The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of Active or Sedentary lifestyle on saliva microbiota composition in Italian schoolchildren. Methods: Male (114) and female children (8-10 years) belonging to five primary schools in the neighborhoods of Turin were classified as active (A) or sedentary (S) based on PAQ-C-It questionnaire. PCR amplification of salivary DNA targeted the hypervariable V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA bacterial genes. DADA2 workflow was used to infer the Amplicon Sequence Variants and the taxonomic assignments; the beta-diversity was obtained by PCoA with the UniFrac method; LEfSe algorithm, threshold at 5%, and Log LDA cutoff at +/- 0.5 were used to identify differently abundant species in A compared to S saliva sample. Daily food intake was assessed by 3-Days food record. The metabolic potential of microbial communities was assessed by PICRUSt. Results: No significant differences were found in individual's gender distribution (p = 0.411), anthropometry, BMI (p > 0.05), and all diet composition between A and S groups (p > 0.05). Eight species were differently abundant: Prevotella nigrescens (LDA score = -3.76; FDR = 1.5x10-03), Collinsella aerofaciens (LDA score = -3.17; FDR = 7.45x10-03), Simonsiella muelleri (LDA score = -2.96; FDR = 2.76x10-05), Parabacteroides merdae (LDA score = -2.43; FDR = 1.3x10-02) are enriched in the A group; Gemella parahaemolysans, Prevotella aurantiaca (LDA score = -3.9; FDR = 5.27x10-04), Prevotella pallens (LDA score = 4.23; FDR = 1.93x10-02), Neisseria mucosa (LDA score = 4.43; FDR = 1.31x10-02; LDA score = 2.94; FDR = 7.45x10-03) are enriched in the S group. A prevalence of superpathway of fatty acid biosynthesis initiation (E. coli) and catechol degradation II (metacleavage pathway) was found in saliva from A compared to S children. Conclusion: Our results showed that active children had an enrichment of species and genera mainly associated with a healthier profile. By contrast, the genera and the species enriched in the sedentary group could be linked to human diseases.
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