin resistance is mediated by the gut microbiome-indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase axis – Priyadarshini et al. – Gastroenterology

A natural polyphenol exerts antitumor activity and circumvents anti-PD-1 resistance through effects on the gut microbiota – Messaoudene et al. – Cancer Discovery


[Research Highlight] Virome holds back a vaccine – York – Nature Reviews Microbiology

Plant & Soil microbiome

Genome-Resolved Metagenomics Reveals Distinct Phosphorus Acquisition Strategies between Soil Microbiomes – Wu et al. – mSystems


M&Ms: a versatile software for building microbial mock communities – García-García et al. – Bioinformatics

GraphOmics: an interactive platform to explore and integrate multi-omics data – Wandy & Daly – BMC Bioinformatics

Aristotle: stratified causal discovery for omics data – Mansouri et al.  – BMC Bioinformatics

Non Microbiome Picks

The last few weeks has seen several big studies of ‘long COVID’ published, as well as a letter in The Guardian, which I wanted to highlight

Immunological dysfunction persists for 8 months following initial mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection – Phetsouphanh et al. – Nature Immunology

Long-term perturbation of the peripheral immune system months after SARS-CoV-2 infection – Ryan et al. BMC Medicine

Post-acute neurological consequences of COVID-19: an unequal burden – Nolen et al. – Nature Medicine 

Long COVID in children – Gurdasani et al. – The Lancet Child Adolescent Health
I’m leading a long Covid trial – it’s clear Britain has underestimated its impact – Amitava Banerjee – The Guardian

January 4, 2022

Happy new year! Today’s digest is jam packed with articles published over the Christmas period. This includes the Skin Microbial Genome Collection (SMGC), a fascinating study linking the gut virome to rotavirus vaccine response, multiple cancer-microbiome papers and a catalogue of the human gut archaeome

General microbiome

The Metaproteomics Initiative: a coordinated approach for propelling the functional characterization of microbiomes – Bossche et al. Microbiome

Directional Gaussian Mixture Models of the Gut Microbiome Elucidate Microbial Spatial Structure – Pasarkar et al. mSystems

Human gut microbiome

Human gut-microbiome-derived propionate coordinates proteasomal degradation via HECTD2 upregulation to target EHMT2 in colorectal cancer – Ryu et al. ISME

Gut microbiomes from Gambian infants reveal the development of a non-industrialized Prevotella-based trophic network – Goffau et al. Nature Microbiology.

Reuterin in the healthy gut microbiome suppresses colorectal cancer growth through altering redox balance – Bell et al. Cancer Cell. 

Population study of the gut microbiome: associations with diet, lifestyle, and cardiometabolic disease – Walker et al. Genome Medicine

Enteric virome negatively affects seroconversion following oral rotavirus vaccination in a longitudinally sampled cohort of Ghanaian infants – Kim et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Maternal gut bacteria drive intestinal inflammation in offspring with neurodevelopmental disorders by altering the chromatin landscape of CD4+ T cells – Kim et al. Immunity

Lactobacillus gallinarum modulates the gut microbiota and produces anti-cancer metabolites to protect against colorectal tumourigenesis – Sugimura et al. Gut

A catalogue of 1,167 genomes from the human gut archaeome – Chibani et al. Nature Microbiology

Variation and transmission of the human gut microbiota across multiple familial generations – Valles-Colomer et al. Nature Microbiology. 

The Mouse Gastrointestinal Bacteria Catalogue enables translation between the mouse and human gut microbiotas via functional mapping – Beresford-Jones et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Human skin & oral microbiome

Integrating cultivation and metagenomics for a multi-kingdom view of skin microbiome diversity and functions – Kashaf et al. Nature Microbiology.

Alterations of human skin microbiome and expansion of antimicrobial resistance after systemic antibiotics – Jo et al. Science Translational Medicine

Microbiome-mediated incapacitation of interferon lambda production in the oral mucosa – Rodriguez-Hernandez et al. PNAS

Plant microbiome

Glutamic acid reshapes the plant microbiota to protect plants against pathogens – Kim et al. Microbiome. 

Water microbiome

Metagenomics of Antarctic Marine Sediment Reveals Potential for Diverse Chemolithoautotrophy – Garber et al. mSphere

Dissecting the dominant hot spring microbial populations based on community-wide sampling at single-cell genomic resolution – Bowers et all. ISME


Fast and accurate metagenotyping of the human gut microbiome with GT-Pro – Shi et al. Nature Biotechnology

Rapid screening and identification of viral pathogens in metagenomic data – Song et al. BMC Medical Genomics. 

