25 Jan Respiratory Microbiome Linked to Susceptibility to Flu
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Betsy Foxman PhD
Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Endowed Professor of Epidemiology
Director, Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Influenza is a major cause of human illness and death worldwide. Vaccines are the best available means of prevention. However, vaccine effectiveness has been low to moderate in recent years and coverage remains low in many countries.
There is increasing evidence suggesting the microbiome plays an important role in shaping host immunity and may be a potential target for reducing disease. In our study, we used a household transmission study to explore whether the respiratory microbiome was associated with influenza susceptibility.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We found a distinct bacterial community state type associated with decreased susceptibility to influenza virus infection. This community state type was rare and transitory among young children but was prevalent and stable among adults.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our study shows an epidemiologic relationship between the respiratory microbiome and influenza susceptibility. The microbiome may be a potential target for reducing influenza risk.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: This study should be replicated in different geographic areas. Further work is needed to identify biological mechanisms that drive these associations.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Fogarty International Center. This interview was prepared by the lead author, Kyu Han Lee & reviewed by Aubree Gordon & Betsy Foxman.
The respiratory microbiome and susceptibility to influenza virus infection
Kyu Han Lee, Aubree Gordon, Kerby Shedden, Guillermina Kuan, Sophia Ng, Angel Balmaseda, Betsy Foxman
Published: January 9, 2019
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Last Updated on January 25, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD