Humanization of wildlife gut microbiota in urban environments

Brian A. Dillard, Albert K. Chung, Alex R. Gunderson, Shane C. Campbell-Staton, Andrew H. Moeller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Urbanization is rapidly altering Earth’s environments, demanding investigation of the impacts on resident wildlife. Here, we show that urban populations of coyotes (Canis latrans), crested anole lizards (Anolis cristatellus), and white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) acquire gut microbiota constituents found in humans, including gut bacterial lineages associated with urbanization in humans. Comparisons of urban and rural wildlife and human populations revealed significant convergence of gut microbiota among urban populations relative to rural populations. All bacterial lineages overrepresented in urban wildlife relative to rural wildlife and differentially abundant between urban and rural humans were also overrepresented in urban humans relative to rural humans. Remarkably, the bacterial lineage most overrepresented in urban anoles was a Bacteroides sequence variant that was also the most significantly overrepresented in urban human populations. These results indicate parallel effects of urbanization on human and wildlife gut microbiota and suggest spillover of bacteria from humans into wildlife in cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere76381
JournaleLife
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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