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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Gut Microbiome and Putative Resistome of Inca and Italian Nobility Mummies

1
Center for Applications in Biotechnology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA
2
Department of Biology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA
3
ATCC-Center for Translational Microbiology, Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship, Union, NJ 07083, USA
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Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, Division of Paleopathology, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
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Center for Anthropological, Paleopathological and Historical Studies of the Sardinian and Mediterranean Populations, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
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Laboratory of Molecular Archaeo-Anthropology/Ancient DNA, School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
7
Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan 00932, Puerto Rico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mailing Address: ATCC-Center for Translational Microbiology, 1075 Morris Avenue, STEM Bldg., Room 5-19, Union, NJ 07083, USA.
Academic Editor: Thierry Wirth
Genes 2017, 8(11), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes8110310
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
Little is still known about the microbiome resulting from the process of mummification of the human gut. In the present study, the gut microbiota, genes associated with metabolism, and putative resistome of Inca and Italian nobility mummies were characterized by using high-throughput sequencing. The Italian nobility mummies exhibited a higher bacterial diversity as compared to the Inca mummies when using 16S ribosomal (rRNA) gene amplicon sequencing, but both groups showed bacterial and fungal taxa when using shotgun metagenomic sequencing that may resemble both the thanatomicrobiome and extant human gut microbiomes. Identification of sequences associated with plants, animals, and carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) may provide further insights into the dietary habits of Inca and Italian nobility mummies. Putative antibiotic-resistance genes in the Inca and Italian nobility mummies support a human gut resistome prior to the antibiotic therapy era. The higher proportion of putative antibiotic-resistance genes in the Inca compared to Italian nobility mummies may support the hypotheses that a greater exposure to the environment may result in a greater acquisition of antibiotic-resistance genes. The present study adds knowledge of the microbiome resulting from the process of mummification of the human gut, insights of ancient dietary habits, and the preserved putative human gut resistome prior the antibiotic therapy era. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbohydrate-active enzymes; gut microbiome; mummies; resistome carbohydrate-active enzymes; gut microbiome; mummies; resistome
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Santiago-Rodriguez, T.M.; Fornaciari, G.; Luciani, S.; Toranzos, G.A.; Marota, I.; Giuffra, V.; Cano, R.J. Gut Microbiome and Putative Resistome of Inca and Italian Nobility Mummies. Genes 2017, 8, 310.

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