Author(s): Utembe, W. and Kamng’ona, A.W.

Source: Utembe, W., Kamng’ona, A.W. The Knowns and Unknowns of Chemically Induced Lower Respiratory Tract Microbiota Dysbiosis and Lung Disease. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2023, 27, 21.

Abstract: Exposure to chemicals in many occupational and environmental settings has the capacity to significantly disturb the commensal microbiota that symbiotically reside in humans. However, much more is known about gut microbiota (GM) than lung microbiota (LM) due to the challenges of collecting LM samples. The advent of culture-independent methodologies has revealed the complex and dynamic community of microbes harbored by the respiratory tract. It is now being recognized that LM can directly impact immunity in a manner that can result in disease. Significant differences in community composition and diversity have been shown between the LM of diseased lungs and those of healthy subjects. Studies have linked LM dysbiosis with human diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, lung inflammation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and lung cancer. However, it is not known whether LM dysbiosis initiates/promotes disease pathogenesis or is merely a biomarker of disease. Many chronic lung diseases often occur together with chronic GIT diseases in what is termed as the gut–lung axis. The LM also affects the CNS, in the bidirectional lung–brain axis, through a number of potential mechanisms that include the direct translocation of micro-organisms. Chemically induced LM dysbiosis appears to play a significant part in human diseases as has been shown to arise due to air pollution, cigarette smoking, and the use of chemical antibiotics.

Keywords: lung microbiota; dysbiosis; toxicity