Culturomics analysis of gut mycobiota in patients with ulcerative colitis and characterization of Candia albicans isolates.
Piyapat Rintarhat1, Daehwan Kim2, Daniel Croll3, Do Yup Lee2,4,5,6 and Won Hee Jung1
1Department of Systems Biotechnology, Chung-Ang University, Anseong, 17546, Korea
2Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
3Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
4Center for Food and Bioconvergence, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
5Research Institute for Agricultural and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
6Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
The human gut is colonized by diverse microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. Several studies have suggested that the gut fungal microbiota (mycobiota) impacts the host immunity and the development and progression of human diseases. However, most gut microbiota studies have focused exclusively on bacteria, and the mycobiota in the organ have largely been unexplored. Here, we developed a culturomics platform to isolate the fungal strains from fecal samples of a cohort of Korean patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and compared them with those of healthy subjects (HT). Our culturomics analysis showed that most identified fungal colonies belonged to the phylum Ascomycota followed by Basidiomycota both in the HT subjects and UC patients. The total number of colonies from the fecal samples of the UC patients was significantly higher than that of the HT subjects, suggesting that more fungal strains may persist in the intestines of the UC patients compared to that of the HT subjects. Moreover, we collected some Candida albicans isolates, which was one of the most dominant fungal species in the fecal samples. The phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the C. albicans isolates from fecal samples were analyzed and compared with that of the same fungal species isolated from the different niches such as the gut mucosal layer and blood. The results of the comparisons between the different C. albicans isolates are presented. Our study emphasizes the importance of the gut mycobiota and provides useful information on C. albicans residing in the human gut.