An increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) and other types of tumor is associated to Lynch syndrome (LS), an inherited condition caused by germline mutations in mismatch repair genes. We selected a cohort of LS patients that had developed CRC and had undergone surgical resection.

Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks from matched colorectal and normal mucosa were used for genomic DNA extraction with a commercial kit and sequenced by high-throughput sequencing. A metagenomic approach enabled the taxonomic and functional identification of the microbial community and associated genes detected in the specimens.

Slightly lower taxonomic diversity was observed in the tumor compared to he non-tumor tissue. Furthermore, the most remarkable differences between tumors and healthy tissue was the significant increase in the genus Fusobacterium in the former, in particular the species F. nucleatum, as well as Camplylobacter or Bacteroides fragilis, in accordance with previous studies of CRC. However, unlike prior studies, the present work is not based on directed detection by qPCR but instead uses a metagenomic approach to retrieve the whole bacterial community, and addresses the additional difficulty of using long-term stored FFPE samples.

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