Comparative analysis of racial differences in breast tumor microbiome

Srikantha Thyagarajan, Yan Zhang, Santosh Thapa, Michael S. Allen, Nicole Phillips, Pankaj Chaudhary, Meghana V. Kashyap, Jamboor K. Vishwanatha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Studies have demonstrated that environmental, host genetic, and socioeconomic factors influence the breast cancer prevalence landscape with a far-reaching influence on racial disparity to subtypes of breast cancer. To understand whether breast tissue harbors race-specific microbiota, we performed 16S rRNA gene-based sequencing of retrospective tumor and matched normal tissue adjacent to tumor (NAT) samples collected from Black non-Hispanic (BNH) and White non-Hispanic (WNH) women. Analysis of Triple Negative Breast cancer (TNBC) and Triple Positive Breast Cancer (TPBC) tissues for microbiota composition revealed significant differences in relative abundance of specific taxa at both phylum and genus levels between WNH and BNH women cohorts. Our main findings are that microbial diversity as measured by Shannon index was significantly lower in BNH TNBC tumor tissue as compared to matched NAT zone. In contrast, the WNH cohort had an inverse pattern for the Shannon index, when TNBC tumor tissue was compared to the matched NAT. Unweighted Principle Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) revealed a distinct clustering of tumor and NAT microbiota in both BNH and WNH cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14116
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


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