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Microbiome taxa associated with parasitic nematodes is unknown. These invertebrate parasites could act not only as reservoirs and vectors for horizontally transferred virulence factors, but could also provide a potential pool of future emerging pathogens. Trichuris trichiura and Trichuris suis are geohelminths parasitizing the caecum of primates, including humans, and pigs, respectively. The present work is a preliminary study to evaluate the bacterial communities associated with T. trichiura and T. suis, using High Throughput Sequencing and checking the possible presence of pathogens in these nematodes, to determine whether parasitic helminths act as vectors for bacterial pathogens in human and animal hosts. Five T. trichiura adult specimens were obtained from the caecum of macaque (Macaca sylvanus) and two T. suis adults were collected from the caecum of swine (Sus scrofa domestica). The 16S rRNA gene HTS approach was employed to investigate the composition and diversity of bacterial communities in Trichuris spp., with special emphasis at its intestinal level. All samples showed a rich colonization by bacteria, included, preferently, in the phyla Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria and Verrucomicrobia. A total of 36 phyla and more than 200 families were identified in the samples. Potential pathogen bacteria were detected in these helminths related to the genera Bartonella, Mycobacterium, Rickettsia, Salmonella, Escherichia/Shigella, Aeromonas and Clostridium. The presence of pathogenic bacteria in Trichuris spp. would position these species as a new threat to humans since these nematodes could spread new diseases. This study will also contribute to the understanding of the host-microbiota relation. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Angela Maria García-Sánchez, Ana Zelia Miller, Ana Teresa Caldeira, Cristina Cutillas. Bacterial communities from Trichuris spp. A contribution to deciphering the role of parasitic nematodes as vector of pathogens. Acta tropica. 2022 Feb;226:106277

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PMID: 34919951

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