If you are looking for new bacteria and viruses, you will definitely find some of them: According to this slogan, microbiome researchers use genetic analyzes to detect previously unknown bacteria based on their genetic effects on all types of surfaces. New interim report For the magazine “Cell” Now presenting microbiologists from the University of Tübingen and an international team within the Metagonomics and Metadesign Consortium for Underground and Urban Biomes (MetaSUB): In a three-year project, they collected more than 5,000 swab samples from all types of surfaces in subway stations, train stations and hospitals and then analyzed the acid fragments. Nuclear contained in them in the laboratory. In samples from 60 cities and 32 countries, they found sequences of 10,928 viruses and 748 bacterial strains that had not yet been registered in a reference database.
But it’s not just the new discoveries in individual samples that are exciting. Advances in analysis technology make it possible to draw conclusions from the specific composition of the microbiome in one place. One example is samples from a townspeople’s shoes: the occurrence of rare individual species of bacteria in a typical mixture creates a bacterial fingerprint that researchers can use to predict with up to 90 percent accuracy the city the owner of the shoe walked in. . The microbiome is formed in a place through factors such as total population, population density, altitude, proximity to the sea, and climate. It all contributes to my signature model. “A coastal sample can contain salt-loving microbes, while a sample from a densely populated city can have amazing biodiversity,” says study co-author David Dinko of the Weill Cornell Graduate School in New York. In a press release.
A thorough analysis of site-specific microbiota can help to better understand the prevalence of antibiotic resistance. Investigations have shown that some resistance genes are more common in bacteria in some cities. On this basis, scientists can now investigate how and why certain resistors propagate in certain regions. In the future, the consortium plans to examine DNA sequences as well as traces of genetic material from RNA viruses. This would also make it possible to detect pathogens using RNA genes such as Sars-CoV-2 in cities.