Publications in peer reviewed journals

4 Publications found
  • The maternal microbiome in pregnancy, delivery, and early-stage development of neonatal microbiome after cesarean section: A prospective longitudinal study

    Foessleitner P, Pjevac P, Granser S, Wisgrill L, Pummer L, Eckel F, Seki D, Berry D, Hausmann B, Farr A
    2024 - AOGS, in press



    Changes within the maternal microbiome during the last trimester of pregnancy and the determinants of the subsequent neonatal microbiome establishment after delivery by elective cesarean section are described.

    Material and methods

    Maternal vaginal and rectal microbiome samples were collected in the last trimester and before cesarean section; intrauterine cavity, placenta, neonatal buccal mucosa, skin, and meconium samples were obtained at birth; neonatal sample collection was repeated 2–3 days postnatally. Microbial community composition was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Relative abundance measurements of amplicon sequencing variants and sum counts at higher taxonomic levels were compared to test for significant overlap or differences in microbial community compositions. ID: NCT04489056.


    A total of 30 mothers and their neonates were included with available microbiome samples for all maternal, intrauterine cavity and placenta samples, as well as for 18 of 30 neonates. The composition of maternal vaginal and rectal microbiomes during the last trimester of healthy pregnancies did not significantly change (permutational multivariate analysis of variance [PERMANOVA], p > 0.05). No robust microbial signature was detected in the intrauterine cavity, placenta, neonatal buccal mucosa, skin swabs, or meconium samples collected at birth. After birth, the neonatal microbiome was rapidly established, and significantly different microbial communities were detectable 2–3 days postnatally in neonate buccal mucosa and stool samples (PERMANOVA, p < 0.01).


    Maternal vaginal and rectal microbiomes in healthy pregnancies remain stable during the third trimester. No microbial colonization of the neonate was observed before birth in healthy pregnancies. Neonatal microbiomes in infants delivered by cesarean section displayed a taxonomic composition distinct from maternal vaginal and rectal microbiomes at birth, indicating that postnatal exposure to the extrauterine environment is the driving source of initial neonatal microbiome development in this cohort.

  • Global abundance patterns, diversity, and ecology of Patescibacteria in wastewater treatment plants

    Hu H, Kristensen JM, Herbold CW, Pjevac P, Kitzinger K, Hausmann B, Dueholm MKD, Nielsen PH, Wagner M
    2024 - Microbiome, in press
    Patescibacteria co-occurrence network



    Microorganisms are responsible for nutrient removal and resource recovery in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and their diversity is often studied by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. However, this approach underestimates the abundance and diversity of Patescibacteria due to the low coverage of commonly used PCR primers for this highly divergent bacterial phylum. Therefore, our current understanding of the global diversity, distribution, and ecological role of Patescibacteria in WWTPs is very incomplete. This is particularly relevant as Patescibacteria are considered to be associated with microbial host cells and can therefore influence the abundance and temporal variability of other microbial groups that are important for WWTP functioning.


    Here, we evaluated the in silico coverage of widely used 16S rRNA gene-targeted primer pairs and redesigned a primer pair targeting the V4 region of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes to expand its coverage for Patescibacteria. We then experimentally evaluated and compared the performance of the original and modified V4-targeted primers on 565 WWTP samples from the MiDAS global sample collection. Using the modified primer pair, the percentage of ASVs classified as Patescibacteria increased from 5.9% to 23.8%, and the number of detected patescibacterial genera increased from 560 to 1,576, while the detected diversity of the remaining microbial community remained similar. Due to this significantly improved coverage of Patescibacteria, we identified 23 core genera of Patescibacteria in WWTPs and described the global distribution pattern of these unusual microbes in these systems. Finally, correlation network analysis revealed potential host organisms that might be associated with Patescibacteria in WWTPs. Interestingly, strong indications were found for an association between Patescibacteria of the Saccharimonadia and globally abundant polyphosphate-accumulating organisms of the genus Ca. Phosporibacter.


