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Characterising Post-mortem Bacterial Translocation Under Clinical Conditions Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing in Two Animal Models

Gates, L; Klein, NJ; Sebire, NJ; Alber, DG; (2021) Characterising Post-mortem Bacterial Translocation Under Clinical Conditions Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing in Two Animal Models. Frontiers in Microbiology , 12 , Article 649312. 10.3389/fmicb.2021.649312. Green open access

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Abstract

Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) is the sudden and unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant occurring within the first year of life where the cause is not immediately obvious. It is believed that a proportion of unexplained infant deaths are due to an infection that remains undiagnosed. The interpretation of post-mortem microbiology results is difficult due to the potential false-positives, a source of which is post-mortem bacterial translocation. Post-mortem bacterial translocation is the spread of viable bacteria from highly colonised sites to extra-intestinal tissues. We hypothesise that although post-mortem bacterial translocation occurs, when carcasses are kept under controlled routine clinical conditions it is not extensive and can be defined using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. With this knowledge, implementation of the 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique into routine clinical diagnostics would allow a more reliable retrospective diagnosis of ante-mortem infection. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish the extent of post-mortem bacterial translocation in two animal models to establish a baseline sequencing signal for the post-mortem process. To do this we used 16S rRNA gene sequencing in two animal models over a 2 week period to investigate (1) the bacterial community succession in regions of high bacterial colonisation, and (2) the bacterial presence in visceral tissues routinely sampled during autopsy for microbiological investigation. We found no evidence for significant and consistent post-mortem bacterial translocation in the mouse model. Although bacteria were detected in tissues in the piglet model, we did not find significant and consistent evidence for post-mortem bacterial translocation from the gastrointestinal tract or nasal cavity. These data do not support the concept of significant post-mortem translocation as part of the normal post-mortem process.

Type: Article
Title: Characterising Post-mortem Bacterial Translocation Under Clinical Conditions Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing in Two Animal Models
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.649312
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.649312
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 Gates, Klein, Sebire and Alber. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: post-mortem, bacterial translocation, 16S sequencing, SUDI, SIDS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10129112
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