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Study Highlights Person-to-Person Microbiome Transmission

An investigation into how person-to-person interactions affect gut and oral microbiomes is reported in Nature this week, revealing extensive sharing of microbes based on relationships and lifestyle. The human microbiome is an integral component of the human body and a co-determinant of several health conditions, yet little is known about how interpersonal relations shape the individual genetic makeup of the microbiome and its transmission within and across populations. In the new study, an international team led by scientists from the University of Trento in Italy analyzed the microbe composition of more than 9,700 stool and saliva samples from individuals in 20 countries, uncovering extensive bacterial strain sharing across individuals with distinct mother-to-infant, intra-household, and intra-population transmission patterns. Mother-to-infant microbiome transmission was particularly robust, remaining detectable well past infancy. Social interactions also drove microbe acquisition in adults, especially among cohabitating individuals. Notably, the researchers also found that, unlike with the gut microbiome, the transmission of oral microbiomes occurred mostly horizontally and increased with the amount of time people spent together. The findings, the study's authors write, suggests that person-to-person microorganism transmission may be involved in microbiome-associated diseases currently believed to be noncommunicable and should be considered in future microbiome studies.

The Scan

Open Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas Team Introduces Genomic Data Collection, Analytical Tools

A study in Cell Genomics outlines open-source methods being used to analyze and translate whole-genome, exome, and RNA sequence data from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas.

Neurological Outcomes Linked to Innate Immune Features After Cardiac Arrest

Researchers reporting in Med dig into immune features found a few hours after cardiac arrest that correspond with neurological outcomes.

Mouse Study Finds Circadian Rhythm-Related Gene Expression Changes Linked to Sleep Apnea

A paper in PLOS Biology reveals tissue-specific circadian rhythm and gene expression patterns in an intermittent hypoxia-based mouse model of obstructive sleep apnea.

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.