"Because the lungs continuously and automatically draw air and any number of environmental agents, into the body, the composition and balance of microbes in the lungs may have a profound effect on many respiratory conditions," Finn added .
Asthma is a chronic disease in which lung airways become swollen and narrow, making it difficult for air to move in and out of lungs .
Because people with asthma have inflamed airways, they experience a range of symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness .
In a group of clinically similar patients with asthma, the team identified two asthma phenotypes by assessing the microbiome and airway inflammation . The patients were ages 18 to 30 with mild or moderate atopic asthma .
"This tells us the microbiome has relevance beyond the gut and that it is a potential biomarker for asthma," said another researcher Dr . David Perkins .
These two phenotypes, called asthma phenotype one and two, or AP1 and AP2, are demarcated by the prevalence and dominance of different bacteria in the lung . When compared, patients in the two groups performed differently on pulmonary function tests .
In both AP1 and AP2, the associations between the composition of the microbiome and specific inflammatory cytokines were decreased after treatment with an inhaled corticosteroid, a common asthma therapy .
The researchers suggested that ICS may function by dampening responses to microbes .
The research is published in PLOS ONE journal . (ANI)