Tasha M. Santiago-Rodriguez

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Viruses are integral members of the human microbiome. Many of the viruses comprising the human virome have been identified as bacteriophage, and little is known about how they respond to perturbations within the human ecosystem. The intimate association of phage with their cellular hosts suggests their communities may change in response to shifts in(More)
UNLABELLED The human oral cavity is home to a large and diverse community of viruses that have yet to be characterized in patients with periodontal disease. We recruited and sampled saliva and oral biofilm from a cohort of humans either periodontally healthy or with mild or significant periodontal disease to discern whether there are differences in viral(More)
Coprolites are fossilized feces that can be used to provide information on the composition of the intestinal microbiota and, as we show, possibly on diet. We analyzed human coprolites from the Huecoid and Saladoid cultures from a settlement on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. While more is known about the Saladoid culture, it is believed that both societies(More)
The human oral cavity provides the perfect portal of entry for viruses and bacteria in the environment to access new hosts. Hence, the oral cavity is one of the most densely populated habitats of the human body containing some 6 billion bacteria and potentially 35 times that many viruses. The role of these viral communities remains unclear; however, many(More)
The study of coprolites from earlier cultures represents a great opportunity to study an "unaltered" composition of the intestinal microbiota. To test this, pre-Columbian coprolites from two cultures, the Huecoid and Saladoid, were evaluated for the presence of DNA, proteins and lipids by cytochemical staining, human and/or dog-specific Bacteroides spp. by(More)
While once believed to represent a sterile environment, the human urinary tract harbors a unique cellular microbiota. We sought to determine whether the human urinary tract also is home to viral communities whose membership might reflect urinary tract health status. We recruited and sampled urine from 20 subjects, 10 subjects with urinary tract infections(More)
The role of viruses as members of the human microbiome has gained broader attention with the discovery that human body surfaces are inhabited by sizeable viral communities. The majority of the viruses identified in these communities have been bacteriophages that predate upon cellular microbiota rather than the human host. Phages have the capacity to lyse(More)
Interspecies bacterial communication is mediated by autoinducer-2, whose synthesis depends on luxS. Due to the apparent universality of luxS (present in more than 40 bacterial species), it may have an ancient origin; however, no direct evidence is currently available. We amplified luxS in bacteria isolated from 25- to 40-million-year-old amber. The(More)
Given that microbial interactions in nature are very complex, we propose that quorum-sensing, as well as quorum-quenching, phenazine and secondary metabolite production, resistance and toxin-antitoxin systems within a microbial community should all comprise the battery of processes involving the study of what we would define as the "sociomicrobiome". In the(More)
BACKGROUND Most human microbiota studies focus on bacteria inhabiting body surfaces, but these surfaces also are home to large populations of viruses. Many are bacteriophages, and their role in driving bacterial diversity is difficult to decipher without the use of in vitro ecosystems that can reproduce human microbial communities. RESULTS We used(More)