Articles  |   July 2014
SEE Question
Article Information
Airway Management / Infectious Disease / Respiratory System / Articles
Articles   |   July 2014
SEE Question
ASA Monitor 07 2014, Vol.78, 46.
ASA Monitor 07 2014, Vol.78, 46.
According to a recent non-systematic review, which of the following statements regarding the native airway flora (microbiome) is most likely true?
Although once believed to be sterile, it is now known that the human airway, like the gastrointestinal tract, harbors a host of bacterial flora. The origin and role of these bacteria remain elusive; however, it is clear that the airway microbiome – also known as the microbial community – differs between healthy individuals and those with airway diseases, such as COPD and asthma. Individuals without respiratory disease exhibit a wide diversity of types of bacterial species in their airway microbiome. By contrast, patients with COPD and asthma exhibit more limited bacterial diversity in their airway microbiome. However, the number of bacteria (bacterial load) in the airway microbiome of patients with COPD is similar to that of normal individuals. Reduced bacterial diversity has also been observed in lung transplant patients, although this is accompanied by an overall higher bacterial load and greater proportion of fungal species.
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