July 1, 2022

We made it to the end of the week, we made it through the end of June. To celebrate, check out the two (!) articles about the pig gut microbiome, try out a new tool for network analysis (MicNet Toolbox), or enjoy an NPR Short Waves podcast episode about Agar Art. Or maybe you’re spending the afternoon preparing a research talk or fieldwork event? If that’s the case, check out the article presenting 10 rules for improving communication among scientists or the one on the hidden labor of managing threats to safety by women in fieldwork.

General microbiome

Assessment of disinfectant efficacy in reducing microbial growth – Alajlan et al. – PLOS One

Animal experiments

Metagenomic analysis of the gut microbiota in piglets either challenged or not with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli reveals beneficial effects of probiotics on microbiome composition, resistome, digestive function and oxidative stress responses – Apiwatsiri et al. – PLOS One

Phylogenetic diversity analysis of shotgun metagenomic reads describes gut microbiome development and treatment effects in the post-weaned pig – Gaio et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Using axenic and gnotobiotic insects to examine the role of different microbes on the development and reproduction of the kissing bug Rhodnius prolixus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) – Gilliland et al. – bioRxiv

Bioinformatics

MicNet toolbox: Visualizing and unraveling a microbial network – Favila et al. – PLOS One
Techniques

Evaluating the impact of sample storage, handling, and technical ability on the decay and recovery of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater – Beattie et al. – PLOS One

Microbes in the news

NPR’s Short Wave Podcast: Let’s Get Crafty With Agar Art (11 minute episode)!

Science, publishing, and career

Ten simple rules for improving communication among scientists – Bautista et al. – PLOS Computational Biology

You can’t report your feelings: The hidden labor of managing threats to safety by women in global public health fieldwork – McAuliffe et al. – PLOS Global Public Health

June 8, 2022

Happy Friday! Today’s digest includes articles about Gardnerella vaginalis clades in pregnancy, how a Japanese herbal medicine may alleviate a leaky gut, and a feasibility study of the impact of oral activated charcoal on healthy volunteers.

General microbiome

Clinical Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates from north Queensland carry diverse bimABm genes that are associated with central nervous system disease and are phylogenomically distinct from other Australian strains – Burnard et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Preprint: The energy requirements of ion homeostasis determine the lifespan of starving bacteria – Schink et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: A novel bacterial speciation process observed in a symbiotic marine population – Wang et al. – bioRxiv

Human vaginal microbiome

Gardnerella vaginalis clades in pregnancy: New insights into the interactions with the vaginal microbiome – Severgnini et al. – PLOS One

Human gut microbiome

Saireito, a Japanese herbal medicine, alleviates leaky gut associated with antibiotic-induced dysbiosis in mice – Ozaka et al. – PLOS One

A dose-finding safety and feasibility study of oral activated charcoal and its effects on the gut microbiota in healthy volunteers not receiving antibiotics – Rashidi et al. – PLOS One

Water and extremophile microbiome

The microbial community and functional potential in the Midland Basin reveal a community dominated by both thiosulfate and sulfate-reducing microorganisms – Tinker et al. – Microbiology Spectrum

Techniques

Performance of the TaqMan COVID-19 Pooling Kit for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic and symptomatic populations – Ganz et al.- PLOS One

June 3, 2022

Happy Friday!

Today’s digest has articles on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, a new R package to extract network backbones, and a class of novel antibiotics that targets a Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE-PGRS protein. There also preprints on biofilm winkling in Bacillus subtilis, the dental calculus microbiome, and the relationship between eukaryotic genomes and ocean plankton in a global metagenomic dataset.

Events

Next week is ASM Microbe! I’ll be there, wearing a KN-95 and clutching a box of rapid tests. Feel free to comment or reach out if you’re also attending.

