The respiratory microbiome and susceptibility to influenza virus infection.

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PubMed ID: 30625134

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Lee KH, Gordon A, Shedden K, Kuan G, Ng S, Balmaseda A, Foxman B

PLoS One. 2019. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207898

COMMENT: Study on the relation of the nose/throat microbiome and the susceptibility of influenza virus infection


Using a household transmission study, we examined whether the nose/throat microbiota was associated with influenza susceptibility among participants exposed to influenza virus in the household. Further, we characterized changes in the nose/throat microbiota to explore whether community stability was influenced by influenza virus infection.


we found a nasal/oropharyngeal community state type (CST) associated with decreased susceptibility to influenza. The CST was rare and transitory among young children but a prevalent and stable CST among adults. Using boosting and linear mixed effects models, we found associations between the nose/throat microbiota and influenza also existed at the taxa level, specifically with the relative abundance of Alloprevotella, Prevotella, and Bacteroides oligotypes. We found high rates of change between bacterial community states among both secondary cases and household contacts who were not infected during follow up


our results suggest the nose/throat microbiome may be a potential target for reducing the burden of influenza.


Marina Manrique