Inter-individual differences in the oral bacteriome are greater than intra-day fluctuations in individuals

Yukuto Sato, Junya Yamagishi, Riu Yamashita, Natsuko Shinozaki, Bin Ye, Takuji Yamada, Masayuki Yamamoto, Masao Nagasaki, Akito Tsuboi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Given the advent of massively parallel DNA sequencing, human microbiome is analyzed comprehensively by metagenomic approaches. However, the inter- and intra-individual variability and stability of the human microbiome remain poorly characterized, particularly at the intra-day level. This issue is of crucial importance for studies examining the effects of microbiome on human health. Here, we focused on bacteriome of oral plaques, for which repeated, time-controlled sampling is feasible. Eighty-one supragingival plaque subjects were collected from healthy individuals, examining multiple sites within the mouth at three time points (forenoon, evening, and night) over the course of 3 days. Bacterial composition was estimated by 16S rRNA sequencing and species-level profiling, resulting in identification of a total of 162 known bacterial species. We found that species compositions and their relative abundances were similar within individuals, and not between sampling time or tooth type. This suggests that species-level oral bacterial composition differs significantly between individuals, although the number of subjects is limited and the intra-individual variation also occurs. The majority of detected bacterial species (98.2%; 159/162), however, did not fluctuate over the course of the day, implying a largely stable oral microbiome on an intra-day time scale. In fact, the stability of this data set enabled us to estimate potential interactions between rare bacteria, with 40 co-occurrences supported by the existing literature. In summary, the present study provides a valuable basis for studies of the human microbiome, with significant implications in terms of biological and clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0131607
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 29


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