Bacterial communities on classroom surfaces vary with human contact
Bohannan, Brendan J.
AffiliationBiology and the Built Environment Center, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, 5389 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Quebec, 320 Rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montréal, QC H2X 1 L7, Canada
Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, Department of Architecture, University of Oregon, 1206 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, BioSciences West room 310, 1041 E. Lowell St, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
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CitationMeadow et al. Microbiome 2014, 2:7 http://www.microbiomejournal.com/content/2/1/7
Rights© 2014 Meadow et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
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AbstractBACKGROUND:Humans can spend the majority of their time indoors, but little is known about the interactions between the human and built-environment microbiomes or the forces that drive microbial community assembly in the built environment. We sampled 16S rRNA genes from four different surface types throughout a university classroom to determine whether bacterial assemblages on each surface were best predicted by routine human interactions or by proximity to other surfaces within the classroom. We then analyzed our data with publicly-available datasets representing potential source environments.RESULTS:Bacterial assemblages from the four surface types, as well as individual taxa, were indicative of different source pools related to the type of human contact each surface routinely encounters. Spatial proximity to other surfaces in the classroom did not predict community composition.CONCLUSIONS:Our results indicate that human-associated microbial communities can be transferred to indoor surfaces following contact, and that such transmission is possible even when contact is indirect, but that proximity to other surfaces in the classroom does not influence community composition.
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