The interplay between the microbiota and mycobiota in the human lower respiratory airways

Ref ID: 19597


L Pitzurra1*, A Carvalho1, C Cunha1, M Borghi1, M Palmieri1, A Circolo1, A Carotti2, L Amico2,
A Velardi2, F Aversa3, L Romani1

Author address:

1Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
2Division of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation.Department of Clinic, University of Perugia,
Perugia, Italy
3Hematology, Department of Cli

Full conference title:

6th Advances Against Aspergillosis 2014


Investigation of the lung microbiome is a relatively new field. Although the lungs were classically
believed to be sterile, recently published investigations have identified microbial communities in
the lungs of healthy humans. In pathogenic conditions, multiple investigations have documented the
complex microbial ecology of bacterial communities in the lung. The roles of bacterial communities
in the control of significant pathogens and in the generation of mucosal immunity and tolerance in
the lung are of increasing scientific interest. Less is known about the mycobiota and its interplay
with lung microbiota.
To this purpose we have analyzed bronchoalveolar lavage samples (BAL) from different clinical
cohorts. Bacterial metagenomic analysis was matched with microbial (bacterial and fungal) culture
techniques in addition to laboratory and clinical data of fungal colonization and/or infection.
In patients with yeast infection, members of the Proteobacteria phylum increase from 6% to 46%
and those of Actinobacteria phylum from 4% to 20%. In contrast, Firmicutes decrease from 88% to
34%. In the case of mould infection, Proteobacteria reached 82%, 79% of which were Pseudomonas
sp, the Firmicutes decreased to 18%, with abundance of Staphylococcus sp over Streptococcus
sp, and Actinobacteria disappeared. In condition of mixed fungal infection (yeasts plus moulds)
bacterial communities are comparable to that of patients with yeast infection
These data suggest distinct relationships between yeasts and moulds and bacterial communities in
the lung.
This work is supported by the Specific Targeted Research Project FUNMETA (ERC-2011-

Abstract Number: 122

Conference Year: 2014

Link to conference website:

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