The potential impact of the pulmonary microbiome on immunopathogenesis of Aspergillus-related lung disease

Eur J Immunol. 2014 Nov;44(11):3156-65. doi: 10.1002/eji.201344404. Epub 2014 Oct 27.


Aspergillosis is an infection or allergic response caused by fungi of the genus Aspergillus. The most common forms of aspergillosis are allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, chronic pulmonary aspergillosis, and invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Aspergillus also plays an important role in fungal sensitized asthma. Humans inhale Aspergillus spores every day and when the host is immunocompromised, Aspergillus spp. may cause severe pulmonary disease. There is increasing evidence that the microbiome plays a significant role in immune regulation, chronic inflammatory diseases, metabolism, and other physiological processes, including recovery from the effects of antibiotic treatment. Bacterial microbiome mediated resistance mechanisms probably play a major role in limiting fungal colonization of the lungs, and may therefore prevent humans from contracting Aspergillus-related diseases. In this perspective, we review this emerging area of research and discuss the role of the microbiome in aspergillosis, role of Aspergillus in the microbiome, and the influence of the microbiome on anti-Aspergillus host defense and its role in preventing aspergillosis.

Keywords: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis; Aspergillosis; Immune regulation; Mycobiome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / immunology*
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / microbiology
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / pathology
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / immunology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / pathogenicity
  • Asthma / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / immunology*
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis / pathology
  • Lung / microbiology*
  • Lung / pathology
  • Microbiota / immunology*