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Keywords

16S rRNA sequencing, human microbiome, nursing research, translational research

 

Authors

  1. Ames, Nancy J.
  2. Ranucci, Alexandra
  3. Moriyama, Brad
  4. Wallen, Gwenyth R.

Abstract

Background: As more is understood regarding the human microbiome, it is increasingly important for nurse scientists and healthcare practitioners to analyze these microbial communities and their role in health and disease. 16S rRNA sequencing is a key methodology in identifying these bacterial populations that has recently transitioned from use primarily in research to having increased utility in clinical settings.

 

Objectives: The objectives of this review are to (a) describe 16S rRNA sequencing and its role in answering research questions important to nursing science; (b) provide an overview of the oral, lung, and gut microbiomes and relevant research; and (c) identify future implications for microbiome research and 16S sequencing in translational nursing science.

 

Discussion: Sequencing using the 16S rRNA gene has revolutionized research and allowed scientists to easily and reliably characterize complex bacterial communities. This type of research has recently entered the clinical setting, one of the best examples involving the use of 16S sequencing to identify resistant pathogens, thereby improving the accuracy of bacterial identification in infection control. Clinical microbiota research and related requisite methods are of particular relevance to nurse scientists-individuals uniquely positioned to utilize these techniques in future studies in clinical settings.