Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance

Suleyman Yildirim, Carl J. Yeoman, Sarath Chandra Janga, Susan M. Thomas, Mengfei Ho, Steven R. Leigh, Primate Microbiome Consortium, Bryan A. White, Brenda A. Wilson, Rebecca M. Stumpf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bacterial communities colonizing the reproductive tracts of primates (including humans) impact the health, survival and fitness of the host, and thereby the evolution of the host species. Despite their importance, we currently have a poor understanding of primate microbiomes. The composition and structure of microbial communities vary considerably depending on the host and environmental factors. We conducted comparative analyses of the primate vaginal microbiome using pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA genes of a phylogenetically broad range of primates to test for factors affecting the diversity of primate vaginal ecosystems. The nine primate species included: humans (Homo sapiens), yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus), olive baboons (Papio anubis), lemurs (Propithecus diadema), howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), red colobus (Piliocolobus rufomitratus), vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops), mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Our results indicated that all primates exhibited host-specific vaginal microbiota and that humans were distinct from other primates in both microbiome composition and diversity. In contrast to the gut microbiome, the vaginal microbiome showed limited congruence with host phylogeny, and neither captivity nor diet elicited substantial effects on the vaginal microbiomes of primates. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance and Wilcoxon tests revealed correlations among vaginal microbiota and host species-specific socioecological factors, particularly related to sexuality, including: female promiscuity, baculum length, gestation time, mating group size and neonatal birth weight. The proportion of unclassified taxa observed in nonhuman primate samples increased with phylogenetic distance from humans, indicative of the existence of previously unrecognized microbial taxa. These findings contribute to our understanding of host-microbe variation and coevolution, microbial biogeography, and disease risk, and have important implications for the use of animal models in studies of human sexual and reproductive diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2431-2444
Number of pages14
JournalISME Journal
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Species Specificity
Microbiota
Lactobacillus
primate
Primates
dominance (genetics)
Alouatta
Papio cynocephalus
Papio anubis
Pan troglodytes
Colobus
Cercocebus
Lemur
Strepsirhini
microbiome
Cercopithecus aethiops
reproductive disorders
Lemuridae
sexuality
phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance. / Yildirim, Suleyman; Yeoman, Carl J.; Janga, Sarath Chandra; Thomas, Susan M.; Ho, Mengfei; Leigh, Steven R.; Consortium, Primate Microbiome; White, Bryan A.; Wilson, Brenda A.; Stumpf, Rebecca M.

In: ISME Journal, Vol. 8, No. 12, 01.01.2014, p. 2431-2444.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yildirim, S, Yeoman, CJ, Janga, SC, Thomas, SM, Ho, M, Leigh, SR, Consortium, PM, White, BA, Wilson, BA & Stumpf, RM 2014, 'Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance', ISME Journal, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 2431-2444. https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2014.90
Yildirim S, Yeoman CJ, Janga SC, Thomas SM, Ho M, Leigh SR et al. Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance. ISME Journal. 2014 Jan 1;8(12):2431-2444. https://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2014.90
Yildirim, Suleyman ; Yeoman, Carl J. ; Janga, Sarath Chandra ; Thomas, Susan M. ; Ho, Mengfei ; Leigh, Steven R. ; Consortium, Primate Microbiome ; White, Bryan A. ; Wilson, Brenda A. ; Stumpf, Rebecca M. / Primate vaginal microbiomes exhibit species specificity without universal Lactobacillus dominance. In: ISME Journal. 2014 ; Vol. 8, No. 12. pp. 2431-2444.
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