December 14, 2021

Today’s digest contains several great recent papers, but in particular I’d like to highlight a Nature Methods paper on applying network biology approaches to the microbiome, and a Nature paper which disentangles the effects of drugs and disease on host and microbiome.

General microbiome

Fast and flexible analysis of linked microbiome data with mako – Röttjers & Faust – Nature Methods. 

Combinatorial, additive and dose-dependent drug–microbiome associations – Forslund et al. Nature 

Mammalian gut metabolomes mirror microbiome composition and host phylogeny – Gregor et al. – ISME 

Human gut microbiome

Microbial co-occurrence complicates associations of gut microbiome with US immigration, dietary intake and obesity – Wang et al. – Genome Biology

Signature changes in gut microbiome are associated with increased susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in MSM – Chen et al.  – Microbiome

Cognitive behavioral therapy for irritable bowel syndrome induces bidirectional alterations in the brain-gut-microbiome axis associated with gastrointestinal symptom improvement – Jacobs et al. – Microbiome. 

Human oral microbiome

Impact of sleep on the microbiome of oral biofilms – Sotozono et al. – PLOS One

Functional screening of a human saliva metagenomic DNA reveal novel resistance genes against sodium hypochlorite and chlorhexidine – Wigand et al. BMC Oral Health

Animal Experiments

The immunotoxicity, but not anti-tumor efficacy, of anti-CD40 and anti-CD137 immunotherapies is dependent on the gut microbiota – Blake et al. – Cell Reports Medicine

Colonization of gut microbiota by plasmid-carrying bacteria is facilitated by evolutionary adaptation to antibiotic treatment – Zhang et al. – ISME

Sexual dimorphism in glucose metabolism is shaped by androgen-driven gut microbiome – Gao et al. – Nature Communications

October 5, 2021

Today’s digest includes a description of how probiotics modulate B cells in Peyer’s patches published in Microbiome, a review in ISME on microbial storage in soil and multiple recent Cell Host & Microbe articles covering the plant immune system and colonisation resistance to Salmonella and Klebsiella.

General microbiome

Single-colony sequencing reveals microbe-by-microbiome phylosymbiosis between the cyanobacterium Microcystis and its associated bacteria – Pérez-Carrascal et al. Microbiome

Molecular basis of a bacterial-amphibian symbiosis revealed by comparative genomics, modeling, and functional testing – Brunetti et al. ISME

Human gut microbiome

Gut microbiota involved in leptospiral infections – Xie et al. ISME

Identification of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii strains for gut microbiome-based intervention in Alzheimer’s-type dementia – Ueda et al. Cell Reports Medicine

Fecal microbial transplantation and fiber supplementation in patients with severe obesity and metabolic syndrome: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial – Mocanu et al. Nature Medicine

Gut bacteria identified in colorectal cancer patients promote tumourigenesis via butyrate secretion – Okumura et al. Nature Communications

E. coli enhance colonization resistance against Salmonella Typhimurium by competing for galactitol, a context-dependent limiting carbon source – Eberl et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Klebsiella oxytoca causes colonization resistance against multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae in the gut via cooperative carbohydrate competition – Osbelt et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Human Oral Microbiome

Distinct B cell subsets in Peyer’s patches convey probiotic effects by Limosilactobacillus reuteri – Liu et al. Microbiome

Human Oral Microbiome

Metagenomic analysis of ancient dental calculus reveals unexplored diversity of oral archaeal Methanobrevibacter – Granehäll et al. Microbiome

Soil & Plant microbiomes

[REVIEW] Microbial storage and its implications for soil ecology – Mason-Jones et al. ISME

Gammaproteobacteria, a core taxon in the guts of soil fauna, are potential responders to environmental concentrations of soil pollutants – Zhang et al. Microbiome

Plant immune system activation is necessary for efficient root colonization by auxin-secreting beneficial bacteria – Tzipilevich et al. Cell Host & Microbe

September 7, 2021

Today’s digest features some excellent human and mouse microbiome research, a highly detailed study of human associated Bifidobacterium longum, as well as a non microbiome picks on the history of rhinoceros in Cell and how to write a lab protocol in Nature.

