Indian sewage microbiome has unique community characteristics and potential for population-level disease predictions

authored by
Kumar Siddharth Singh, Dhiraj Paul, Abhishek Gupta, Dhiraj Dhotre, Frank Klawonn, Yogesh Shouche

Sewage wastewater pollutes water and poses a public health issue but it could also prove useful in certain research domains. Sewage is a complex niche relevant for research concerning ‘one-health’, human health, pollution and antibiotic resistance. Indian gut microbiome is also understudied due to sampling constraints and sewage could be used to explore it. Ostensibly, Indian sewage needs to be studied and here, we performed a cross-sectional pan-India sewage sampling to generate the first comprehensive Indian sewage microbiome. Indian sewage showed predominance of Burkholderiaceae, Rhodocyclaceae, Veillonellaceae, Prevotellaceae, etc. and has high representation of gut microbes. The identified gut microbes have overrepresentation of Veillonellaceae, Rikenellaceae, Streptococcaceae, and Bacillaceae. Imputed metagenomics of sewage microbiome indicated dominance of transport, motility, peptidases, amino acid metabolism, and antibiotic resistance genes. Microbiome-disease associations drawn using simple decision tree and random forest analysis identified specific microbes as potential predictors of diabetes and obesity in a city. Altogether, we generated the first Indian sewage microbiome and our non-invasive, high-throughput workflow could be emulated for future research, wastewater-based epidemiology and designing policies concerning public health.

Institute of Microbiology
External Organisation(s)
National Centre for Cell Science
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
Azim Premji University
Science of the Total Environment
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Environmental Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Waste Management and Disposal, Pollution
Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being, SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
Electronic version(s) (Access: Closed)