COVID-19

Oro-facial mucocutaneous manifestations of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review – Fakhruddin et al. – PLOS ONE

Preprint: The salivary and nasopharyngeal microbiomes are associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity – Kim et al. – bioRxiv

Determinants of the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy spectrum – Piltch-Loeb et al. – PLOS ONE

General microbiome

Preprint: Fatty acid synthesis knockdown promotes biofilm wrinkling and inhibits sporulation in Bacillus subtilis – Arjes et al. – bioRxiv

Association of Strongyloides stercoralis infection and type 2 diabetes mellitus in northeastern Thailand: Impact on diabetic complication-related renal biochemical parameters – Yingklang et al. – PLOS ONE

Analysis of secondary metabolite gene clusters and chitin biosynthesis pathways of Monascus purpureus with high production of pigment and citrinin based on whole-genome sequencing – Zhang et al. – PLOS ONE

Human respiratory microbiome

A novel class of antimicrobial drugs selectively targets a Mycobacterium tuberculosis PE-PGRS protein – Seo et al. – PLOS Biology

Human oral microbiome

Preprint: Assessing the influence of the Mediterranean diet on dental calculus microbiome composition: a pilot study – Innocenti et al. – bioRxiv

Human gut microbiome

Lactobacillus plantarum improves LPS-induced Caco2 cell line intestinal barrier damage via cyclic AMP-PKA signaling – Wei et al. – PLOS ONE

Water and extremophile microbiome (sea, rivers, lakes, glaciers, permafrost, high-salt)

Preprint: Eukaryotic genomes from a global metagenomic dataset illuminate trophic modes and biogeography of ocean plankton – Alexander et al. – bioRxiv

Bioinformatics

backbone: An R package to extract network backbones – Neal – PLOS ONE


May 6, 2022

Happy Friday! Today’s microbiome digest is a grab bag of articles on topics such as antibiotic cycling and bacterial contamination in surgery, phage isolated from diseased seafood, and microbial communities in snuff. I was particularly interested to see the article focused on degradation genes found in steel industrial soil communities. Finally, I enjoyed checking out two preprints on oral microbiota in Agta, a group of hunter-gatherers from the Philippines.

General microbiome

Preprint: The making of the oral microbiome in Agta hunter-gatherers – Dobon et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Microbial population dynamics decouple nutrient affinity from environmental concentration – Fink et al. – bioRxiv

Beneath the surface: Amino acid variation underlying two decades of dengue virus antigenic dynamics in Bangkok, Thailand – Huang et al. – PLOS Pathogens

Preprint: Hunter-gatherer oral microbiomes are shaped by contact network structure – Muscitto et al. – bioRxiv

Which vaccine attributes foster vaccine uptake? A cross-country conjoint experiment – Stöckli et al. – PLOS ONE

Associations between microbial communities and key chemical constituents in U.S. domestic moist snuff – Tyxobert et al. – PLOS ONE

Multi-site human microbiome

Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, immune activation, and risk of HIV acquisition – Bender Ignacio et al. – PLOS ONE

The effects of antibiotic cycling and mixing on acquisition of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the ICU: A post-hoc individual patient analysis of a prospective cluster-randomized crossover study – van Duijin et al. – PLOS ONE

Human gut microbiome

Efficacy of laparotomy sponges to reduce bacterial contamination using an in vitro gastrointestinal surgery model – Bezhentseva et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal experiments

Virulence and antimicrobial resistance gene profiles of Staphylococcus aureus associated with clinical mastitis in cattle – Neelam et al. – PLOS ONE

Preexisting Trichinella spiralis infection attenuates the severity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced pneumonia – Rong Long et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Metagenomic analysis for taxonomic and functional potential of Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) degrading bacterial communities in steel industrial soil – Sandhu et al. – PLOS ONE

Water and extremophile microbiome

Transcriptomic analysis of chloride tolerance in Leptospirillum ferriphilum DSM 14647 adapted to NaCl – Rivera-Araya et al. – PLOS ONE

Food microbiology

Sole and combined effect of foliar zinc and arbuscular mycorrhizae inoculation on basmati rice growth, productivity and grains nutrient – Mehmood et al. – PLOS ONE

Characterization and complete genome sequence analysis of a newly isolated phage against Vibrio parahaemolyticus from sick shrimp in Qingdao, China – Tian et al. – PLOS ONE

