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Virulence genes are a signature of the microbiome in the colorectal tumor microenvironment

Overview of attention for article published in Genome Medicine, June 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#42 of 1,166)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (98th percentile)

Mentioned by

5 news outlets
4 blogs
61 tweeters
1 patent
3 Facebook pages
1 Google+ user


114 Dimensions

Readers on

212 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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Virulence genes are a signature of the microbiome in the colorectal tumor microenvironment
Published in
Genome Medicine, June 2015
DOI 10.1186/s13073-015-0177-8
Pubmed ID

Michael B. Burns, Joshua Lynch, Timothy K. Starr, Dan Knights, Ran Blekhman


The human gut microbiome is associated with the development of colon cancer, and recent studies have found changes in the microbiome in cancer patients compared to healthy controls. Studying the microbial communities in the tumor microenvironment may shed light on the role of host-bacteria interactions in colorectal cancer. Here, we highlight the major shifts in the colorectal tumor microbiome relative to that of matched normal colon tissue from the same individual, allowing us to survey the microbial communities in the tumor microenvironment and providing intrinsic control for environmental and host genetic effects on the microbiome. We sequenced the microbiome in 44 primary tumor and 44 patient-matched normal colon tissue samples to determine differentially abundant microbial taxa These data were also used to functionally characterize the microbiome of the cancer and normal sample pairs and identify functional pathways enriched in the tumor-associated microbiota. We find that tumors harbor distinct microbial communities compared to nearby healthy tissue. Our results show increased microbial diversity in the tumor microenvironment, with changes in the abundances of commensal and pathogenic bacterial taxa, including Fusobacterium and Providencia. While Fusobacterium has previously been implicated in colorectal cancer, Providencia is a novel tumor-associated agent which has not been identified in previous studies. Additionally, we identified a clear, significant enrichment of predicted virulence-associated genes in the colorectal cancer microenvironment, likely dependent upon the genomes of Fusobacterium and Providencia. This work identifies bacterial taxa significantly correlated with colorectal cancer, including a novel finding of an elevated abundance of Providencia in the tumor microenvironment. We also describe the predicted metabolic pathways and enzymes differentially present in the tumor-associated microbiome, and show an enrichment of virulence-associated bacterial genes in the tumor microenvironment. This predicted virulence enrichment supports the hypothesis that the microbiome plays an active role in colorectal cancer development and/or progression. Our results provide a starting point for future prognostic and therapeutic research with the potential to improve patient outcomes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 61 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 212 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 6 3%
Germany 2 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Taiwan 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Croatia 1 <1%
Unknown 200 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 59 28%
Student > Ph. D. Student 40 19%
Student > Master 18 8%
Other 18 8%
Student > Bachelor 16 8%
Other 43 20%
Unknown 18 8%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 65 31%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 44 21%
Medicine and Dentistry 33 16%
Immunology and Microbiology 10 5%
Computer Science 8 4%
Other 26 12%
Unknown 26 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 101. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 May 2017.
All research outputs
of 17,494,559 outputs
Outputs from Genome Medicine
of 1,166 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 238,631 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Genome Medicine
of 3 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,494,559 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,166 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 238,631 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 3 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them