Disordered microbial communities in the upper respiratory tract of cigarette smokers

Emily S. Charlson, Jun Chen, Rebecca Custers-Allen, Kyle Bittinger, Hongzhe Li, Rohini Sinha, Jennifer Hwang, Frederic D. Bushman, Ronald G. Collman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

154 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cigarette smokers have an increased risk of infectious diseases involving the respiratory tract. Some effects of smoking on specific respiratory tract bacteria have been described, but the consequences for global airway microbial community composition have not been determined. Here, we used culture-independent high-density sequencing to analyze the microbiota from the right and left nasopharynx and oropharynx of 29 smoking and 33 nonsmoking healthy asymptomatic adults to assess microbial composition and effects of cigarette smoking. Bacterial communities were profiled using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S sequence tags (803,391 total reads), aligned to 16S rRNA databases, and communities compared using the UniFrac distance metric. A Random Forest machine-learning algorithm was used to predict smoking status and identify taxa that best distinguished between smokers and nonsmokers. Community composition was primarily determined by airway site, with individuals exhibiting minimal side-of-body or temporal variation. Within airway habitats, microbiota from smokers were significantly more diverse than nonsmokers and clustered separately. The distributions of several genera were systematically altered by smoking in both the oro- and nasopharynx, and there was an enrichment of anaerobic lineages associated with periodontal disease in the oropharynx. These results indicate that distinct regions of the human upper respiratory tract contain characteristic microbial communities that exhibit disordered patterns in cigarette smokers, both in individual components and global structure, which may contribute to the prevalence of respiratory tract complications in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15216
JournalPLoS One
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

cigarettes
respiratory system
Tobacco Products
Respiratory System
microbial communities
Smoking
Oropharynx
nasopharynx
Chemical analysis
Nasopharynx
Microbiota
Learning algorithms
smoking (habit)
Learning systems
artificial intelligence
Bacteria
bacterial communities
infectious diseases
temporal variation
Periodontal Diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Charlson, E. S., Chen, J., Custers-Allen, R., Bittinger, K., Li, H., Sinha, R., ... Collman, R. G. (2010). Disordered microbial communities in the upper respiratory tract of cigarette smokers. PLoS One, 5(12), [e15216]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015216

Disordered microbial communities in the upper respiratory tract of cigarette smokers. / Charlson, Emily S.; Chen, Jun; Custers-Allen, Rebecca; Bittinger, Kyle; Li, Hongzhe; Sinha, Rohini; Hwang, Jennifer; Bushman, Frederic D.; Collman, Ronald G.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 5, No. 12, e15216, 2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Charlson, ES, Chen, J, Custers-Allen, R, Bittinger, K, Li, H, Sinha, R, Hwang, J, Bushman, FD & Collman, RG 2010, 'Disordered microbial communities in the upper respiratory tract of cigarette smokers', PLoS One, vol. 5, no. 12, e15216. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015216
Charlson, Emily S. ; Chen, Jun ; Custers-Allen, Rebecca ; Bittinger, Kyle ; Li, Hongzhe ; Sinha, Rohini ; Hwang, Jennifer ; Bushman, Frederic D. ; Collman, Ronald G. / Disordered microbial communities in the upper respiratory tract of cigarette smokers. In: PLoS One. 2010 ; Vol. 5, No. 12.
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