Techniques

Financial incentives to increase stool collection rates for microbiome studies in adult bone marrow transplant patients – Thompson et al. – PLOS ONE

April 8, 2022

Good morning! Today’s microbiome digest is brought to you by mild insomnia induced by a mid-afternoon coffee. It includes two food related studies, one on pathogenic E. coli found in ready-to-eat foods and the other focused on a antifungal lipopeptide produced by B. velezensis isolated from honey, and an an article focused on a new approach for processing frozen lung and lavage samples for use in microbiome studies. Also included are several articles focused on the gut microbiome, and several preprints focused on soil microbiome studies. Finally, I want to highlight a piece that details the positive outcomes associated with the National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP). Registration for this year’s program is still open until April 15th, and the organizers are looking for both mentors, mentees, and donors!


Pregnancy and early life

Group B Streptococcus colonization at delivery is associated with maternal peripartum infection – Brigtsen et al. – PLOS ONE

Human gut microbiome

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and microbiome profile of patients in a referral gastrointestinal diseases centre in the Sudan – Elmagzoub et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal experiments

Vertical transmission of attaching and invasive E. coli from the dam to neonatal mice predisposes to more severe colitis following exposure to a colitic insult later in life – Brand et al. – PLOS ONE

Sex differences in the fecal microbiome and hippocampal glial morphology following diet and antibiotic treatment – Saxena et al. – PLOS ONE

Animal microbiome

Preprint: Anthropogenic disturbance impacts gut microbiome homeostasis in a Malagasy primate – Wasimuddin et al. – bioRxiv

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Microclimate is a strong predictor of the native and invasive plant-associated soil microbiota on San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos archipelago – Schoenborn et al. bioRxiv

Preprint: The activity and functions of soil microbial communities in the Finnish sub-Arctic vary across vegetation types – Vitamaki et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Tracing carbon metabolism with stable isotope metabolomics reveals the legacy of diverse carbon sources in soil – Wilhelm et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome (sea, rivers, lakes, glaciers, permafrost, high-salt)

Preprint: Culexarchaeia, a novel archaeal class of anaerobic generalists inhabiting geothermal environments – Kohtz et al. – bioRxiv

Food microbiology

Processed ready-to-eat (RTE) foods sold in Yenagoa Nigeria were colonized by diarrheagenic Escherichia coli which constitute a probable hazard to human health – Beshiru et al. – PLOS ONE

Purification and characterization of antifungal lipopeptide produced by Bacillus velezensis isolated from raw honey – Ziong et al. – PLOS ONE

Techniques

An optimized approach for processing of frozen lung and lavage samples for microbiome studies – Wiscovitch-Russo et al. – PLOS ONE

Science, publishing, and career

***National Summer Undergraduate Research Project (NSURP): A Virtual Research Experience to Deliver REAL (Retention, Equity, Access, and Life-Changing) Outcomes for Underrepresented Minorities in STEM – Johnson & Knox – JMBE

March 3, 2022

Today’s digest is heavy on studies focused on the gut and soil microbiomes. It also includes articles focused on microbial indoor air quality as well as bacterial vaginosis and aerobic vaginitis among pregnant women. If you’d still like more, I’ve also included several preprints.

Happy reading!


Human vaginal microbiome

Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and aerobic vaginitis and their associated risk factors among pregnant women from northern Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study – Yalew et al. – PLOS One

Human gut microbiome

Systematically assessing microbiome–disease associations identifies drivers of inconsistency in metagenomic research – Tierney et al. – PLOS Biology

Preprint: Gut microbiome dysbiosis during COVID-19 is associated with increased risk for bacteremia and microbial translocation – Venzon et al. – bioRxiv

Hydrogen-producing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is associated with hepatic encephalopathy and liver function – Yokoyama et al. – PLOS One

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Deciphering the potential niche of two novel black yeast fungi from a biological soil crust based on their genomes, phenotypes, and melanin regulation – Carr et al. – bioRxiv

Bacterial age distribution in soil—Generational gaps in adjacent hot and cold spots – Borer & Or – PLOS Computational Biology

