Diverticular disease is commonly associated with the older population in the United States. As individual's age, diverticulae, or herniation of the mucosa through the colonic wall, develop. In 10-25% of individuals, the diverticulae become inflamed, resulting in diverticulitis. The gut ecosystem relies on the interaction of bacteria and fungi to maintain homeostasis. Although bacterial dysbiosis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diverticulitis, associations between the microbial ecosystem and diverticulitis remain largely unstudied. This study investigated how the cooperative network of bacteria and fungi differ between a diseased area of the sigmoid colon chronically affected by diverticulitis and adjacent non-affected tissue. To identify mucosa-associated microbes, bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ITS sequencing were performed on chronically diseased sigmoid colon tissue (DT) and adjacent tissue (AT) from the same colonic segment. We found that Pseudomonas and Basidiomycota OTUs were associated with AT while Microbacteriaceae and Ascomycota were enriched in DT. Bipartite co-occurrence networks were constructed for each tissue type. The DT and AT networks were distinct for each tissue type, with no microbial relationships maintained after intersection merge of the groups. Our findings indicate that the microbial ecosystem distinguishes chronically diseased tissue from adjacent tissue.
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