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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 173729, 7 pages
Research Article

Variations of Tongue Coating Microbiota in Patients with Gastric Cancer

1Department of Oncology, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui 241000, China
2The Cancer Center, Yijishan Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui 241000, China

Received 16 June 2015; Revised 27 August 2015; Accepted 3 September 2015

Academic Editor: Janusz Blasiak

Copyright © 2015 Jie Hu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The physical status of humans can be estimated by observing the appearance of the tongue coating, known as tongue diagnosis. The goals of this study were to reveal the relationship between tongue coating appearance and the oral microbiota in patients with gastric cancer and to open a novel research direction supporting tongue diagnosis. We used a tongue manifestation acquisition instrument to analyse the thickness of the tongue coating of patients with gastric cancer and that of healthy controls, and high-throughput sequencing was used to describe the microbial community of the tongue coating by sequencing the V2–V4 region of the 16S rDNA. The tongue coatings of 74 patients with gastric cancer were significantly thicker than those of 72 healthy controls (343.11 ± 198.22 versus 98.42 ± 48.25, ); 51.35% of the patients were assessed as having thick tongue coatings, whereas all healthy controls were assessed as having thin tongue coatings. Thick tongue coatings presented lower microbial community diversity than thin tongue coatings. The tongue coating bacterial community is associated with the appearance of the tongue coating. The tongue coating may be a potential source for diagnosing gastric cancer, but its sensitivity needs to be further improved.