About this Research Topic
The human microbiome is comprised of the genomes of trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and archaea. These microbiota closely interact with the host to contribute to a myriad of functions required for health, including metabolism, mucosal barrier integrity, and development and maintenance of the immune system. Emerging studies, driven by rapid advances in sequencing technologies, have demonstrated that altered microbial composition and diversity correlate with health status. Still, the majority of the mechanistic insights of host-microbial interactions come from studies of the gut microbiota. The microbiota that resides at the airway mucosa likely contribute to health or chronic disease, but the microbiome-host interactions in the airways have not been widely studied.
Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and asthma are two examples of airway diseases that have large socioeconomic and health impacts but are poorly understood. CRS is a common disease characterized by persistent sinonasal inflammation lasting at least 12 weeks. Asthma is a chronic lower airway disease defined by reversible airway restriction, bronchial hyperresponsiveness, and airway inflammation. Both asthma and CRS are umbrella terms that describe a group of clinical symptoms; however, recent molecular studies have revealed several endotypes that underlie patient heterogeneity in each disease. Asthma and CRS often occur concurrently, suggesting that there are common mechanisms that drive co-morbid disease. Each has been associated with altered microbial composition or diversity in the upper (CRS) and lower airways (asthma), but we don’t yet understand the contributions of the airway microbiota to chronic inflammation.
To move this field forward, we need to advance our understanding of host-microbe interactions in the airways. To this end, we invite original research articles, perspectives, opinions, reviews and mini-reviews on the following topics:
-Composition of the upper or lower airway microbiota to unified airway disease (including fungi and viruses) in CRS or asthma
-Host-microbial interactions contributing to chronic airway inflammation
-Methodological improvements for detecting low-abundance microbiota
-Metagenomic or metatranscriptomic studies of the airway microbiota
-Novel in vitro, ex vivo, or animal models to study CRS or asthma
-Role of peripheral (e.g. gut) microbiota or environmental factors in CRS or asthma
-Microbiome-based therapeutics (e.g. prebiotics or probiotics) in airway disease
Keywords: Microbiome, Chronic Rhinosinusitis, Asthma, Probiotics
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