Cigarette smoking and opium use in relation to the oral microbiota in Iran

Zeni Wu, Yongli Han, J. Gregory Caporaso, Nicholas Bokulich, Ashraf Mohamadkhani, Alireza Moayyedkazemi, Xing Hua, Farin Kamangar, Yunhu Wan, Shalabh Suman, Bin Zhu, Amy Hutchinson, Casey Dagnall, Kristine Jones, Belynda Hicks, Jianxin Shi, Reza Malekzadeh, Christian C. Abnet, Akram Pourshams, Emily Vogtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cigarettes and opium contain chemicals and particulate matter that may modify the oral microbiota. This study aimed to investigate the association between cigarette and opium use with the oral microbiota. A total of 558 participants were recruited from Iran between 2011 and 2015. Individuals were categorized as never cigarette nor opium users, ever cigarette-only smokers, ever opium-only users, and ever both cigarette and opium users. Participants provided saliva samples for 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Logistic regression, microbiome regression-based kernel association test (MiRKAT), and zero-inflated beta regression models were calculated. For every increase in 10 observed amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), the odds for being a cigarette-only smoker, opium-only user, and both user compared to never users decreased by 9% (odds ratio [OR] = 0.91; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.86 to 0.97), 13% (OR = 0.87; 95% CI = 0.75 to 1.01), and 12% (OR = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.80 to 0.96), respectively. The microbial communities differed by cigarette and opium use as indicated by MiRKAT models testing the three beta-diversity matrices (P, 0.05 for all). Three genera were less likely and one genus was more likely to be detected in cigarette-only smokers or opium-only users than in never users. The relative abundance of the phylum Actinobacteria (never, 14.78%; both, 21.20%) was higher and the phyla Bacteroidetes (never, 17.63%; both, 11.62%) and Proteobacteria (never, 9.06%; both, 3.70%) were lower in users of both cigarettes and opium, while the phylum Firmicutes (never, 54.29%; opium, 65.49%) was higher in opium-only users. Cigarette and opium use was associated with lower alpha-diversity, overall oral microbiota community composition, and both the presence and relative abundance of multiple taxa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00138-21
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Cigarette
  • Iran
  • Opium
  • Oral microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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