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Medicine

No direct association between asthma and the microbiome based on currently available techniques.


PMID 25501073

Abstract

Current uses of culture-independent tools in previous studies have shown a significant relationship between microbiota and asthma. Although these studies are relatively new, there is also evidence of the possibility of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment or prevention of asthma. This article retrospectively examines the possible association between microorganisms and asthma. Data on all patients with different types of asthma were collected from hospital charts from the Department of Internal Medicine, Saarland University Medical Center, Germany, within the study period of 2011 to 2012. The tracheal secretions of asthmatics obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial aspirates through flexible bronchoscopy, and directly in sputum were examined microbiologically for microorganisms. Thirty-one (10.47%, 95% CI, 6.98-13.96) of a total of 296 patients were found to have asthma microorganisms in their airways. We could not establish a causal relationship between microorganisms and asthma based on the results of our study (P = 0.893). Additionally, acute respiratory infections did not affect the microbiological colonization in asthmatics' airways (P = 0.472). We were unable to find a direct association between asthma and the microbiome based on existing diagnostic techniques.