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Inhaler Steroid Use Changes Oral and Airway Bacterial and Fungal Microbiome Profile in Asthma Patients.

INTRODUCTION: The full spectrum of bacterial and fungal species in adult asthma and the effect of inhaled corticosteroid use is not well described. The aim was to collect mouthwash and induced sputum samples from newly diagnosed asthma patients in the pretreatment period and in chronic asthma patients while undergoing regular maintenance inhaled corticosteroid therapy, in order to demonstrate the bacterial and fungal microbiome profile.

METHODS: The study included 28 asthmatic patients on inhaler steroid therapy, 25 steroid-naive asthmatics, and 24 healthy controls. Genomic DNA was isolated from induced sputum and mouthwash samples. Analyses were performed using bacterial primers selected from the 16S rRNA region for the bacterial genome and "panfungal" primers selected from the 5.8S rRNA region for the fungal genome.

RESULTS: Dominant genera in mouthwash samples of steroid-naive asthmatics were Neisseria, Haemophilus, and Rothia. The oral microbiota of asthmatic patients on inhaler steroid treatment included Neisseria, Rothia, and Veillonella species. Abundant genera in induced sputum samples of steroid-naive asthma patients were Actinomyces, Granulicatella, Fusobacterium, Peptostreptococcus, and Atopobium. Sputum microbiota of asthma patients taking inhaler steroids were dominated by Prevotella and Porphyromonas. Mucor plumbeus and Malassezia restricta species were abundant in the airways of steroid-naive asthma patients. Choanephora infundibulifera and Malassezia restricta became dominant in asthma patients taking inhaled steroids.

CONCLUSION: The oral and airway microbiota consist of different bacterial and fungal communities in healthy and asthmatic patients. Inhaler steroid use may influence the composition of the oral and airway microbiota.

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