Evaluation of Buccal Cell Samples for Studies of Oral Microbiota
Background: The human microbiota is postulated to affect cancer risk, but collecting microbiota specimens with prospective follow-up for diseases will take time. Buccal cell samples have been obtained from mouthwash for the study of human genomic DNA in many cohort studies. Here, we evaluate the feasibility of using buccal cell samples to examine associations of human microbiota and disease risk. Methods: We obtained buccal cells from mouthwash in 41 healthy participants using a protocol that is widely employed to obtain buccal cells for the study of human DNA. We compared oral microbiota from buccal cells with that from eight other oral sample types collected by following the protocols of the Human Microbiome Project. Microbiota profiles were determined by sequencing 16S rRNA gene V3–V4 region. Results: Compared with each of the eight other oral samples, the buccal cell samples had significantly more observed species ( P < 0.002) and higher alpha diversity (Shannon index, P < 0.02). The microbial communities were more similar (smaller beta diversity) among buccal cells samples than in the other samples ( P < 0.001 for 12 of 16 weighted and unweighted UniFrac distance comparisons). Buccal cell microbial profiles closely resembled saliva but were distinct from dental plaque and tongue dorsum. Conclusions: Stored buccal cell samples in prospective cohort studies are a promising resource to study associations of oral microbiota with disease. Impact: The feasibility of using existing buccal cell collections in large prospective cohorts allows investigations of the role of oral microbiota in chronic disease etiology in large population studies possible today. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(2); 249–53. ©2016 AACR .
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