Local oral and nasal microbiome diversity in age-related macular degeneration

Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 2;10(1):3862. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-60674-3.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic degenerative disease of the retina. Recent reports have highlighted the potential role of mucosal surface microbes in the pathogenesis of AMD. In this case-control study, the composition of the nasal and oral microbiota in newly diagnosed neovascular age-related macular degeneration cases (6 male, 7 female) was compared to controls without retinal diseases (2 male, 3 female). PCR amplification of 16S rRNA genes was performed with universal primers amplifying the V4 variable region (515F-806R). Distinct microbial community characterization was achieved using Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) of the Bray-Curtis index with comparative analysis between cases and controls performed within QIIME 2. Sequencing of all cases and controls revealed clear separation with strong beta diversity between oral and nasal microbial communities (p < 0.001). Microbial composition differed between cases and controls in both oral and nasal samples. The top three oral microbes identified as different compared to controls included Burkholderiales (7.41 log2fold change, p = 3.29E-05), Actinomyceataceae (6.22 log2fold change, p = 3.73E-06) and Gemella (5.28 log2fold change, p = 0.0002). The top three nasal microbes identified as different compared to controls included Rothia (13.6 log2fold change, p = 3.63E-18), Actinobacteria (10.29 log2fold change, p = 9.81E-10) and Propionibacteriales (8.73 log2fold change, p = 6.74E-09). These relative shifts in communities of bacteria detected in newly diagnosed neovascular AMD patients may suggest additional mechanistic links in disease pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteria* / classification
  • Bacteria* / genetics
  • Bacteria* / growth & development
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Microbiota*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Nasal Cavity / microbiology*