Comparative assessment of faecal microbial composition and metabonome of swine, farmers and human control

Shiang Chiet Tan, Chun Wie Chong, Ivan Kok Seng Yap, Kwai Lin Thong, Cindy Shuan Ju Teh

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The gastrointestinal tract of humans and swine consist of a wide range of bacteria which interact with hosts metabolism. Due to the differences in co-evolution and co-adaptation, a large fraction of the gut microbiome is host-specific. In this study, we evaluated the effect of close human-animal interaction to the faecal metagenome and metabonome of swine, farmer and human control. Three distinct clusters were observed based on T-RFLP-derived faecal microbial composition. However, 16S-inferred faecal microbiota and metabolic profiles showed that only human control was significantly different from the swine (P < 0.05). The metabonome of farmers and human controls were highly similar. Notably, higher trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and butyrate were detected in human control and swine, respectively. The relative abundance of TMAO was positively correlated with Prevotella copri. Overall, we compared and established the relationship between the metabolites and microbiota composition of swine, farmers and human control. Based on the data obtained, we deduced that long term occupational exposure to swine and farm environment had affected the gut bacterial composition of farmers. Nonetheless, the effect was less prominent in the metabolite profiles, suggesting the gut bacteria expressed high functional plasticity and are therefore resilience to the level of community shift detected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8997
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020

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