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Review
, 5 (6), 809-21

The Emerging Relationship Between the Airway Microbiota and Chronic Respiratory Disease: Clinical Implications

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Review

The Emerging Relationship Between the Airway Microbiota and Chronic Respiratory Disease: Clinical Implications

Yvonne J Huang et al. Expert Rev Respir Med.

Abstract

Until recently, relationships between evidence of colonization or infection by specific microbial species and the development, persistence or exacerbation of pulmonary disease have informed our opinions of airway microbiology. However, recent applications of culture-independent tools for microbiome profiling have revealed a more diverse microbiota than previously recognized in the airways of patients with chronic pulmonary disease. New evidence indicates that the composition of airway microbiota differs in states of health and disease and with severity of symptoms and that the microbiota, as a collective entity, may contribute to pathophysiologic processes associated with chronic airway disease. Here, we review the evolution of airway microbiology studies of chronic pulmonary disease, focusing on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. Building on evidence derived from traditional microbiological approaches and more recent culture-independent microbiome studies, we discuss the implications of recent findings on potential microbial determinants of respiratory health or disease.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Phylogenetic tree based on representative 16S rRNA gene sequences of the approximately 100 bacterial taxa highly correlated with more severe bronchial hyper-responsiveness (p < 0.01; q < 0.015) in asthmatics on inhaled corticosteroids
Colors represent different bacterial families. Taxa with member species previously associated with clinical disease or possessing notable functional features. Unclassif.: Unclassified. Reproduced with permission from [4].

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