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Cell Host Microbe. 2015 May 13;17(5):704-15. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.03.008. Epub 2015 Apr 9.

The infant nasopharyngeal microbiome impacts severity of lower respiratory infection and risk of asthma development.

Author information

1
Medical Systems Biology, Department of Pathology and Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.
2
Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, West Perth, WA 6008, Australia.
3
Melbourne Translational Genomics Platform, Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.
4
Medical Systems Biology, Department of Pathology and Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.
5
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53726, USA.
6
Airway Disease Infection Section and MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK.
7
Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia.
8
Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, West Perth, WA 6008, Australia; Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia.
9
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia. Electronic address: kholt@unimelb.edu.au.
10
Medical Systems Biology, Department of Pathology and Department of Microbiology & Immunology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia. Electronic address: minouye@unimelb.edu.au.

Abstract

The nasopharynx (NP) is a reservoir for microbes associated with acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Lung inflammation resulting from ARIs during infancy is linked to asthma development. We examined the NP microbiome during the critical first year of life in a prospective cohort of 234 children, capturing both the viral and bacterial communities and documenting all incidents of ARIs. Most infants were initially colonized with Staphylococcus or Corynebacterium before stable colonization with Alloiococcus or Moraxella. Transient incursions of Streptococcus, Moraxella, or Haemophilus marked virus-associated ARIs. Our data identify the NP microbiome as a determinant for infection spread to the lower airways, severity of accompanying inflammatory symptoms, and risk for future asthma development. Early asymptomatic colonization with Streptococcus was a strong asthma predictor, and antibiotic usage disrupted asymptomatic colonization patterns. In the absence of effective anti-viral therapies, targeting pathogenic bacteria within the NP microbiome could represent a prophylactic approach to asthma.

PMID:
25865368
PMCID:
PMC4433433
DOI:
10.1016/j.chom.2015.03.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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