World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 Nov 21;39(1):20. doi: 10.1007/s11274-022-03461-8.
Smokeless tobacco (ST) consumption keeps human oral health at high risk which is one of the major reasons for oral tumorigenesis. The chemical constituents of the ST products have been well discussed; however, the inhabitant microbial diversity of the ST products is less explored especially from south Asian regions. Therefore, the present investigation discusses the bacteriome-based analysis of indigenous tobacco products. The study relies on 16S amplicon-based bacteriome analysis of Indian smokeless tobacco (ST) products using a metagenomic approach. A total of 59,15,143 high-quality reads were assigned to 34 phyla, 82 classes, 176 orders, 256 families, 356 genera, and 154 species using the SILVA database. Of the phyla (> 1%), Firmicutes dominate among the Indian smokeless tobacco followed by Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Actinobacteria (> 1%). Whereas, at the genera level (> 1%), Lysinibacillus, Dickeya, Terribacillus, and Bacillus dominate. The comparative analysis between the loose tobacco (LT) and commercial tobacco (CT) groups showed no significant difference at the phyla level, however, only three genera (Bacillus, Aerococcus, and Halomonas) were identified as significantly different between the groups. It indicates that CT and LT tobacco share similar bacterial diversity and poses equal health risks to human oral health. The phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt 2.0) based analysis uncovered several genes involved in nitrate/nitrite reduction, biofilm formation, and pro-inflammation that find roles in oral pathogenesis including oral cancer. The strong correlation analysis of these genes with several pathogenic bacteria suggests that tobacco products pose a high bacterial-derived risk to human health. The study paves the way to understand the bacterial diversity of Indian smokeless tobacco products and their putative functions with respect to human oral health. The study grabs attention to the bacterial diversity of the smokeless tobacco products from a country where tobacco consumers are rampantly prevalent however oral health is of least concern.