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)
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)
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)
Enterophages are a novel group of phages that specifically infect Enterococcus faecalis and have been recently isolated from environmental water samples. Although enterophages have not been conclusively linked to human fecal pollution, we are currently characterizing enterophages to propose them as viral indicators and possible surrogates of enteric viruses(More)
BACKGROUND Bacteria inhabiting the human body have important roles in a number of physiological processes and are known to be shared amongst genetically-related individuals. Far less is known about viruses inhabiting the human body, but their ecology suggests they may be shared between close contacts. RESULTS Here, we report the ecology of viruses in the(More)
No microbial source tracking tool satisfies all the characteristics of an ideal indicator of human fecal pollution. For this reason, the potential of Enterococcus faecalis phages (enterophages) as markers of this type of contamination was tested by using eight Enterococcus type strains as the possible hosts. The prevalence of enterophages in animal feces(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)
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)
Characterization of naturally mummified human gut remains could potentially provide insights into the preservation and evolution of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms, and metabolic profiles. We characterized the gut microbiome of two pre-Columbian Andean mummies dating to the 10-15th centuries using 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing and(More)