Deciphering the influence of Bacillus subtilis strain Ydj3 colonization on the vitamin C contents and rhizosphere microbiomes of sweet peppers – Liang et al. – PLOS One

Antimicrobial effect and mechanism of bovine lactoferrin against the potato common scab pathogen Streptomyces scabiei – Nakamura et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal composition across US citrus orchards, management strategies, and disease severity spectrum – Xi et al. – bioRxiv

Built environment

Comprehensive health risk assessment of microbial indoor air quality in microenvironments – Kumar et al. – PLOS One

Phages and viruses

Preprint: Modelling the synergistic effect of bacteriophage and antibiotics on bacteria: killers and drivers of resistance evolution – Leclerc et al. -bioRxiv

Bioinformatics

Preprint: Structure-informed microbial population genetics elucidate selective pressures that shape protein evolution – Kiefl et al. – bioRxiv

February 9, 2022

Today’s digest includes a Nature Medicine news feature on the role of preprints in the COVID-19 pandemic. Also included are an article about unsupervised clustering methods for microbiome data, the response of anammox consortia to nutrient starvation, and a handful of interesting preprints.

Animal experiments

Preprint: Phylogenetic diversity analysis of shotgun metagenomic reads describes gut microbiome development and treatment effects in the post-weaned pig – Gaio et al. – bioRxiv

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Preprint: Ecological insights into soil health according to the life-history traits and environment-wide associations of bacteria in agricultural soils – Wilhelm et al. – bioRxiv

Water and extremophile microbiome

Response and resilience of anammox consortia to nutrient starvation – Wang et al. – Microbiome

Bioinformatics

Preprint: Model-free prediction of microbiome compositions – Asher & Bashan – bioRxiv

Preprint: Predicting the re-distribution of antibiotic molecules caused by inter-species interactions in microbial communities – Reding – bioRxiv

Performance determinants of unsupervised clustering methods for microbiome data – Shi et al. – Microbiome

Science, publishing, and career

Rise of the preprint: how rapid data sharing during COVID-19 has changed science forever – Watson – Nature Medicine

January 7, 2022

Today’s digest covers a range of topics including a duplex qPCR assay to detect lung infections, an investigation into sand fly symbionts, and a characterization of a fermented soybean food (Pe poke). If you want to end the week on a good note, I’d suggest reading the two articles I’ve highlighted below. One demonstrates that flooding and ecological restoration of former cranberry farmland also restores wetland microbial communities and soil function. The second provides a new barcoding strategy for the phenotypic screening of mosquitos that can be applied towards malaria research.

Happy reading!

General microbiome

Controlled spatial organization of bacterial growth reveals key role of cell filamentation preceding Xylella fastidiosa biofilm formation – Anbumani et al. – npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

Bacteria can be selected to help beneficial plasmids spread – Dimitriu et al. – PLOS Biology

Genome-wide gene expression noise in Escherichia coli is condition-dependent and determined by propagation of noise through the regulatory network – Urchueguía et al. – PLOS Biology

Human respiratory microbiome

Detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii and Toxoplasma gondii in patients with lung infections by a duplex qPCR assay – Wu et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Animal experiments

***Barcoded Asaia bacteria enable mosquito in vivo screens and identify novel systemic insecticides and inhibitors of malaria transmission – Sturm et al. – PLOS Biology

Molecular phylogeny of heritable symbionts and microbiota diversity analysis in phlebotominae sand flies and Culex nigripalpus from Colombia – Vivero-Gomez – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Shotgun sequence-based metataxonomic and predictive functional profiles of Pe poke, a naturally fermented soybean food of Myanmar – Tamang et al. – PLOS One

***Flooding and ecological restoration promote wetland microbial communities and soil functions on former cranberry farmland – Rubin et al. – PLOS One

Water and extremophile microbiome

Coral reef biofilm bacterial diversity and successional trajectories are structured by reef benthic organisms and shift under chronic nutrient enrichment – Remple et al. – npj Biofilms and Microbiomes

December 20, 2021

Today’s digest is a grab bag that includes research articles on the vaginal microbiota, the gut microbiota of dairy calves, microbial loads in medical waste, and more! I’ve also highlighted a non-microbiology article that found that pet dog owners were significantly less depressed than non-pet owners during the pandemic. So if you’re looking for more reasons to adopt a new furry friend, you can add this one to the list!

