PLoS ONE (2019-01-01)

Exploring the microbiota of upper respiratory tract during the development of pneumonia in a mouse model.

  • Yoshitomo Morinaga,
  • Yuki Take,
  • Daisuke Sasaki,
  • Kenji Ota,
  • Norihito Kaku,
  • Naoki Uno,
  • Kei Sakamoto,
  • Kosuke Kosai,
  • Taiga Miyazaki,
  • Hiroo Hasegawa,
  • Koichi Izumikawa,
  • Hiroshi Mukae,
  • Katsunori Yanagihara

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 9
p. e0222589


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The alteration of the microbial community in the upper respiratory tract (URT) can contribute to the colonization and invasion of respiratory pathogens. However, there are no studies regarding whether the characteristics of the URT microbiota can be affected by infections in lower respiratory tract (LRT). To elucidate the microbial profiles of the URT during pneumonia, the oral, nasal, and lung microbiota was evaluated at the early phase in a murine pneumonia model by direct intratracheal inoculation of Klebsiella pneumoniae. The meta 16S rRNA sequencing of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after K. pneumoniae inoculation presented alterations in the beta diversity of the microbes, but not in the alpha diversity. At this point, a significant increase in microbial alpha diversity was observed in the oral cavity, but not in the nasal cavity. The significant increase was observed in the family Carnobacteriaceae and family Enterococcaceae. These results suggest that characterizing the microbial community of the respiratory tract may not just involve a simple downstream relationship from the URT to the LRT. The health status of the LRT may influence the oral microbiota. Thus, evaluation of the oral microbiota may contribute towards monitoring lung health; the oral microbiota may act as a diagnostic marker of pneumonia.