Towards the human nasal microbiome: Simulating D. pigrum and S. aureus

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022 Oct 11;12:925215. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2022.925215. eCollection 2022.


The human nose harbors various microbes that decisively influence the wellbeing and health of their host. Among the most threatening pathogens in this habitat is Staphylococcus aureus. Multiple epidemiological studies identify Dolosigranulum pigrum as a likely beneficial bacterium based on its positive association with health, including negative associations with S. aureus. Carefully curated GEMs are available for both bacterial species that reliably simulate their growth behavior in isolation. To unravel the mutual effects among bacteria, building community models for simulating co-culture growth is necessary. However, modeling microbial communities remains challenging. This article illustrates how applying the NCMW fosters our understanding of two microbes' joint growth conditions in the nasal habitat and their intricate interplay from a metabolic modeling perspective. The resulting community model combines the latest available curated GEMs of D. pigrum and S. aureus. This uses case illustrates how to incorporate genuine GEM of participating microorganisms and creates a basic community model mimicking the human nasal environment. Our analysis supports the role of negative microbe-microbe interactions involving D. pigrum examined experimentally in the lab. By this, we identify and characterize metabolic exchange factors involved in a specific interaction between D. pigrum and S. aureus as an in silico candidate factor for a deep insight into the associated species. This method may serve as a blueprint for developing more complex microbial interaction models. Its direct application suggests new ways to prevent disease-causing infections by inhibiting the growth of pathogens such as S. aureus through microbe-microbe interactions.

Keywords: Dolosigranulum pigrum; Staphylococcus aureus; computational biology; genome-scale metabolic model; microbial communities; nasal microbiome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Microbiota*
  • Nose / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus