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Trends Microbiol. 2013 Sep;21(9):485-92. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 May 23.

Probiotic strategies for treatment of respiratory diseases.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Recent advances in next-generation sequencing and phylogenetic microarray technologies have identified diverse, niche-specific microbial communities that comprise the human superorganism. Mucosal microbiome perturbation is a prominent feature of an increasing number of chronic inflammatory disorders, including respiratory diseases, and efforts are now focused on identifying novel microbe-based strategies to treat or manage these conditions. Considering the evidence for niche-specificity and the diversity of function that human microbial communities afford, the range of therapeutic species used to date in probiotic supplements is strikingly narrow and is limited to species typically of gastrointestinal origin. Although the field is still relatively nascent, the potential for identifying novel microbe-based therapeutics in the human microbiome is great. This article focuses primarily on the respiratory tract, its associated microbiome, potential interactions with the gastrointestinal microbiota, and the possibilities for microbiome-manipulation strategies in the treatment and prevention of respiratory disease.


gastrointestinal microbiota; microbiome; minimal therapeutic community; respiratory tract; sinusitus

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