Torres PJ, Thompson J, McLean JS, Kelley ST, Edlund A
Discovery of a Novel Periodontal Disease-Associated Bacterium.
Microbial ecology. 2018-06-02;
One of the world's most common infectious disease, periodontitis (PD), derives from largely uncharacterized communities of oral bacteria growing as biofilms (a.k.a. plaque) on teeth and gum surfaces in periodontal pockets. Bacteria associated with periodontal disease trigger inflammatory responses in immune cells, which in later stages of the disease cause loss of both soft and hard tissue structures supporting teeth. Thus far, only a handful of bacteria have been characterized as infectious agents of PD. Although deep sequencing technologies, such as whole community shotgun sequencing have the potential to capture a detailed picture of highly complex bacterial communities in any given environment, we still lack major reference genomes for the oral microbiome associated with PD and other diseases. In recent work, by using a combination of supervised machine learning and genome assembly, we identified a genome from a novel member of the Bacteroidetes phylum in periodontal samples. Here, by applying a comparative metagenomics read-classification approach, including 272 metagenomes from various human body sites, and our previously assembled draft genome of the uncultivated Candidatus Bacteroides periocalifornicus (CBP) bacterium, we show CBP's ubiquitous distribution in dental plaque, as well as its strong association with the well-known pathogenic "red complex" that resides in deep periodontal pockets.