Correlation between Either Cupriavidus or Porphyromonas and Primary Pulmonary Tuberculosis Found by Analysing the Microbiota in Patients' Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid

PLoS One. 2015 May 22;10(5):e0124194. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124194. eCollection 2015.


Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has gained attention in recent decades because of its rising incidence trend; simultaneously, increasing numbers of studies have identified the relationship between microbiota and chronic infectious diseases. In our work, we enrolled 32 patients with primary TB characterised by unilateral TB lesion formation diagnosed by chest radiographic exam. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was taken from both lungs. Twenty-four healthy people were chosen as controls. Pyrosequencing was performed on the V3 hypervariable region of 16S rDNA in all bacterial samples and used as a culture-independent method to describe the phylogenetic composition of the microbiota. Through pyrosequencing, 271,764 amplicons were detected in samples and analysed using tools in the Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) and bioinformatics. These analyses revealed significant differences in the microbiota in the lower respiratory tract (LRT) of TB patients compared with healthy controls; in contrast, the microbiota of intra/extra-TB lesions were similar. These results showed that the dominant bacterial genus in the LRT of TB patients was Cupriavidus and not Streptococcus, which resulted in a significant change in the microbiota in TB patients. The abundance of Mycobacteria and Porphyromonas significantly increased inside TB lesions when compared with non-lesion-containing contralateral lungs. From these data, it can be concluded that Cupriavidus plays an important role in TB's secondary infection and that in addition to Mycobacteria, Porphyromonas may also be a co-factor in lesion formation. The mechanisms underlying this connection warrant further research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology*
  • Cupriavidus / genetics
  • Cupriavidus / isolation & purification
  • Cupriavidus / pathogenicity*
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microbiota / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Porphyromonas / genetics
  • Porphyromonas / isolation & purification
  • Porphyromonas / pathogenicity*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Bacterial

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.MT24H
  • SRA/SRR493275
  • SRA/SRR617950
  • SRA/SRS375896
  • SRA/SRX204970

Grant support

This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81271793, and 81261160321), the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20120073110071), and the National Support Program of Science and Technology (2012EP001004). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.