The esophagus, like other luminal organs of the digestive system, provides a potential environment for bacterial colonization, but little is known about the presence of a bacterial biota or its nature. By using broad-range 16S rDNA PCR, biopsies were examined from the normal esophagus of four human adults. The 900 PCR products cloned represented 833 unique sequences belonging to 41 genera, or 95 species-level operational taxonomic units (SLOTU); 59 SLOTU were homologous with culture-defined bacterial species, 34 with 16S rDNA clones, and two were not homologous with any known bacterial 16S rDNA. Members of six phyla, Firmicutes, Bacteroides, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, and TM7, were represented. A large majority of clones belong to 13 of the 41 genera (783/900, 87%), or 14 SLOTU (574/900, 64%) that were shared by all four persons. Streptococcus (39%), Prevotella (17%), and Veilonella (14%) were most prevalent. The present study identified ≈56-79% of SLOTU in this bacterial ecosystem. Most SLOTU of esophageal biota are similar or identical to residents of the upstream oral biota, but the major distinction is that a large majority (82%) of the esophageal bacteria are known and cultivable. These findings provide evidence for a complex but conserved bacterial population in the normal distal esophagus.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 23 2004|
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