Network Analysis Highlights Complex Interactions between Pathogen, Host and Commensal Microbiota

We focused on the relationship between brook charr and bacterial communities developing on skin mucus

Sébastien Boutin; Louis Bernatchez; Céline Audet; Nicolas Derôme


Scholarcy highlights

  • Ever since their emergence, eukaryotes have lived in close interactions with microorganisms
  • It is well established that this microbiota share species with the surrounding water and that some opportunistic pathogens may be found on healthy fish
  • We characterized the relationship between brook charr and its skin-associated microbiota in order to test the general hypothesis that stressful conditions exerted on healthy fish, as those occurring in aquaculture production, induce a shift in the microbiota taxonomic structure, which in turn potentially triggers opportunistic pathogen infections
  • The consortium composed of Sphingomonas, Methylobacterium, Propionibacterium, and Thiobacter showed the same pattern of abundance variation during the experiment: a decrease occurred during the first two weeks following the stress trial followed by a recovery phase towards abundances as those measured before the stress trial
  • Our results suggest that brook charr skin microbiota is dynamic and is closely related to the water bacterial community
  • Unifrac score calculated among samples showed that the structure of the bacterial communities from water and mucus were highly different, suggesting that fish skin mucus microbiota is highly specific
  • This study demonstrates that physiological stress may induce changes in fish microbiota, whereby beneficial bacteria decrease following a stress event, resulting in an empty niche for opportunistic pathogens

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