Host-microorganism interactions in lung diseases

Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Dec;14(12):827-35. doi: 10.1038/nri3769.


Until recently, the airways were thought to be sterile unless infected; however, a shift towards molecular methods for the quantification and sequencing of bacterial DNA has revealed that the airways harbour a unique steady-state microbiota. This paradigm shift is changing the way that respiratory research is approached, with a clear need now to consider the effects of host-microorganism interactions in both healthy and diseased lungs. We propose that akin to recent discoveries in intestinal research, dysbiosis of the airway microbiota could underlie susceptibility to, and progression and chronicity of lung disease. In this Opinion article, we summarize current knowledge of the airway microbiota and outline how host-microorganism interactions in the lungs and other tissues might influence respiratory health and disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / immunology*
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Microbiota / immunology*