Oral metagenomics in ECRHS III

Oral metagenomics data show very different bacterial load and diversity in oral samples from study participants in ECRHS III study centers Melbourne (AU), Tartu (EE) and Bergen (NO)

Boxplot showing MGS richness and Shannon index across samples, grouped by study site
Clinical Microbiomics

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Durint the third clinical follow-up of study participants in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) III, three study centers (Bergen, Melbourne og Tartu) collected gingival samples (gingival fluid between tooth and gingiva (gum)). Microbiome analyses have now been performed on these samples (in total 355 samples) by shotgun sequencing - or else also known as metagenomics. The bacteria richness and diversity (alpha- and beta-diversity) are very different between these three study centers. 

Using biostatistical modelling, we are now looking into determinants that can explain the different bacteria composition seen between these study centers - or to verify whether the geographical difference is the most important determinant. Behavioural and cultural differences may contribute, with factors like smoking, diet, periodontal health status and medication use, including antibiotics. 

We are now starting the fourth clinical follow-up (ECHRS IV) in Bergen in February 2022. We are inviting the same participants for whom we collected gingival samples in ECRHS III (10 years ago). Tartu and Melbourne are also planning the clinical follow-up of their study participants. This will make it possible to explore how oral microbiome affect lung health over time, by looking av changes in lung function, and respiratory disease and symptoms status. 

Furthermore, we will explore the composition of gram-negative bacteria with different types of lipid As, leading to different inflammation potential (hexa vs penta-acylated lipid As) and study how this affect lung function and respiratory disease over time. 

This gives BRuSH access to unique material collected from community-based based populations from several study centers over time.