Human Oral Buccal Microbiomes Are Associated with Farmworker Status and Azinphos-Methyl Agricultural Pesticide Exposure

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Reviewed Marked as Reviewed by Atrayees on 2023-7-6
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DOI Digital object identifier for electronic documents.
Stanaway IB, Wallace JC, Shojaie A, Griffith WC, Hong S, Wilder CS, Green FH, Tsai J, Knight M, Workman T, Vigoren EM, McLean JS, Thompson B, Faustman EM
Applied and environmental microbiology
16S rRNA, azinphos-methyl, bacteria, buccal mucosa, farmworkers, microbiome, oral, sequencing
In a longitudinal agricultural community cohort sampling of 65 adult farmworkers and 52 adult nonfarmworkers, we investigated agricultural pesticide exposure-associated changes in the oral buccal microbiota. We found a seasonally persistent association between the detected blood concentration of the insecticide azinphos-methyl and the taxonomic composition of the buccal swab oral microbiome. Blood and buccal samples were collected concurrently from individual subjects in two seasons, spring/summer 2005 and winter 2006. Mass spectrometry quantified blood concentrations of the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl. Buccal oral microbiome samples were 16S rRNA gene DNA sequenced, assigned to the bacterial taxonomy, and analyzed after "centered-log-ratio" transformation to handle the compositional nature of the proportional abundances of bacteria per sample. Nonparametric analysis of the transformed microbiome data for individuals with and without azinphos-methyl blood detection showed significant perturbations in seven common bacterial taxa (>0.5% of sample mean read depth), including significant reductions in members of the common oral bacterial genus Streptococcus Diversity in centered-log-ratio composition between individuals' microbiomes was also investigated using principal-component analysis (PCA) to reveal two primary PCA clusters of microbiome types. The spring/summer "exposed" microbiome cluster with significantly less bacterial diversity was enriched for farmworkers and contained 27 of the 30 individuals who also had azinphos-methyl agricultural pesticide exposure detected in the blood. IMPORTANCE: In this study, we show in human subjects that organophosphate pesticide exposure is associated with large-scale significant alterations of the oral buccal microbiota composition, with extinctions of whole taxa suggested in some individuals. The persistence of this association from the spring/summer to the winter also suggests that long-lasting effects on the commensal microbiota have occurred. The important health-related outcomes of these agricultural community individuals' pesticide-associated microbiome perturbations are not understood at this time. Future investigations should index medical and dental records for common and chronic diseases that may be interactively caused by this association between pesticide exposure and microbiome alteration.

Experiment 1

Reviewed Marked as Reviewed by Atrayees on 2023-7-6

Curated date: 2021/01/10

Curator: WikiWorks

Revision editor(s): Claregrieve1, WikiWorks, Atrayees


Location of subjects
United States of America
Host species Species from which microbiome was sampled. Contact us to have more species added.
Homo sapiens
Body site Anatomical site where microbial samples were extracted from according to the Uber Anatomy Ontology
Buccal mucosa Buccal mucosa,buccal mucosa
Condition The experimental condition / phenotype studied according to the Experimental Factor Ontology
Air pollution air pollution,Air pollution
Group 0 name Corresponds to the control (unexposed) group for case-control studies
Winter individuals
Group 1 name Corresponds to the case (exposed) group for case-control studies
Spring/Summer individuals
Group 1 definition Diagnostic criteria applied to define the specific condition / phenotype represented in the case (exposed) group
Individuals for whom sequencing was performed had previous spring/summer blood azinphos-methyl detection by mass spectrometry as evidence of pesticide exposure.
Group 0 sample size Number of subjects in the control (unexposed) group
Group 1 sample size Number of subjects in the case (exposed) group

Lab analysis

Sequencing type
16S variable region One or more hypervariable region(s) of the bacterial 16S gene
Sequencing platform Manufacturer and experimental platform used for quantifying microbial abundance
Ion Torrent

Statistical Analysis

Data transformation Data transformation applied to microbial abundance measurements prior to differential abundance testing (if any).
centered log-ratio
Statistical test
Mann-Whitney (Wilcoxon)
Significance threshold p-value or FDR threshold used for differential abundance testing (if any)
MHT correction Have statistical tests be corrected for multiple hypothesis testing (MHT)?

Alpha Diversity

Chao1 Abundance-based estimator of species richness
Richness Number of species

Signature 1

Reviewed Marked as Reviewed by Atrayees on 2023-7-6

Curated date: 2021/01/10

Curator: Victoria Goulbourne

Revision editor(s): Lwaldron, Atrayees, WikiWorks, Aiyshaaaa

Source: Table 1

Description: Wilcoxon's rank sum test of azinphos-methyl blood detection groups for compositional pertubation

Abundance in Group 1: decreased abundance in Spring/Summer individuals

NCBI Quality ControlLinks

Revision editor(s): Lwaldron, Atrayees, WikiWorks, Aiyshaaaa