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Characterization of the Urinary Metagenome and Virome in Healthy Children

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submitted on 2024-04-03, 07:57 and posted on 2024-04-03, 07:57 authored by Eman Wehedy, Selvasankar Murugesan, Chinnu Reeba George, Ibrahim F. Shatat, Souhaila Al Khodor

Recent advances in next-generation sequencing and metagenomic studies have provided insights into the microbial profile of different body sites. However, research on the microbial composition of urine is limited, particularly in children. The goal of this study was to optimize and develop reproducible metagenome and virome protocols using a small volume of urine samples collected from healthy children. We collected midstream urine specimens from 40 healthy children. Using the metagenomics shotgun approach, we tested various protocols. Different microbial roots such as Archaea, Bacteria, Eukaryota, and Viruses were successfully identified using our optimized urine protocol. Our data reflected much variation in the microbial fingerprints of children. Girls had significantly higher levels of Firmicutes, whereas boys had significantly higher levels of Actinobacteria. The genus Anaerococcus dominated the urinary bacteriome of healthy girls, with a significant increase in Anaerococcus prevotii, Anaerococcus vaginalis, and Veillonella parvula (p-value < 0.001) when compared with that of boys. An increased relative abundance of Xylanimonas and Arthrobacter, with a significantly high abundance of Arthrobacter sp. FB24 (p-value 0.0028) and Arthrobacter aurescences (p-value 0.015), was observed in boys. The urinary mycobiome showed a significant rise in the genus Malassezia and Malassezia globose fungus (p-value 0.009) in girls, whereas genus Saccharomyces (p-value 0.009) was significantly high in boys. The beta diversity of the urinary mycobiome was found to differ between different age groups. Boys had significantly more Mastadenovirus and Human mastadenovirus-A in their urinary virome than girls. With increasing age, we noticed an increase in the relative abundance of the order Caudovirales. Our optimized protocols allowed us to identify the unique microbes for each sex by using an adequate volume of urine (3–10 mL) to screen for the bacteriome, mycobiome, and virome profiles in the urine of healthy children. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to characterize the metagenomics profiles of urine in a healthy pediatric population.

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Published in: Biomedicines
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  • English



Publication Year

  • 2022

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU
  • Sidra Medicine

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