The Gut-Lung Axis in Respiratory Disease

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Nov;12 Suppl 2:S150-6. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201503-133AW.


Host-microorganism interactions shape local cell functionality, immune responses, and can influence disease development. Evidence indicates that the impact of host-microbe interactions reaches far beyond the local environment, thus influencing responses in peripheral tissues. There is a vital cross-talk between the mucosal tissues of our body, as exemplified by intestinal complications during respiratory disease and vice versa. Although, mechanistically, this phenomenon remains poorly defined, the existence of the gut-lung axis and its implications in both health and disease could be profoundly important for both disease etiology and treatment. In this review, we highlight how changes in the intestinal microenvironment, with a particular focus on the intestinal microbiota, impact upon respiratory disease.

Keywords: chronic lung disorders; lung–gut axis; microbiota; respiratory infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Microbiota*
  • Probiotics / therapeutic use
  • Respiratory Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / microbiology*