Reduced microbial diversity of the nasopharyngeal microbiome in household contacts with latent tuberculosis infection

Cinthya Ruiz-Tagle, Juan A. Ugalde, Rodrigo Naves, Rafael Araos, Patricia García, María Elvira Balcells

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The upper respiratory tract is an obliged pathway for respiratory pathogens and a healthy microbiota may support the host's mucosal immunity preventing infection. We analyzed the nasopharyngeal microbiome in tuberculosis household contacts (HHCs) and its association with latent tuberculosis infection (TBI). A prospective cohort of HHCs was established and latent TBI status was assessed by serial interferon-γ release assay (IGRA). Nasopharyngeal swabs collected at baseline were processed for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The 82 participants included in the analysis were classified as: (a) non-TBI [IGRA negative at baseline and follow-up, no active TB (n = 31)], (b) pre-TBI [IGRA negative at baseline but converted to IGRA positive or developed active TB at follow-up (n = 16)], and (c) TBI [IGRA positive at enrollment (n = 35)]. Predominant phyla were Actinobacteriota, Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidota. TBI group had a lower alpha diversity compared to non-TBI (padj = 0.04) and pre-TBI (padj = 0.04). Only TBI and non-TBI had beta diversity differences (padj = 0.035). Core microbiomes’ had unique genera, and genus showed differential abundance among groups. HHCs with established latent TBI showed reduced nasopharyngeal microbial diversity with distinctive taxonomical composition. Whether a pre-existing microbiome feature favors, are a consequence, or protects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7301
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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