Bacterial DNAemia in Older Participants and Nonagenarian Offspring and Association With Redox Biomarkers: Results From MARK-AGE Study

Robertina Giacconi, Patrizia D'Aquila, Marco Malavolta, Francesco Piacenza, Alexander Bürkle, María Moreno Villanueva, Martijn E.T. Dollé, Eugène Jansen, Tilman Grune, Efstathios S. Gonos, Claudio Franceschi, Miriam Capri, Daniela Gradinaru, Beatrix Grubeck-Loebenstein, Ewa Sikora, Wolfgang Stuetz, Daniela Weber, Olivier Toussaint, Florence Debacq-Chainiaux, Antti HervonenMikko Hurme, P. Eline Slagboom, Christiane Schön, Jürgen Bernhardt, Nicolle Breusing, Talbot Duncan, Giuseppe Passarino, Dina Bellizzi, Mauro Provinciali

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Aging and age-related diseases have been linked to microbial dysbiosis with changes in blood bacterial DNA concentration. This condition may promote chronic low-grade inflammation, which can be further aggravated by antioxidant nutrient deficiency. Low plasma carotenoids are associated with an increased risk of inflammation and cellular damage and predict mortality. However, no evidence is yet available on the relationship between antioxidants and the blood bacterial DNA (BB-DNA). Therefore, this study aimed to compare BB-DNA from (a) GO (nonagenarian offspring), (b) age-matched controls (Randomly recruited Age-Stratified Individuals from the General population [RASIG]), and (c) spouses of GO (SGO) recruited in the MARK-AGE project, as well as to investigate the association between BB-DNA, behavior habits, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), leucocyte subsets, and the circulating levels of some antioxidants and oxidative stress markers. BB-DNA was higher in RASIG than GO and SGO, whereas GO and SGO participants showed similar values. BB-DNA increased in smokers and males with CCI ≥ 2 compared with those with CCI ≤ 1 within RASIG. Moreover, BB-DNA was positively associated with lymphocyte, neutrophil, and monocyte counts, but not with self-reported dietary habits. Higher quartiles of BB-DNA were associated with low lutein and zeaxanthin and elevated malondialdehyde plasma concentrations in RASIG. BB-DNA was also positively correlated with nitric oxide levels. Herein, we provide evidence of a reduced BB-DNA in individuals from long-living families and their spouses, suggesting a decreased microbial dysbiosis and bacterial systemic translocation. BB-DNA was also associated with smoking, CCI, leukocyte subsets, and some redox biomarkers in older participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023


  • Aging
  • Blood bacterial DNA
  • Dysbiosis
  • Inflammation
  • Longevity


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