Continuous culture of sessile human oropharyngeal microbiotas

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    The microbiota of the human oropharynx plays an important role in health through involvement in the aetiology of infection and the carriage of adventitious pathogens. Despite this, there are few models available for the preclinical assessment of novel antimicrobials directed to the human throat. We have profiled bacterial consortia sampled from the palatine tonsil and posterior pharyngeal wall microbiotas of healthy adult volunteers (n=10) using differential culture and 16S rRNA gene sequencing, together with PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. The data generated were used to assess the validity of an oropharyngeal microcosm system based on replicated constant-depth film fermenters (CDFFs; n=5), which were continuously fed using an artificial airway surface liquid. Developed microcosms exhibited significant homology to ex situ consortia according to principal components analysis, whilst compositional reproducibility was apparent in replicated models for tonsillar and pharyngeal inocula. Differential viable count data and Shannon-Weiner diversity indices indicated that representative tonsil and pharyngeal model systems achieved dynamic compositional stability about 6 days after inoculation which could be maintained for ≥20 days. In conclusion, the CDFF facilitated the continuous maintenance of bacteriologically stable microcosms that were compositionally similar to ex situ inocula. © 2013 SGM.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)906-916
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of medical microbiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


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