Affiliations: [a] Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
| [b] Michael Smith Laboratories, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre and Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
| [d] Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
| [e] Division of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Correspondence to: Dr. Silke Appel-Cresswell, Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre, University of British Columbia, 2221 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada. Tel.: +1 604 822 7754; E-mail: [email protected].
Note:  Co-senior authors.
Abstract: The gut microbiome has been increasingly implicated in Parkinson’s disease (PD); however, most existing studies employ bacterial-specific sequencing, and have not investigated non-bacterial microbiome constituents. Here, we use fungal-specific internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-2 amplicon sequencing in a cross-sectional PD cohort to investigate associations between the fungal gut microbiome and PD. Fungal load among participants was extremely low, and genera identified were almost exclusively of proposed dietary or environmental origin. We observed significantly lower fungal DNA relative to bacterial DNA among PD patients. No fungi differed in abundance between patients and controls, nor were any associated with motor, cognitive, or gastrointestinal features among patients.
Keywords: Fungal microbiome, gut microbiome, gut-brain axis, mycobiome, Parkinson’s disease