Several chronic inflammatory diseases of the lung have been found to be related to alterations in the composition of the airway microbiome. Moreover, the lung microbiota could be classified according to its predominance of proinflammatory bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, and Haemophilus or of low-stimulatory bacteria such as Prevotella, Streptococcus, and Veillonella. However, the importance of the interplay between the lung microbiota and the airway epithelium is limited. Therefore, we hypothesized that the specific commensal microbiota of the lung may be important in protecting against infections with potentially pathogenic microbes in the airways.
In their previous RESIST project, Prof. Tümmler and Prof. Müller successfully analyzed the lung microbiome in various chronic lung diseases. They combined culture-dependent and -independent approaches to characterize the composition of the human lung microbiota, obtain representative cultured isolates and test their growth requirements, assess the temporal dynamics of these communities in the lung, and finally establish correlations with host health status.