General microbiome

Exploring Microbiome Functional Dynamics through Space and Time with Trait-Based Theory – Bittleston et al. mSystems

Human gut microbiome

Effects of antibiotic duration on the intestinal microbiota and resistome: The PIRATE RESISTANCE project, a cohort study nested within a randomized trial – Leo et al. EBioMedicine

Stool microRNA profiles reflect different dietary and gut microbiome patterns in healthy individuals  – Tarallo et al. Gut

Associations between the gut microbiome and metabolome in early life – Nguyen et al. BMC Microbiology

Animal Experiments

The composition of the gut microbiota following early-life antibiotic exposure affects host health and longevity in later life – Lynn et al. Cell Reports

Human gut-derived B. longum subsp. longum strains protect against aging in a D-galactose-induced aging mouse model – Xiao et al. Microbiome

Water Microbiome

Arms race in a cell: genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic insights into intracellular phage–bacteria interplay in deep-sea snail holobionts – Zhou et al. Microbiome

Soil microbiome

Stable-Isotope-Informed, Genome-Resolved Metagenomics Uncovers Potential Cross-Kingdom Interactions in Rhizosphere Soil – Starr et al. mSphere


Powerful and robust non-parametric association testing for microbiome data via a zero-inflated quantile approach (ZINQ) – Ling et al. Microbiome

Non-microbiome picks

Ancient and modern genomes unravel the evolutionary history of the rhinoceros family – Lie et al. Cell

Five keys to writing a reproducible lab protocol – Nature

August 17, 2021

Today’s digest covers a variety of topics including an interesting preprint on how the maternal immune system shapes offspring immunity in a microbiota dependent fashion and a large human study of the Rotavirus vaccine and gut microbiota. Non microbiology picks cover some recent COVID-19 advances and a very interesting article in Science investigating energy expenditure through the human life course.


No evidence of human genome integration of SARS-CoV-2 found by long-read DNA sequencing – Smits et al. Cell Reports

Ultrapotent antibodies against diverse and highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants. Wang et al. Science 

Long-term perturbation of the peripheral immune system months after SARS-CoV-2 infection -Ryan et al. MedRxiv

General microbiome

Bacterial colonization dynamics and antibiotic resistance gene dissemination in the hospital environment after first patient occupancy: a longitudinal metagenetic study – Klassert et al. Microbiome

Acute SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with an increased abundance of bacterial pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the nose – Rhoades et al. Cell Reports 

Meta-analysis of Clinical Microbiome Studies in Urolithiasis Reveal Age, Stone Composition, and Study Location as the Predominant Factors in Urolithiasis-Associated Microbiome Composition – mBio. Kachroo et al. 

Human gut microbiome

The fecal microbiome and rotavirus vaccine immunogenicity in rural Zimbabwean infants – Robertson et al. Vaccine

Gut microbiome ADP-ribosyltransferases are widespread phage-encoded fitness factors – Brown et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Pregnancy and Early-Life

Maternal γδ T Cells Shape Offspring Pulmonary Type-2 Immunity In A Microbiota-Dependent Manner – Papotto et al. BioRxiv

Food Microbiology

Functional strain redundancy and persistent phage infection in Swiss hard cheese starter cultures – Somerville et al. ISME

Water Microbiome

Ecogenomics and Adaptation Strategies of Southern Ocean Viral Communities – Alarcón-Schumacher et al. mSystems

Soil microbiome

Bog ecosystems as a playground for plant–microbe coevolution: bryophytes and vascular plants harbour functionally adapted bacteria – Wicaksono et al. Microbiome


HoPhage: an ab initio tool for identifying hosts of phage fragments from metaviromes. Tan et al. Bioinformatics

Sparse least trimmed squares regression with compositional covariates for high dimensional data. Monti and Filzmoser. Bioinformatics. 

Ribovore: ribosomal RNA sequence analysis for GenBank submissions and database curation. Schaffer et al. BMC Bioinformatics.

Non-microbiome picks

Daily energy expenditure through the human life course – Pontzer et al. Science

Analysis of scientific society honors reveals disparities – Le et al. Cell Systems

July 6, 2021

Several great papers today including a very interesting Cell paper on how Bifidobacterium interacts with the immune system and an mBio article on how different types of dietary fibre shape the gut microbiota.

To our Australian readers I’d like to wish a happy NAIDOC week, which is a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

General microbiome

Microbiota regulate social behaviour via stress response neurons in the brain – Wu et al. Nature. 

Defining the resilience of the human salivary microbiota by a 520-day longitudinal study in a confined environment: the Mars500 mission – Bacci et al. Microbiome

A MicroRNA Gene Panel Predicts the Vaginal Microbiota Composition. Cheng et al. mSystems

Human gut microbiome

Gut microbiota mediate the FGF21 adaptive stress response to chronic dietary protein-restriction in mice – Martin et al. Nature Communications. 

Gut microbes impact stroke severity via the trimethylamine N-oxide pathway – Zhu et al. Cell Host & Microbe

Dietary Fiber Hierarchical Specificity: the Missing Link for Predictable and Strong Shifts in Gut Bacterial Communities – Centu-Jungles et al. mBio

Pregnancy and Early-Life

Bifidobacteria-mediated immune system imprinting early in life – Henrick et al. Cell

Animal microbiome

Temporal patterns in Ixodes ricinus microbial communities: an insight into tick-borne microbe interactions – Lejal et al. Microbiome

Water Microbiome

Microbiome diversity and host immune functions influence survivorship of sponge holobionts under future ocean conditions – Posadas et al. ISME

Soil microbiome

A Community Effort: Combining Functional Amplicon Sequencing and Metagenomics Reveals Potential Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Associated with Protective Phenotypes in Rhizosphere Microbiomes – Winter. mSystems.


METAnnotatorX2: a Comprehensive Tool for Deep and Shallow Metagenomic Data Set Analyses – Milani et al. mSystems

June 8, 2021

Human gut microbiome

Long-term dietary patterns are associated with pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory features of the gut microbiome – Bolte et al. Gut

Ginseng polysaccharides alter the gut microbiota and kynurenine/tryptophan ratio, potentiating the antitumour effect of antiprogrammed cell death 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 (anti-PD-1/PD-L1) immunotherapy – Huang et al. Gut

Human skin microbiome

Diurnal variation in the human skin microbiome affects accuracy of forensic microbiome matching – Wilkins et al. Microbiome.

Animal microbiome

Host Species and Geography Differentiate Honeybee Gut Bacterial Communities by Changing the Relative Contribution of Community Assembly Processes – Ge et al. mBio

Animal experiments

Dysbiosis exacerbates colitis by promoting ubiquitination and accumulation of the innate immune adaptor STING in myeloid cells – Shmuel-Galia et al. Immunity

Water Microbiome

Low shifts in salinity determined assembly processes and network stability of microeukaryotic plankton communities in a subtropical urban reservoir – Mo et al. Microbiome

Phages and viruses

A catalog of tens of thousands of viruses from human metagenomes reveals hidden associations with chronic diseases – Tisza and Buck. PNAS. 


A Critique of Differential Abundance Analysis, and Advocacy for an Alternative – Quinn et al. arXiv preprint. 

May 07, 2021

Human gut microbiome

Androgen-induced gut dysbiosis disrupts glucolipid metabolism and endocrinal functions in polycystic ovary syndrome – Han et al. Microbiome

Diet, obesity, and the gut microbiome as determinants modulating metabolic outcomes in a non-human primate model – Newman et al. Microbiome

Metagenomic Analysis of Common Intestinal Diseases Reveals Relationships among Microbial Signatures and Powers Multidisease Diagnostic Models – Jiang et al. mSystems

Individuals at risk for rheumatoid arthritis harbor differential intestinal bacteriophage communities with distinct metabolic potential – Mangalea et al. Cell Host & Microbe. 

Human respiratory microbiome

Integrative microbiomics in bronchiectasis exacerbations – Mac Aogáin et al. Nature Medicine


The International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of postbiotics – Salminen et al. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology


Fungal taxonomy and sequence-based nomenclature – Lucking et al. Nature Microbiology

Host-Microbiota interactions

A Streptococcus Quorum Sensing System Enables Suppression of Innate Immunity – Rahbari et al. mBio


Tamock: simulation of habitat-specific benchmark data in metagenomics – Gerner et al. BMC Bioinformatics


Whole lung tissue is the preferred sampling method for amplicon-based characterization of murine lung microbiota – Baker et al. Microbiome

March 16, 2021

Human gut microbiome

Strain-level functional variation in the human gut microbiota based on bacterial binding to artificial food particles – Patnode et al. Cell Host & Microbe. 

Debaryomyces is enriched in Crohn’s disease intestinal tissue and impairs healing in mice – Jain et al. Science.

Dysbiosis in Metabolic Genes of the Gut Microbiomes of Patients with an Ileo-anal Pouch Resembles That Observed in Crohn’s Disease – Dubinsky et al. mSystems

Human-associated microbiota suppress invading bacteria even under disruption by antibiotics – Letten et al. ISME

Early life 

Key bacterial taxa and metabolic pathways affecting gut short-chain fatty acid profiles in early life – Tsukuda et al. ISME

Human oral microbiome

Tonsillar Microbiota: a Cross-Sectional Study of Patients with Chronic Tonsillitis or Tonsillar Hypertrophy – Wu et al. mSystems

Animal experiments 

Long-term evolution and short-term adaptation of microbiota strains and sub-strains in mice – Yilmaz et al. Cell Host & Microbe


ContigExtender: a new approach to improving de novo sequence assembly for viral metagenomics data – Deng & Delart. BMC Bioinformatics