The microbiome in the lower respiratory tract.Respir Investig. 2018 Nov; 56(6):432-439.RI
With the advent of new technologies evaluating the microbiome in the sample such as next-generation sequencer (NGS), current increase of an interest in understanding of the lung microbiome and its roles in lung diseases are marked. Gathering the data of bacterial flora in the lung and their changes during disease courses is unraveling the pathogenesis and the mechanism of disease progression particularly in patients with bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and infectious lung diseases. To clarify the relationship between the lung microbiome and pulmonary diseases, new information may help us to create new treatment and prevention strategies of some pulmonary diseases by controlling the lung microbiome. Using bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence, NGS can rapidly estimate large amount of bacterial sequences in the phylum and genus levels, and some of them in species levels in a very short period of time. In addition to new information of the microbiome using NGS in the respiratory tract, other techniques using basically Sanger method in combination with the clone library construction can also be useful to identify pathogenic bacterial species with their ratio in the respiratory samples such as bacterial pneumonia, lung abscess and nontuberculous mycobacteriosis. These modalities to identify and semi-quantify bacterial burden in the respiratory tract have revealed new bacterial information in each infectious lung disease. This review describes current understanding of the lung microbiome in several representative lung diseases.