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Asthma Severity Linked to Upper Airway Bacteria Microbiome


Washington University scientists now believe that altering the bacteria in the upper airways could help people with asthma. By collecting mucus samples, it was found that children who displayed early warning signs for a flare up were more likely to have StaphylococcusStreptococcus and Moraxella in their upper airways, as opposed to Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum bacteria, which were found when the subjects experienced periods of well-controlled and healthy breathing periods. This study will allow for further funding and studies to be made including manipulation of bacterial strain populations to reduce severe asthma attacks.


Avraham Beigelman, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at Washington University and senior author for this study:

“There is an urgent need to develop better asthma therapies for these patients,” … “Though our study can’t prove causation, it raises intriguing questions that we plan to pursue. If we somehow supplement such patients with what appear to be good bacteria, will they do better? We are interested in studying whether we can deliberately alter the airway microbiome to reduce the risk of worsening asthma symptoms.”

Yanjiao Zhou, MD, Ph, contributor:

“Our data demonstrated a rapid change of the airway microbiome in the children who transitioned from respiratory health to disease,” … “It is also intriguing to find that the microbiome changing pattern could play an important role in asthma exacerbation. We are planning future studies to explore this possibility.”


To read the source for this article at the Washington University website, click here.