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Oral microbiome and lung function

Oral bacteria and lung
Photo:
Joana Carvalho

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Humans are host to an enormous invisible ecosystem of microbes. Microbiota in our body contributes to over fifty percent of our cellular makeup, thus microbiome at different body parts can be considered as the human second genome. With the advancement in the field of microbiome it is now clear that there exists a strong association between human microbiome and human wellbeing and health. Although there are many studies showing associations between oral microbiome with COPD and asthma, it is still unclear which factors drive the microbial shifts in the oral cavity and how it will affect lung health in persons without any underlying chronic lung disease.

In the current project our main aim is to study the association between oral microbiome and lung function in a general population. With material from a population-based study, RHINESSA (www.rhinessa.net) we combine 16S rRNA sequencing data with metadata to study the association between oral microbiome and lung function using new and advanced statistical methods which can handle the complex nature of microbiome data, such as ANCOM-BC(Lin et al, 2020) developed by our US collaborators,  Shyamal Peddada og Huang Lin.

Our research primarily focuses on: How do environmental and lifestyle factors influence the human oral microbiome? Are oral bacterial composition associated with low lung function in the general population.