The upper-airway microbiota and loss of asthma control among asthmatic children

Yanjiao Zhou, Daniel Jackson, Leonard B. Bacharier, David Mauger, Homer Boushey, Mario Castro, Juliana Durack, Yvonne Huang, Robert F. Lemanske, Gregory A. Storch, George M. Weinstock, Kristine Wylie, Ronina Covar, Anne M. Fitzpatrick, Wanda Phipatanakul, Rachel G. Robison, Avraham Beigelman

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92 Scopus citations


The airway microbiome has an important role in asthma pathophysiology. However, little is known on the relationships between the airway microbiome of asthmatic children, loss of asthma control, and severe exacerbations. Here we report that the microbiota’s dynamic patterns and compositions are related to asthma exacerbations. We collected nasal blow samples (n = 319) longitudinally during a clinical trial at 2 time-points within one year: randomization when asthma is under control, and at time of early loss of asthma control (yellow zone (YZ)). We report that participants whose microbiota was dominated by the commensal Corynebacterium + Dolosigranulum cluster at RD experience the lowest rates of YZs (p = 0.005) and have longer time to develop at least 2 episodes of YZ (p = 0.03). The airway microbiota have changed from randomization to YZ. A switch from the Corynebacterium + Dolosigranulum cluster at randomization to the Moraxella- cluster at YZ poses the highest risk of severe asthma exacerbation (p = 0.04). Corynebacterium’s relative abundance at YZ is inversely associated with severe exacerbation (p = 0.002).

Original languageEnglish
Article number5714
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


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