Longitudinal profiling of the microbiome at four body sites reveals core stability and individualized dynamics during health and disease

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To understand dynamic interplay between the human microbiome and host during health and disease, we analyzed the microbial composition, temporal dynamics, and associations with host multi-omics, immune and clinical markers of microbiomes from four body sites in 86 participants over six years. We found that microbiome stability and individuality are body-site-specific and heavily influenced by the host. The stool and oral microbiome were more stable than the skin and nasal microbiomes, possibly due to their interaction with the host and environment. Also, we identified individual-specific and commonly shared bacterial taxa, with individualized taxa showing greater stability. Interestingly, microbiome dynamics correlated across body sites, suggesting systemic coordination influenced by host-microbial-environment interactions. Notably, insulin-resistant individuals showed altered microbial stability and associations between microbiome, molecular markers, and clinical features, suggesting their disrupted interaction in metabolic disease. Our study offers comprehensive views of multi-site microbial dynamics and their relationship with host health and disease.

Study Highlights

  • The stability of the human microbiome varies among individuals and body sites.

  • Highly individualized microbial genera are more stable over time.

  • At each of the four body sites, systematic interactions between the environment, the host and bacteria can be detected.

  • Individuals with insulin resistance have lower microbiome stability, a more diversified skin microbiome, and significantly altered host-microbiome interactions.

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