Nose and Throat Bacteria Are Different

BOSTON, June 24 (UPI) — Despite their proximity, the nose and throat have distinct differences in bacterial populations, U.S. researchers found.

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco, collaborated on a comprehensive comparative analysis of the bacterial communities inhabiting the human nose and throat.

The findings, published in mBio, found distinct differences between bacterial populations in the nose where the majority of bacteria were those often distributed on the skin — and the throat, which had a bacterial distribution with greater similarity to that found in saliva.

“The nose and throat are important sites of pathogen colonization, yet the microbiota of both are relatively unexplored by culture-independent approaches,” a lead author, Katherine Lemon of Children’s Hospital Boston, said in a statement.

Lemon and colleagues examined and compared the bacterial communities from the noses and throats of seven healthy adults using two different culture-independent methods, one of which was a 16S rRNA microarray, called the PhyloChip, which possesses 500,000 probes and can detect approximately 8,500 genetically distinct groups of bacteria.

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