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Gut to lung
  1. Sylvia Knapp
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sylvia Knapp, CeMM, Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and Department of Medicine 1, Infection Biology Research Laboratory, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, Vienna 1090, Austria; Sylvia.knapp{at}

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Over the last few years, microbiome-focused studies have propelled our understanding of the importance and contribution of several species of gut microbes to immunity and tissue homeostasis.1 Certain microbiota were discovered to essentially shape the intestinal immune system, and changes in the composition of the gut microbiome were found associated with a wide range of diseases, including IBD, metabolic diseases such as diabetes or even neurological disorders like autism.1 These studies laid the foundation for novel therapeutic interventions like microbiome-tailored treatments. As a first, seemingly simple but nevertheless effective step, faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is increasingly recognised as a powerful means to treat conditions associated with dysbiosis, most notably Clostridium difficile enteritis.2

In a parallel attempt, the lungs moved into the focus of microbe-interested scientists and clinicians alike. As a result, the lung microbiome as its own unique habitat was explored, ending the century-old misconception that lungs are sterile sites. Empowered by more sophisticated technical tools like pyrosequencing, a number of studies established the composition of the lung microbiome in healthy people and discovered various degrees of alterations in …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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