People with RAG-deficiency have distinct skin, nasal, and gut microbiomes as compared to healthy individuals. The researchers observed an enriched antimicrobial resistance gene content among the microbiota of these individuals. They also found that people with >RAG<-deficiency are colonized by eukaryotic viruses, including pathogenic viruses and atypical viruses.

What is exciting about this article?

Disruptions in immunity such as RAG deficiency can affect a person’s microbiome patterns. Future mouse studies could identify the mechanisms associated with the RAG genes that affect microbiota colonization. A pandemic like COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for predicting and tracking RNA viruses that infect and colonize humans. Atypical RNA and DNA viruses that infect humans may be readily identified in people with immunodeficiencies, serving as important examples of possible pathogens for pandemic preparedness. Demonstrated persistence of antimicrobial resistance is of potential clinical concern due to the risk of multi-drug resistant infections, especially in people with immunodeficiencies.

Grant support


Research Areas:

Clinical Research Computational Biology Genetics and Genomics Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Skin Biology


Expanded microbiome niches of RAG-deficient patients.

Blaustein RA, Shen Z, Kashaf SS, Lee-Lin S, Conlan S, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, Bosticardo M, Delmonte OM, Holmes CJ, Taylor ME, Banania G, Nagao K, Dimitrova D, Kanakry JA, Su H, Holland SM, Bergerson JRE, Freeman AF, Notarangelo LD, Kong HH, Segre JA
Cell Rep Med.
2023 Oct 17;
doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.101205
PMID: 37757827

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIHʼs National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.