General microbiome

Genomic comparison and phenotypic profiling of small colony variants of Burkholderia pseudomallei – Zulkefli et al. – PLOS One

Human vaginal microbiome

Vaginal microbiota of American Indian women and associations with measures of psychosocial stress – Borgogna et al. – PLOS One

Human gut microbiome

Gut microbiota features associated with Clostridioides difficile colonization in dairy calves – Redding et al. – PLOS One

Animal microbiome

Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) as potential vectors for Leishmania martiniquensis and Trypanosoma sp. in northern Thailand – Sunantaraporn et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Migratory wild birds carrying multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli as potential transmitters of antimicrobial resistance in China – Yuan et al. – PLOS One

Plant, root, and soil microbiome

Characterization of soils conducive and non-conducive to Prunus replant disease – Khan et al. – Plos One

Built environment

Disposal habits and microbial load of solid medical waste in sub-district healthcare facilities and households in Yilo-Krobo municipality, Ghana – Egbenyah et al. – PLOS One

Phages and viruses

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the potential non-human animal reservoirs and arthropod vectors of the Mayaro virus – Celone et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Bioinformatics

Genomic prediction using low-coverage portable Nanopore sequencing – Lamb et al. – PLOS One

Development of an efficient Sanger sequencing-based assay for detecting SARS-CoV-2 spike mutations – Lim et al. – PLOS One

Kara’s non-microbiology pick

***Depression, anxiety, and happiness in dog owners and potential dog owners during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States – Martin et al. – PLOS One

December 2, 2021

Happy December from Pittsburgh!

Today’s digest includes original research on the impacts of fungal entomopathogens on Wolbacia infections and the influence of nutrient status on the response of a diatom to oil and dispersant. I have also included a study protocol for oral microbiome transplant for the treatment of dental caries and periodontal disease as well as preprints on a variety of topics. Finally, I want to highlight two articles I included that are little different from my usual content: the first is on predictors of willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and the second is focused on transparency in peer review.

Enjoy!

COVID-19

***To vaccinate or not to vaccinate!? Predictors of willingness to receive Covid-19 vaccination in Europe, the U.S., and China – Brailovskaia et al. – PLOS One

General microbiome

Preprint: Copper nanoparticles as modulator of active bacterial population and their physiology in ecosphere – Alboloushi et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Metabolite Damage and Damage-Control in a Minimal Genome – Haas et al. – bioRxiv

Development and characterization of an oral microbiome transplant among Australians for the treatment of dental caries and periodontal disease: A study protocol – Nath et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Heat activation and inactivation of bacterial spores. Is there an overlap? – Wen et al. – bioRxiv

Animal experiments

Inferring Mycobacterium bovis transmission between cattle and badgers using isolates from the Randomised Badger Culling Trial – van Tonder et al. – PLOS Pathogens

Animal microbiome

Impacts of fungal entomopathogens on survival and immune responses of Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens mosquitoes in the context of native Wolbachia infections – Ramirez et al. – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

Water and extremophile microbiome

Influence of nutrient status on the response of the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to oil and dispersant – Kamalanathan et al. – PLOS One

Preprint: Community-wide epigenetics provides novel perspectives on the ecology and evolution of marine microbiome – Seong et al. – bioRxiv

Preprint: Microbial cysteine degradation is a source of hydrogen sulfide in oxic freshwater lakes – Tran et al. – bioRxiv

Bioinformatics

When and why direct transmission models can be used for environmentally persistent pathogens – Benson – PLOS Computational Biology

Techniques

Preprint: The processing of staphylococcal biofilm images from Fluorescence and Confocal Microscopy to assess in vitro efficacy of antiseptic molecules – Krasowski et al. – bioRxiv

Science, publishing, and career

***Transparency in peer review: Exploring the content and tone of reviewers’ confidential comments to editors – O’Brien et al. – PLOS One