Gut microbiome linked to COPD for the first time in a new study
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a life threatening inflammatory disorder of the lungs and is the third most common cause of death globally. More than 3 million lives are lost every year to COPD.
Researchers at the Centenary Institute, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Queensland have shown for the first time in a new study that there was a link between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the gut microbiome.
The findings suggests that the gut microbome may be helpful in diagnosing COPD and may also be a potential source of new therapeutic targets to help treat the chronic respiratory disorder.Further stool sampling and analysis could be used to non-invasively diagnose and monitor for COPD.
The study has appeared in the journal 'Nature Communications'.
"It's already known that the lung microbiome is a contributing factor in COPD," said Professor Phil Hansbro, senior author of the study and Director of the Centenary UTS Centre for Inflammation.
"We wanted to see if the gut environment was also somehow involved-to determine whether the gut could act as a reliable indicator of COPD or if it was connected in some way to the development of the disease."
In the study, the researchers compared the microbiome and metabolite profiles of stool samples from COPD patients with healthy individuals. Revealed were significant differences between the two groups.
COPD patients exhibited increased levels of the bacteria Streptococcus and Lachnospiraceae in their stool samples. Also identified in individuals with COPD was a unique metabolite signature-formed by the chemical by-products of the metabolic process.
"Our research indicates that the gut of COPD patients is notably different from healthy individuals," said first author on the paper Dr Kate Bowerman, University of Queensland.
"This suggests that stool sampling and analysis could be used to non-invasively diagnose and monitor for COPD," she said.
The study's researchers believe that the altered gut microbiome found in COPD patients could also support the gut as a potential target for new treatments.
"The 'gut-lung axis' describes the common immune system of the lung and gastrointestinal tract. This means that activity in the gut can impact activity in the lung. Our COPD findings suggest that the gut microbiome should now also be considered when looking for new therapeutic targets to help treat lung disease," said Professor Hansbro.
For further reference log on to:
Disease-associated gut microbiome and metabolome changes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. https://rdcu.be/caXH5