    Our study (i) provides an improved 16S rRNA gene V4 region-targeted amplicon primer pair inclusive of Patescibacteria with little impact on the detection of other taxa, (ii) reveals the diversity and distribution patterns of Patescibacteria in WWTPs on a global scale, and (iii) provides new insights into the ecological role and potential hosts of Patescibacteria in WWTPs.


  • Biomonitoring of Dietary Mycotoxin Exposure and Associated Impact on the Gut Microbiome in Nigerian Infants

    Ayeni KI, Seki D, Pjevac P, Hausmann B, Krausová M, Braun D, Wisgrill L, Berry D, Warth B, Ezekiel CN
    2024 - Environmental Science & Technology, in press


    Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals that adversely affect human health. Here, we assessed the influence of mycotoxin exposure on the longitudinal development of early life intestinal microbiota of Nigerian neonates and infants (NIs). Human biomonitoring assays based on liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry were applied to quantify mycotoxins in breast milk (n = 68) consumed by the NIs, their stool (n = 82), and urine samples (n = 15), which were collected longitudinally from month 1–18 postdelivery. Microbial community composition was characterized by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing of stool samples and was correlated to mycotoxin exposure patterns. Fumonisin B1 (FB1), FB2, and alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) were frequently quantified in stool samples between months 6 and 18. Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), AME, and citrinin were quantified in breast milk samples at low concentrations. AFM1, FB1, and ochratoxin A were quantified in urine samples at relatively high concentrations. Klebsiella and Escherichia/Shigella were dominant in very early life stool samples (month 1), whereas Bifidobacterium was dominant between months 3 and 6. The total mycotoxin levels in stool were significantly associated with NIs’ gut microbiome composition (PERMANOVA, p < 0.05). However, no significant correlation was observed between specific microbiota and the detection of certain mycotoxins. Albeit a small cohort, this study demonstrates that mycotoxins may influence early life gut microbiome composition.

  • Reevaluation and novel insights into amino sugar and neutral sugar necromass biomarkers in archaea, bacteria, fungi, and plants

    Salas E, Gorfer M, Bandian D, Eichorst SA, Schmidt H, Horak J, Rittmann SKMR, Schleper C, Reischl B, Pribasnig T, Jansa J, Kaiser C, Wanek W
    2024 - Sci. Total Environ, 906: 167463


    Soil microbial necromass is an important contributor to soil organic matter (>50%) and it is largely composed of microbial residues. In soils, fragmented cell wall residues are mostly found in their polysaccharide forms of fungal chitin and bacterial peptidoglycan. Microbial necromass biomarkers, particularly amino sugars (AS) such as glucosamine (GlcN) and muramic acid (MurA) have been used to trace fungal and bacterial residues in soils, and to distinguish carbon (C) found in microbial residues from non-microbial organic C. Neutral sugars (NS), particularly the hexose/pentose ratio, have also been proposed as tracers of plant polysaccharides in soils. In our study, we extended the range of biomarkers to include AS and NS compounds in the biomass of 120 species belonging to archaea, bacteria, fungi, or plants. GlcN was the most common AS found in all taxa, contributing 42–91% to total AS content, while glucose was the most common NS found, contributing 56–79% to total NS. We identified talosaminuronic acid, found in archaeal pseudopeptidoglycan, as a new potential biomarker specific for Euryarchaeota. We compared the variability of these compounds between the different taxonomic groups using multivariate approaches, such as non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and statistically evaluated their biomarker potential via indicator species analysis. Both NMDS and PLS-DA showcased the variability in the AS and NS contents between the different taxonomic groups, highlighting their potential as necromass residue biomarkers and allowing their extension from separating bacterial and fungal necromass to separating microbes from plants. Finally, we estimated new conversion factors where fungal GlcN is converted to fungal C by multiplying by 10 and MurA is converted to bacterial C by multiplying by 54. Conversion factors for talosaminuronic acid and galactosamine are also proposed to allow estimation of archaeal or all-microbial necromass residue C, respectively.

Book chapters and other publications

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