Throat Microbial Community Structure and Functional Changes in Postsurgery Laryngeal Carcinoma Patients

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2020 Nov 24;86(24):e01849-20. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01849-20. Print 2020 Nov 24.


The microbial community structure in the throat and its shift after laryngectomy in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) patients were investigated. Thirty swab samples taken prior to laryngectomy (SLC), 18 samples 1 week after laryngectomy (SLCA1w), and 30 samples 24 weeks after laryngectomy (SLCA24w) from 30 LSCC patients were examined. Microbial diversity was profiled through sequencing the V3-V4 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) was used to validate the 16S rRNA sequence data for the V3-V4 region. The community structure and function of throat microbiota were assessed by PICRUSt (phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states) analysis. Both alpha and beta diversity results showed significant differences in the throat microbiota of LSCC patients before and after laryngectomy (P < 0.05). The drinking index of the SLC group was positively associated with the genus abundance of Prevotella (P < 0.05). The SLCA1w group had lower abundances of Fusobacterium, Leptotrichia, Lachnoanaerobaculum, and Veillonella than the SLC group (P < 0.05). The SLCA24w group had higher abundances of Streptococcus and Leptotrichia as well as lower abundances of Fusobacterium and Alloprevotella than the SLC group (P < 0.05). The throat microbiomes of the SLC group could be implicated in human cancer signaling pathways, as evidenced by PICRUSt analysis (P < 0.05). Our study clarifies alterations in throat microbial community structure and function in LSCC patients during the perioperative period and postoperative recovery period.IMPORTANCE Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma greatly impacts patients' lives, and noninvasive means of prognostic assessment are valuable in determining the effectiveness of laryngectomy. We set out to study the microbial structure changes in the throat before and after laryngectomy and found the gene functions of several throat bacteria to be associated with human cancer signaling pathways. Our findings may offer insights into the disease management of patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. We hope to provide a means of using molecular mechanisms to improve the prognosis of laryngeal cancer treatment and to facilitate relevant research.

Keywords: laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; laryngectomy; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Laryngectomy*
  • Male
  • Microbiota*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharynx / microbiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis


  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S