The gut mycobiome of the Human Microbiome Project healthy cohort

Andrea K NashJoseph F Petrosino


Most studies describing the human gut microbiome in healthy and diseased states have emphasized the bacterial component, but the fungal microbiome (i.e., the mycobiome) is beginning to gain recognition as a fundamental part of our microbiome. To date, human gut mycobiome studies have primarily been disease centric or in small cohorts of healthy individuals. To contribute to existing knowledge of the human mycobiome, we investigated the gut mycobiome of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) cohort by sequencing the Internal Transcribed Spacer 2 (ITS2) region as well as the 18S rRNA gene. Three hundred seventeen HMP stool samples were analyzed by ITS2 sequencing. Fecal fungal diversity was significantly lower in comparison to bacterial diversity. Yeast dominated the samples, comprising eight of the top 15 most abundant genera. Specifically, fungal communities were characterized by a high prevalence of Saccharomyces, Malassezia, and Candida, with S. cerevisiae, M. restricta, and C. albicans operational taxonomic units (OTUs) present in 96.8, 88.3, and 80.8% of samples, respectively. There was a high degree of inter- and intra-volunteer variability in fungal communities. However, S. cerevisiae, M. restricta, and C. albicans OTUs were ...Continue Reading


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