A German study examined the microbiome of the lungs and how changes in the bacterial community can contribute to lung pathology in COPD patients.
According to the study, Streptococci are often found in structurally altered lungs. This genus includes many pathogenic representatives that are also often detected in the presence of exacerbations. In the lungs of healthy subjects, on the other hand, there was an increased presence of the genus Prevotella, to which a number of probiotic characteristics have also been attributed.
Taken together, these findings indicate that for certain subtypes of COPD, changes occur in the bacterial communities in the lungs that can promote an increase of potentially pathogenic bacteria. With regards to personalized medicine, it would therefore be expedient also to keep an eye on the microbiome, for instance when considering whether or not antibiotics or glucocorticoids should be administered in the event of a particular COPD subtype.
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