Impact of enhanced Staphylococcus DNA extraction on microbial community measures in cystic fibrosis sputum

PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33127. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033127. Epub 2012 Mar 8.


Staphylococcus aureus is a common constituent of the bacterial community inhabiting the airways of persons with cystic fibrosis (CF). Culture-independent studies have shown that this species is often present in relatively high abundance and would therefore be expected to exert a pronounced effect on measures of CF airway bacterial community structure. We investigated the impact of DNA extraction method on pyrosequencing-based measures of Staphylococcus abundance and bacterial community structure in 17 sputum samples from five CF patients. Staphylococcus was detected in fewer samples when DNA was extracted using a standard bacterial lysis method compared to when DNA was extracted using a lysis buffer amended with lysostaphin and lysozyme. The standard lysis method resulted in significantly lower measures of Staphylococcus relative abundance and higher levels of community diversity, richness, and evenness compared to the lysostaphin-lysozyme modified method. Measures of community dynamics in serial sputum samples from the same individual were nevertheless highly concordant between the two DNA extraction methods. These results illustrate the impact of DNA preparation method on measures of Staphylococcus abundance and bacterial community structures in studies of the airways microbiota in CF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenome*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / chemistry
  • Sputum / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / complications
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S