There is a unique microbial pattern in the city, it is also possible to identify the city from the microorganism like a fingerprint
various microorganisms exist in the human body, and individuals can be identified by investigating the patterns of microorganisms released from each body. A new study investigating microorganisms in 60 cities across 32 countries on six continents found that each city also has its own unique microbial pattern, and it is possible to identify cities from microorganisms like fingerprints. Did.
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Cities Have Unique Microbial'Fingerprints', First Study of Its Kind Reveals
In 2015, Professor Christopher Mason of Cornell University School of Medicine launched the International MetaSUB Consortium, an international project to collect microbial samples from all over the world and analyze their genes. From 2015 to 2017, MetaSUB collected 4728 microbial samples from public transport and hospitals in 60 cities around the world.
In a treatise, the research team said, 'It is now clear that cities affect people's health, but the mechanisms of their effects are diverse and poorly understood.' 'Urban environments other than pandemics.' Our understanding of the dynamics of microorganisms in Japan is just beginning. '
When a metagenomic sequence analysis was performed to comprehensively identify the microorganisms contained in the collected samples based on DNA, the research team found that the samples collected in each city were not the same, and different microbial patterns were used in each city. I found out that I have it.
In this analysis, 31 species of microorganisms were consistently found in 97% of the samples, confirming the existence of 'core' microbial groups present in almost every city. On the other hand, it seems that the microbial group was clearly influenced by geographical conditions, and the difference is that there are many salt-loving microorganisms in the coastal areas and the diversity of microorganisms is remarkably large in densely populated cities. Was seen.
According to Mason, by analyzing the DNA of microorganisms attached to shoes by metagenomic sequencing, it is possible to predict where the person lives with 90% accuracy. Factors that affect the microbial group include overall population, population density, altitude, distance to the sea, and climate, suggesting that it may be useful for future forensic research.
In addition, the study also found 10,928 viruses, 1302 bacteria, and two archaea that did not match the species identified so far. 'Every time you sit down on the subway, you may be commuting with a whole new species of microbes,' Mason said.
This study is based on samples collected from 2015 to 2017, but the scale of MetaSUB has expanded since then, and at the time of writing the article, it is said that samples are being collected in more than 100 cities. That thing. Also, it seems that the place to collect samples is expanding not only to the surface of objects but also to air and sewage.
The task of identifying microorganisms in different cities provides the opportunity to identify health threats such as antibiotic-resistant strains and to find microorganisms that will lead to future drug development. 'Rainforests are a treasure trove of biodiversity, and people tend to think that there are new molecules for treatment, but the same is true for subway railings and benches,' Mason said.