Sputum microbiota associated with new, recurrent and treatment failure tuberculosis

Jing Wu, Wei Liu, Lei He, Fuli Huang, Jiazhen Chen, Peng Cui, Yaojie Shen, Jing Zhao, Wenjie Wang, Yan Zhang, Min Zhu, Wenhong Zhang, Ying Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microbiota have recently been shown to be associated with many disease conditions. However, the microbiota associated with tuberculosis (TB) infection, recurrence and treatment outcome have not been systematically characterized. Here, we used high throughput 16S RNA sequencing to analyze the sputum microbiota associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and also to identify the microorganisms associated with different outcomes of TB treatment. We recruited 25 new TB patients, 30 recurrent TB patients and 20 TB patients with treatment failure, as well as 20 healthy controls. Streptococcus, Gramulicatella and Pseudomonas were more abundant in TB patients while Prevotella, Leptotrichia , Treponema, Catonella and Coprococcus were less abundant in TB patients than in the healthy controls. We found reduced frequency and abundance of some genera such as Bulleidia and Atopobium in recurrent TB patients compared with those in new TB patients. In addition, the ratio of Pseudomonas / Mycobacterium in recurrent TB was higher than that in new TB while the ratio of Treponema / Mycobacterium in recurrent TB was lower than that in new TB, indicating that disruption of these bacteria may be a risk factor of TB recurrence. Furthermore, Pseudomonas was more abundant and more frequently present in treatment failure patients than in cured new patients, and the ratio of Pseudomonas / Mycobacterium in treatment failure was higher than that in new TB. Our data suggest that the presence of certain bacteria and the disorder of lung microbiota may be associated with not only onset of TB but also its recurrence and treatment failure. These findings indicate that lung microbiota may play a role in pathogenesis and treatment outcome of TB and may need to be taken into consideration for improved treatment and control of TB in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere83445
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 13 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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