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Exploring interactions between Blastocystis sp., Strongyloides spp. and the gut microbiomes of wild chimpanzees in Senegal

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  • Justinn Renelies-Hamilton
  • Marc Noguera-Julian
  • Mariona Parera
  • Roger Paredes
  • Liliana Pacheco
  • Elena Dacal
  • José M. Saugar
  • José M. Rubio
  • Poulsen, Michael
  • Pamela C. Köster
  • David Carmena

Background: Gut parasites exert an important influence on the gut microbiome, with many studies focusing on the human gut microbiome. It has, however, undergone severe richness depletion. Hygienic lifestyle, antimicrobial treatments and altered gut homeostasis (e.g., chronic inflammation) reduce gut microbiome richness and also parasite prevalence; which may confound results. Studying species closely related to humans could help overcome this problem by providing insights into the ancestral relationship between humans, their gut microbiome and their gut parasites. Chimpanzees are a particularly promising model as they have similar gut microbiomes to humans and many parasites infect both species. Aims: We study the interaction between gut microbiome and enteric parasites in chimpanzees. Investigating what novel insights a closely related species can reveal when compared to studies on humans. Methods: Using eighty-seven faecal samples from wild western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Senegal, we combine 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing for gut microbiome characterization with PCR detection of parasite taxa (Blastocystis sp., Strongyloides spp., Giardia duodenalis, Cryptosporidium spp., Plasmodium spp., Filariae and Trypanosomatidae). We test for differences in gut microbiota ecosystem traits and taxonomical composition between Blastocystis and Strongyloides bearing and non-bearing samples. Results: For Blastocystis, twelve differentially abundant taxa (e.g., Methanobrevibacter), including Prevotella and Ruminococcus-Methanobrevibacter enterotype markers, replicate findings in humans. However, several richness indices are lower in Blastocystis carriers, contradicting human studies. This indicates Blastocystis, unlike Strongyloides, is associated to a “poor health” gut microbiome, as does the fact that Faecalibacterium, a bacterium with gut protective traits, is absent in Blastocystis-positive samples. Strongyloides was associated to Alloprevotella and five other taxonomic groups. Each parasite had its unique impact on the gut microbiota indicating parasite-specific niches. Our results suggest that studying the gut microbiomes of wild chimpanzees could help disentangle biological from artefactual associations between gut microbiomes and parasites.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer104010
TidsskriftInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Vol/bind74
Antal sider9
ISSN1567-1348
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2019

ID: 227042222