The wasted chewing gum bacteriome

Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 8;10(1):16846. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-73913-4.


Here we show the bacteriome of wasted chewing gums from five different countries and the microbial successions on wasted gums during three months of outdoors exposure. In addition, a collection of bacterial strains from wasted gums was set, and the biodegradation capability of different gum ingredients by the isolates was tested. Our results reveal that the oral microbiota present in gums after being chewed, characterised by the presence of species such as Streptococcus spp. or Corynebacterium spp., evolves in a few weeks to an environmental bacteriome characterised by the presence of Acinetobacter spp., Sphingomonas spp. and Pseudomonas spp. Wasted chewing gums collected worldwide contain a typical sub-aerial biofilm bacteriome, characterised by species such as Sphingomonas spp., Kocuria spp., Deinococcus spp. and Blastococcus spp. Our findings have implications for a wide range of disciplines, including forensics, contagious disease control, or bioremediation of wasted chewing gum residues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Biotransformation
  • Chewing Gum / microbiology*
  • Microbiota*
  • Solid Waste*
  • Time Factors


  • Chewing Gum
  • Solid Waste