Analysis of Oral Microbiota in Human Subjects

SDSU Co-Leader

Kelly Doran, Ph.D.

UCSD Co-Leader

Michael Bouvet, M.D.



This project aims to characterize the oral microbiota of patients with pancreatic and other digestive cancers compared to healthy controls by prospectively enrolling patients from the UCSD Medical Center. We are collecting saliva samples, buccal swabs, and information on patient demographics, which is lacking from existing literature. Initial microscopic and FACS analysis of saliva samples revealed a high bacterial load. In this study, we will apply Next-Generation Sequencing methods to compare the oral microbial and gene functional diversity using 16S ribosomal RNA amplicons and metagenomics. We are currently extracting DNA from all samples for future sequence analysis. Following species classification, we will also culture each sample for confirmation of differences in particular bacteria previously associated with types of cancer. Our results will determine whether significant differences are present in the oral microbiome by health status and ethnicity, and if particular oral microbial community and/or functional gene profiles may serve as effective indicators of cancer progression and disease disparity.

Project Period: 5/10/2013 – 8/31/2013