Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and metagenomics revolutionized our capacity for analysis and identification of the microbial communities in complex samples. The existence of a blood microbiome in healthy individuals has been confirmed by sequencing, but some researchers suspect that this is a cell-free circulating DNA in blood, while others have had isolated a limited number of bacterial and fungal species by culture. It is not clear what part of the blood microbiota could be resuscitated and cultured. Here, we quantitatively measured the culturable part of blood microbiota of healthy individuals by testing a medium supplemented with a high concentration of vitamin K (1 mg/mL) and culturing at 43 °C for 24 h. We applied targeted sequencing of 16S rDNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) markers on cultured and non-cultured blood samples from 28 healthy individuals. Dominant bacterial phyla among non-cultured samples were Proteobacteria 92.97%, Firmicutes 2.18%, Actinobacteria 1.74% and Planctomycetes 1.55%, while among cultured samples Proteobacteria were 47.83%, Firmicutes 25.85%, Actinobacteria 16.42%, Bacteroidetes 3.48%, Cyanobacteria 2.74%, and Fusobacteria 1.53%. Fungi phyla Basidiomycota, Ascomycota, and unidentified fungi were 65.08%, 17.72%, and 17.2% respectively among non-cultured samples, while among cultured samples they were 58.08%, 21.72%, and 20.2% respectively. In cultured and non-cultured samples we identified 241 OTUs belonging to 40 bacterial orders comprising 66 families and 105 genera. Fungal biodiversity accounted for 272 OTUs distributed in 61 orders, 105 families, and 133 genera. Bacterial orders that remained non-cultured, compared to blood microbiota isolated from fresh blood collection, were Sphingomonadales, Rhizobiales, and Rhodospirillales. Species of orders Bacillales, Lactobacillales, and Corynebacteriales showed the best cultivability. Fungi orders Tremellales, Polyporales, and Filobasidiales were mostly unculturable. Species of fungi orders Pleosporales, Saccharomycetales, and Helotiales were among the culturable ones. In this study, we quantified the capacity of a specific medium applied for culturing of blood microbiota in healthy individuals. Other culturing conditions and media should be tested for optimization and better characterization of blood microbiota in healthy and diseased individuals.
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