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Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 17;8(1):10812. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29173-4.

Parkinson's disease and bacteriophages as its overlooked contributors.

Author information

1
Human Microbiology Institute, New York, NY, 10027, USA. georgetets@gmail.com.
2
Tetz Laboratories, New York, NY, 10027, USA.
3
Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10016, USA.
4
Human Microbiology Institute, New York, NY, 10027, USA.

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that alterations in the gut phagobiota may contribute to pathophysiological processes in mammals; however, the association of bacteriophage community structure with Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been yet characterized. Towards this end, we used a published dataset to analyse bacteriophage composition and determine the phage/bacteria ratio in faecal samples from drug-naive PD patients and healthy participants. Our analyses revealed significant alterations in the representation of certain bacteriophages in the phagobiota of PD patients. We identified shifts of the phage/bacteria ratio in lactic acid bacteria known to produce dopamine and regulate intestinal permeability, which are major factors implicated in PD pathogenesis. Furthermore, we observed the depletion of Lactococcus spp. in the PD group, which was most likely due to the increase of lytic c2-like and 936-like lactococcal phages frequently present in dairy products. Our findings add bacteriophages to the list of possible factors associated with the development of PD, suggesting that gut phagobiota composition may serve as a diagnostic tool as well as a target for therapeutic intervention, which should be confirmed in further studies. Our results open a discussion on the role of environmental phages and phagobiota composition in health and disease.

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