Published online: December 30, 2016
Lower airways host diverse communities of microbes that are significantly different in subjects with asthma compared to healthy subjects, but the association between airway inflammation and airway microbiota is largely unknown.
In a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) Sverrild and colleagues examined the composition of airway microbiota in broncho-alveolar lavage from steroid-free subjects with asthma and healthy controls in a cross-sectional design, and compare this with inflammatory parameters of induced sputum, broncho-alveolar lavage and airway mucosa biopsies.
The authors find that the level of eosinophilic airway inflammation correlates with variations in microbiomes across subjects with asthma, whereas neutrophilic airway inflammation does not. Asthmatics with the lowest levels of eosinophils host a more diverse microbiota, but with less variation between individuals compared to asthmatics with the highest levels of eosinophils and healthy controls. The authors conclude that the results call for further research that look into the causal relationship between airway microbiota and alterations of molecular pathways in eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic airway inflammation.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.