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Microbial Community Distribution and Core Microbiome in Successive Wound Grades of Individuals with Diabetic Foot Ulcers

: Jnana, Apoorva; Muthuraman, Vigneshwaran; Varghese, Vinay Koshy; Chakrabarty, Sanjiban; Murali, Thokur Sreepathy; Ramachandra, Lingadakai; Shenoy, Kallya Rajgopal; Rodrigues, Gabriel Sunil; Prasad, Seetharam Shiva; Dendukuri, Dhananjaya; Morschhauser, A.; Nestler, Joerg; Peter, Harald; Bier, Frank F.; Satyamoorthy, Kapaettu


Applied and environmental microbiology 86 (2020), No.6, Art. e02608-19, 14 pp.
ISSN: 0099-2240
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ENAS ()
Fraunhofer IZI ()

Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a major complication of diabetes with high morbidity and mortality rates. The pathogenesis of DFUs is governed by a complex milieu of environmental and host factors. The empirical treatment is initially based on wound severity since culturing and profiling the antibiotic sensitivity of wound-associated microbes is time-consuming. Hence, a thorough and rapid analysis of the microbial landscape is a major requirement toward devising evidence-based interventions. Toward this, 122 wound (100 diabetic and 22 nondiabetic) samples were sampled for their bacterial community structure using both culture-based and next-generation 16S rRNA-based metagenomics approach. Both the approaches showed that the Gram-negative microbes were more abundant in the wound microbiome. The core microbiome consisted of bacterial genera, including Alcaligenes, Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, and Corynebacterium in decreasing order of average relative abundance. Despite the heterogenous nature and extensive sharing of microbes, an inherent community structure was apparent, as revealed by a cluster analysis based on Euclidean distances. Facultative anaerobes (26.5%) were predominant in Wagner grade 5, while strict anaerobes were abundant in Wagner grade 1 (26%). A nonmetric dimensional scaling analysis could not clearly discriminate samples based on HbA1c levels. Sequencing approach revealed the presence of major culturable species even in samples with no bacterial growth in culture-based approach. Our study indicates that (i) the composition of core microbial community varies with wound severity, (ii) polymicrobial species distribution is individual specific, and (iii) antibiotic susceptibility varies with individuals. Our study suggests the need to evolve better-personalized care for better wound management therapies.