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Type: Journal article
Title: Longitudinal study of oral microbiome variation in twins
Author: Freire, M.
Moustafa, A.
Harkins, D.
Torralba, M.
Zhang, Y.
Leong, P.
Saffery, R.
Bockmann, M.
Kuelbs, C.
Hughes, T.E.
Craig, J.
Nelson, K.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2020; 10(1):7954-1-7954-10
Publisher: Nature Research
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Marcelo Freire, Ahmed Moustafa, Derek M. Harkins, Manolito G. Torralba, Yun Zhang, Pamela Leong, Richard Saffery, Michelle Bockmann, Claire Kuelbs, Toby Hughes, Jeffrey M. Craig, Karen E. Nelson
Abstract: Humans are host to a multitude of microorganisms that rapidly populate the body at birth, subject to a complex interplay that is dependent on host genetics, lifestyle, and environment. The host-associated microbiome, including the oral microbiome, presents itself in a complex ecosystem important to health and disease. As the most common chronic disease globally, dental caries is induced by host-microbial dysbiosis in children and adults. Multiple biological and environmental factors are likely to impact disease predisposition, onset, progression, and severity, yet longitudinal studies able to capture these influences are missing. To investigate how host genetics and environment influenced the oral microbial communities over time, we profiled supragingival plaque microbiomes of dizygotic and monozygotic twins during 3 visits over 12-months. Dental plaque DNA samples were amplified by targeting the 16S rRNA gene V4 region, and microbial findings were correlated with clinical, diet and genetic metadata. We observed that the oral microbiome variances were shaped primarily by the environment when compared to host genetics. Among the environmental factors shaping microbial changes of our subjects, significant metadata included age of the subject, and the age by which subjects initiated brushing habits, and the types of actions post-brushing. Relevant heritability of the microbiome included Actinomyces and Capnocytophaga in monozygotic twins and Kingella in dizygotic twins. Corynebacterium and Veillonella abundances were associated with age, whereas Aggregatibacter was associated with younger subjects. Streptococcus abundance showed an inverse association over time, and Selenomonas abundances increased with brushing frequency per day. Unraveling the exact biological mechanisms in caries has the potential to reveal novel host-microbial biomarkers, pathways, and targets important to effective preventive measures, and early disease control in children.
Keywords: Mouth
Oral Hygiene
Longitudinal Studies
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-64747-1
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