Diversity of faecal oxalate-degrading bacteria in black and white South African study groups: Insights into understanding the rarity of urolithiasis in the black group

C. A. Magwira, B. Kullin, S. Lewandowski, A. Rodgers, S. J. Reid, Valerie R. Abratt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: To examine whether enhanced diversity or numbers of oxalate-degrading bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of black South Africans play a role in determining the rarity of urolithiasis in this group. Methods and Results: Fresh faecal samples collected from healthy black and white South African male volunteers were analysed in terms of bacterial oxalate-degrading activity, bacterial diversity and relative species abundance. Varied bacterial populations prepared from samples from the low-risk black group showed a significantly higher level of oxalate degradation. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses of Lactobacillus and related spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. 16S rRNA PCR products revealed a significantly higher faecal Lactobacillus diversity for the low-risk black group relative to the higher-risk white group. Quantitative real-time PCR experiments did not show any significant differences between the study groups for Lactobacillus and related spp.. However, Bifidobacterium spp. were present at a significantly higher relative abundance in the black group. Oxalobacter formigenes was present only at very low levels in either group. Conclusions: The low abundance of O. formigenes and increased diversity and abundance of oxalate-degrading Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. in the black South African population suggest that these strains rather than O. formigenes may protect this group against calcium oxalate kidney stone disease. Significance and Impact of the Study: The South African black population harbours a pool of potential oxalate-degrading lactic acid bacteria, which is more abundant and diverse than that of white South Africans. This may be useful in developing probiotics for calcium oxalate kidney stone prophylaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-428
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disease processes
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Lactobacillus
  • Microbial phylogenetics
  • Probiotics

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