- Reviewing EditorCarlos SimonFoundation Carlos Simon and Valencia University, Spain
- Senior EditorWei YanUniversity of California, Los Angeles, United States of America
Reviewer #1 (Public Review):
Chen et al. describe the bacterial and fungal composition of cervical samples from women with/without Cesarean-section scar diverticulum (CSD) using whole metagenomic sequencing. Also, they report the metabolomic profile associated with CSD and built correlation networks at the taxonomical and taxonomic-metabolic levels to establish potential bacteria-fungi interactions. These interactions could be used, long-term, as therapeutic options to treat or prevent CSD.
After reviewing the manuscript, the authors have not integrated any of my previous recommendations into the new version of the work. Therefore, in my opinion, the limitations or weaknesses of the study remain the same.
I find it especially worrying that they do not consider the use of white controls necessary, arguing that "we considered that this study described a biomass-rich site, and the abundance of dominant species was much higher than that of the possible 'kitome', so we did not set a blank control" while describing among the most predominant species in the reproductive tract bacteria that do not colonize humans and that have been previously described as contaminants.
Lack of experimental controls can lead to artifactual results and compromise the evidence presented and the significance of the results.
Reviewer #2 (Public Review):
Shotgun data have been analysed to obtain fungal and bacterial organisms abundance. Through their metabolic functions and through co-occurrence networks, a functional relationship between the two types of organisms can be inferred. By means of metabolomics, function-related metabolites are studied in order to deepen the fungus-bacteria synergy.
Data obtained in bacteria correlate with data from other authors.
The study of metabolic "interactions" between fungi and bacteria is quite new.
The inclusion of metabolomics data to support the results is a great contribution.
Most of them have been solved in the revision, but for the future it will be nice to integrate this data with others from 16s.