The nasal microbiota of dairy farmers is more complex than oral microbiota, reflects occupational exposure, and provides competition for staphylococci

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Abstract

© 2017 Shukla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Allergic and autoimmune diseases had been attributed to lack of exposure to biodiversity, an important factor in regulating immune homeostasis in a healthy host. We posit that the microbiome of healthy dairy farmers (DF) will be richer than non-farmers (NF) living in urban settings due to exposure to a greater biodiversity in the dairy environment. However, no studies have investigated the relationships between microbiota of dairy farmers (DF) compared with urban non-farmers (NF). We compared the nasal and oral microbiota of dairy farmers (N_DF, O_DF, respectively) with nasal and oral microbiota of NF in the same geographical area. The N_DF showed high microbial diversity with hundreds of unique genera that reflected environmental/occupational exposures. The nasal and oral microbiomes clustered separately from each other using Principal Coordinate Analysis, and with DF harboring two-fold and 1.5-fold greater exclusive genera in their nose and mouth respectively, than did non-farmers. Additionally, the N_DF group had a lower burden of Staphylococcus spp. suggesting a correlation between higher microbial diversity and competition for colonization by staphylococci. The N_DF samples were negative for the mecA gene, a marker of methicillin-resistance in staphylococci. The lower burden of staphylococci was found to be independent of the abundance of Corynebacterium spp. Exposure to greater biodiversity could enhan ce microbial competition, thereby reducing colonization with opportunistic pathogens. Future studies will analyze whether exposure to livestock microbiomes offers protection from acute and chronic diseases.

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Shukla, S. K., Ye, Z., Sandberg, S., Reyes, I., Fritsche, T. R., & Keifer, M. (2017). The nasal microbiota of dairy farmers is more complex than oral microbiota, reflects occupational exposure, and provides competition for staphylococci. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183898

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