The team used high-throughput RNA sequencing from whole blood to analyze the blood microbiome. They identified a range of bacterial phyla in blood obtained from patients w/ schizophrenia, ALS, bipolar and HEALTHY CONTROLS…while making a serious effort to account for contamination. Can we please perform this exact same analysis on blood samples from patients with many more chronic inflammatory conditions!?
Lead author: Etheresia Pretorius, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
The paper describes mechanisms by which inflammation + oxidative stress (driven by re-activated microbes in blood) can lead to red blood cell deformability and dysregulated nitric oxide (NO) synthesis in Alzheimer’s patients. These processes may impair delivery of oxygen to the brain. The study features actual images of deformed red blood cells in Alzheimer’s (as seen under a microscope).
Lead author: Matt Payne, The University of Western Australia
Reagent-derived contamination (with microbes) can compromise the integrity of microbiome data, particularly in low microbial biomass samples (samples often obtained from the brain, blood, and womb). An analysis by the team found that the majority of contaminating DNA was derived from the PCR master mix. Importantly, this contamination was almost completely eliminated using a simple dsDNase treatment, which resulted in a 99% reduction in contaminating bacterial reads.