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Agta hunter–gatherer oral microbiomes are shaped by contact network structure

Musciotto, Federico; Dobon, Begoña; Greenacre, Michael; Mira, Alex; Chaudhary, Nikhil; Salali, Gul Deniz; Gerbault, Pascale; ... Migliano, Andrea Bamberg; + view all (2023) Agta hunter–gatherer oral microbiomes are shaped by contact network structure. Evolutionary Human Sciences , 5 , Article e9. 10.1017/ehs.2023.4. Green open access

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Abstract

Here we investigate the effects of extensive sociality and mobility on the oral microbiome of 138 Agta hunter–gatherers from the Philippines. Our comparisons of microbiome composition showed that the Agta are more similar to Central African BaYaka hunter–gatherers than to neighbouring farmers. We also defined the Agta social microbiome as a set of 137 oral bacteria (only 7% of 1980 amplicon sequence variants) significantly influenced by social contact (quantified through wireless sensors of short-range interactions). We show that large interaction networks including strong links between close kin, spouses and even unrelated friends can significantly predict bacterial transmission networks across Agta camps. Finally, we show that more central individuals to social networks are also bacterial supersharers. We conclude that hunter–gatherer social microbiomes are predominantly pathogenic and were shaped by evolutionary tradeoffs between extensive sociality and disease spread.

Type: Article
Title: Agta hunter–gatherer oral microbiomes are shaped by contact network structure
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/ehs.2023.4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/ehs.2023.4
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0), which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is used to distribute the re-used or adapted article and the original article is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained prior to any commercial use.
Keywords: Hunter–gatherers; social networks; oral microbiome; disease spread
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167965
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