ASTHMA: Edited by Nicola A. HananiaMicrobes and asthma the missing cellular and molecular linksBrar, Tinaa; Nagaraj, Srinivasa; Mohapatra, Shyama,b Author Information aDivision of Translational Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine bJames A. Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, Florida, USA Correspondence to Dr Shyam S. Mohapatra, Division of Translational Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of South Florida College of Medicine and James A. Haley VA Hospital, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. E-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: January 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - p 14-22 doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e32834dccc0 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review In this review, we describe the ‘state-of-the-art’ in our knowledge of asthma and what gaps exist, which can be exploited in the future for effective translation of our knowledge from the bench or population studies to diagnosis and therapy. Recent findings The advent of microbiome research has expanded the potential role of microbes in asthma. There has been a significant increase in our understanding of the pathologic, genetic, cellular and molecular mechanisms of asthma. Nonetheless, the contribution of microbes to the genesis, exacerbation and treatment of asthma are poorly understood. Summary Asthma is a complex chronic disease of the lung whose incidence is growing at all ages despite the progress that has been made in the areas of diagnosis and treatment of asthma. The complexity is partly due to the environmental insults such as allergens and microbial infections that play differential roles in the pathogenesis of childhood vis-à-vis elderly asthma. Microbes may play important roles in the exacerbation of asthma and hence in the comorbidities due to asthma, and also in the causation of asthma. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.