Background: Recent studies suggest that alterations in lung microbiome are associated with occurrence of chronic lung diseases and transplant rejection. To investigate the host-microbiome interactions, we characterized the airway microbiome and metabolome of the allograft (transplanted lung) and native lung of single lung transplant recipients.
Methods: BAL was collected from the allograft and native lungs of SLTs and healthy controls. 16S rRNA microbiome analysis was performed on BAL bacterial pellets and supernatant used for metabolome, cytokines and acetylated proline-glycine-proline (Ac-PGP) measurement by liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry.
Results: In our cohort, the allograft airway microbiome was distinct with a significantly higher bacterial burden and relative abundance of genera Acinetobacter & Pseudomonas. Likewise, the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine VEGF and the neutrophil chemoattractant matrikine Ac-PGP in the allograft was significantly higher. Airway metabolome distinguished the native lung from the allografts and an increased concentration of sphingosine-like metabolites that negatively correlated with abundance of bacteria from phyla Proteobacteria.
Conclusions: Allograft lungs have a distinct microbiome signature, a higher bacterial biomass and an increased Ac-PGP compared to the native lungs in SLTs compared to the native lungs in SLTs. Airway metabolome distinguishes the allografts from native lungs and is associated with distinct microbial communities, suggesting a functional relationship between the local microbiome and metabolome.