Insights into the Microbiome of Breast Implants and Periprosthetic Tissue in Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 17;9(1):10393. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46535-8.


Though rare, breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a CD30+ T-cell lymphoma associated with textured breast implants, has adversely impacted our perception of the safety of breast implants. Its etiology unknown, one hypothesis suggests an initiating inflammatory stimulus, possibly infectious, triggers BIA-ALCL. We analyzed microbiota of breast, skin, implant and capsule in BIA-ALCL patients (n = 7), and controls via culturing methods, 16S rRNA microbiome sequencing, and immunohistochemistry. Alpha and beta diversity metrics and relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria were calculated, and phylogenetic trees constructed. Staphylococcus spp., the most commonly cultured microbes, were identified in both the BIA-ALCL and contralateral control breast. The diversity of bacterial microbiota did not differ significantly between BIA-ALCL and controls for any material analyzed. Further, there were no significant differences in the relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria between BIA-ALCL and control specimens. Heat maps suggested substantial diversity in the composition of the bacterial microbiota of the skin, breast, implant and capsule between patients with no clear trend to distinguish BIA-ALCL from controls. While we identified no consistent differences between patients with BIA-ALCL-affected and contralateral control breasts, this study provides insights into the composition of the breast microbiota in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacteria
  • Breast Implantation
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Breast Implants / microbiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / microbiology
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Anaplastic / pathology*
  • Microbiota
  • Middle Aged
  • Phylogeny
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S