Cigarette smoking and the oral microbiome in a large study of American adults

Jing Wu, Brandilyn A. Peters, Christine Dominianni, Yilong Zhang, Zhiheng Pei, Liying Yang, Yingfei Ma, Mark P. Purdue, Eric J. Jacobs, Susan M. Gapstur, Huilin Li, Alexander V. Alekseyenko, Richard B. Hayes, Jiyoung Ahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

344 Scopus citations


Oral microbiome dysbiosis is associated with oral disease and potentially with systemic diseases; however, the determinants of these microbial imbalances are largely unknown. In a study of 1204 US adults, we assessed the relationship of cigarette smoking with the oral microbiome. 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed on DNA from oral wash samples, sequences were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) using QIIME and metagenomic content was inferred using PICRUSt. Overall oral microbiome composition differed between current and non-current (former and never) smokers (P<0.001). Current smokers had lower relative abundance of the phylum Proteobacteria (4.6%) compared with never smokers (11.7%) (false discovery rate q=5.2 × 10 -7), with no difference between former and never smokers; the depletion of Proteobacteria in current smokers was also observed at class, genus and OTU levels. Taxa not belonging to Proteobacteria were also associated with smoking: the genera Capnocytophaga, Peptostreptococcus and Leptotrichia were depleted, while Atopobium and Streptococcus were enriched, in current compared with never smokers. Functional analysis from inferred metagenomes showed that bacterial genera depleted by smoking were related to carbohydrate and energy metabolism, and to xenobiotic metabolism. Our findings demonstrate that smoking alters the oral microbiome, potentially leading to shifts in functional pathways with implications for smoking-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2435-2446
Number of pages12
JournalISME Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Cigarette smoking and the oral microbiome in a large study of American adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this