The ultra-structural, metabolomic and metagenomic characterisation of the sudanese smokeless tobacco ‘Toombak’
Ryan, C. Anthony
Ross, R. Paul
Scanning electron microscopy
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CitationAmel Sami, Imad Elimairi, Dhrati Patangia, Claire Watkins, C. Anthony Ryan, R. Paul Ross, Catherine Stanton, The ultra-structural, metabolomic and metagenomic characterisation of the sudanese smokeless tobacco ‘Toombak’, Toxicology Reports, Volume 8, 2021, Pages 1498-1512, ISSN 2214-7500, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2021.07.008.
AbstractToombak is a smokeless tobacco produced from the Nicotiana rustica tobacco plant from Sudan. Pre-prepared and ready to buy Toombak samples were analysed using mass spectrometry (heavy metals), gas and liquid chromatography (metabolomics), 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing (microbiome) and Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) and pH analysis.Chromium, cobalt, and copper were high in the pre-prepared form of Toombak while iron, tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), formaldehyde and acetaldehyde were high in both types. Firmicutes and Actinobacteria dominated Toombak. Samples of ready to buy Toombak showed inter-variational differences depending on place of purchase. We found Virgibacillus were increased in the pre-prepared form while Corynebacterium casei, Atopococus tabaci, Atopostipes suicloacalis, Oceanobacillus chironomi and Staphylococcus gallinarum were the most abundant species in the ready to buy forms. PICRUSt analysis highlighted increased activity of metal transport systems in the ready to buy samples as well as an antibiotic transport system. SEM-EDX highlighted large non-homogenous, irregular particles with increased sodium, while pH of samples was in the alkaline range.The final composition of Toombak is affected by its method of preparation and the end product has the potential to impart many negative consequences on the health of its users. TSNA levels observed in Toombak were some of the highest in the world while the micro-environment of Toombak supports a distinct microbiota profile.
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