The ignored diversity: complex bacterial communities in intensive care units revealed by 16S pyrosequencing

Lisa Oberauner, Christin Zachow, S. Lackner, C. Högenauer, K-H. Smolle, Gabriele Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indoor microbial communities play an important role in everyday human health, especially in the intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals. We used amplicon pyrosequencing to study the ICU microbiome and were able to detect diverse sequences, in comparison to the currently used standard cultivation technique that only detected 2.5% of the total bacterial diversity. The phylogenetic spectrum combined species associated with the outside environment, taxa closely related to potential human pathogens and beneficials as well as included 7 phyla and 76 genera. In addition, Propionibacterium spp., Pseudomonas spp. and Burkholderia spp. were identified as important sources of infections. Despite significantly different bacterial area profiles for floors, medical devices and workplaces, similarities by network analyses and strains with identical molecular fingerprints were detected. This information will allow for new …
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fields of Expertise

  • Sonstiges

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