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The respiratory microbiome and innate immunity in asthma

Huang, Yvonne J.

Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: January 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue 1 - p 27–32
doi: 10.1097/MCP.0000000000000124
ASTHMA: Edited by Nicola A. Hanania and Zuzana Diamant
Editor's Choice

Purpose of review The purpose of this study is to summarize recent studies of the lower respiratory microbiome in asthma, the role of innate immunity in asthma and strategies to understand complex microbiome–immune interactions in asthma.

Recent findings Recent evidence indicates that the composition of lower respiratory microbiota in asthmatic individuals, across a spectrum of disease severity, is altered compared with healthy individuals. Attributes of this altered airway microbiome have been linked to clinical and inflammatory features of asthma. The importance of innate immune cells and mucosal defense systems in asthma is increasingly appreciated and may be dysregulated in the disease.

Summary Interactions between the respiratory microbiome and innate mucosal immunity in asthma are complex and a challenge to dissect. Multiple avenues of investigation, leveraging a variety of methodologies, will need to be pursued to understand functional relationships to clinical and inflammatory phenotypes seen in asthma.

Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

Correspondence to Yvonne J. Huang, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Michigan Health System, 6301 MSRB III/SPC 5642, 1150 W. Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5642. Tel: +1 734-936-5047; e-mail:

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