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Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2013 Dec;45(12):1039-48. doi: 10.1093/abbs/gmt116. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

New microbiota found in sputum from patients with community-acquired pneumonia.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology/Department of Preventive Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China.


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a major concern in hospitals and the bacterial community of which has not been systemically discussed yet. Sputum from patients in the acute stages is a kind of accessible sample reflecting its features. In our study, we analyzed 45 sputum samples from 45 patients with CAP. Eighteen sputum samples from healthy people were chosen as the controls. Pyrosequencing of the 16s rDNA V3 hypervariable regions of all the bacteria contained in the sputum was used as a culture-independent method to disclose the community constitution. Also, our published data for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) in sputum was used for comparison. By pyrosequencing, >90,000 DNA reads were detected. After being analyzed by tools in the Ribosomal Database Project, the reads were classified into five main phyla and >100 genera. At the phyla level, the reads' distribution of CAP is similar to that of healthy people and at genera level, the occurrence of each genus possesses their feature in three categories. Genera such as Streptococcus and Neisseria showed stability in their percentages, indicating that such genera are rarely affected by exogenous bacteria or antibiotics. The role of other genera such as Moraxella and Rothia in CAP should be emphasized. According to our analysis, the bacterial communities of CAP are with slight change when compared with those of healthy people, but have a large gap between HAP. Meanwhile, Rothia might be an important endogenous pneumonia-causing factor.


16s ribosomal DNA; community-acquired pneumonia; microbiota; pyrosequencing; sputum

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