Purpose Allergens present in the feces or frass of cockroaches can cause allergic sensitization in humans. The use of fecal and frass extracts for immunotherapy has been previously investigated but has not yet been fully standardized. Here, we treated cockroaches with ampicillin to produce extracts with reduced amounts of total bacteria. Methods We performed targeted high-throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA to compare the microbiomes of ampicillin-treated and untreated (control) cockroaches. RNA-seq was performed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in ampicillin-treated cockroaches. Results Analysis of the microbiome revealed that alpha diversity was lower in the ampicillin-treated group than in the control group. Beta diversity analysis indicated that ampicillin treatment altered bacterial composition in the microbiome of cockroaches. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that almost all bacteria were removed from ampicillin-treated cockroaches. RNA-seq analysis revealed 1,236 DEGs in ampicillin-treated cockroaches (compared to untreated cockroaches). Unlike bacterial composition, the DEGs varied between the two groups. Among major allergens, the expression of Bla g 2 decreased significantly in ampicillin-treated cockroaches (compared to untreated group). Conclusions In this study, the reduced level of allergens observed in cockroaches may be related to lower amounts of total bacteria caused by treatment with antibiotics. It is possible to make a protein extract with few bacteria for use in immunotherapy.
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© 2021 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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