Background:

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is rising in incidence, and established risk factors do not explain this trend. Esophageal microbiome alterations have been associated with Barrett's esophagus (BE) and dysplasia and EAC. The oral microbiome is tightly linked to the esophageal microbiome; this study aimed to identify salivary microbiome-related factors associated with BE, dysplasia, and EAC.

Methods:

Clinical data and oral health history were collected from patients with and without BE. The salivary microbiome was characterized, assessing differential relative abundance of taxa by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and associations between microbiome composition and clinical features. Microbiome metabolic modeling was used to predict metabolite production.

Results:

A total of 244 patients (125 non-BE and 119 BE) were analyzed. Patients with high-grade dysplasia (HGD)/EAC had a significantly higher prevalence of tooth loss (P = 0.001). There were significant shifts with increased dysbiosis associated with HGD/EAC, independent of tooth loss, with the largest shifts within the genus Streptococcus. Modeling predicted significant shifts in the microbiome metabolic capacities, including increases in L-lactic acid and decreases in butyric acid and L-tryptophan production in HGD/EAC.

Conclusions:

Marked dysbiosis in the salivary microbiome is associated with HGD and EAC, with notable increases within the genus Streptococcus and accompanying changes in predicted metabolite production. Further work is warranted to identify the biological significance of these alterations and to validate metabolic shifts.

Impact:

There is an association between oral dysbiosis and HGD/EAC. Further work is needed to establish the diagnostic, predictive, and causal potential of this relationship.

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