The Role of Microbiota in Asthma

Apr 22, 2015

Abstract:Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs whose incidence is increasing rapidly, making it a major problem worldwide. Although the exact cause is not known, environmental conditions such as the use of antibiotics, mode of delivery, etc. impact on asthma. Using an experimental murine asthma system, we demonstrated that shifts in microbiota triggered by antibiotics affected asthma outcome. We were able to show that this shift needs to occur very early in life, and that certain microbes are associated with it. We also found that intestinal Treg cells were affected, but not lung Tregs. Using a clinical cohort of children (CHILD) we analyzed feces from 3 month old and one year old children. Remarkably, we found that certain microbiota species from the 3 month old population were associated with protection from asthma. Additionally, there were significant metabolic changes mediated by microbiota in those at risk for asthma. By transplanting these particular microbiota, along with feces from an asthmatic child, we found that these microbiota decreased lung inflammation in the murine asthma model. Collectively, we have found that microbiota play a profound impact on the host very early in life, which has later effects in asthma susceptibility.Speaker: Brett Finlay is professor of Microbiology and Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia and a Distinguished Professor at the Peter Wall Institute. His areas of research interest and accomplishment include host-parasite interactions of pathogenic bacteria, especially enteric bacteria, and pioneering the use of polarized epithelial cells as models to study pathogenic bacteria penetrating through epithelial barriers.For the spring 2015 Wall Wednesdays Afternoon Series, view the bookmark. Attendees receive 15% off their first purchase before and after the talk.Peter Wall Ideas Lunch & Wine Bar, University Centre, UBC Lower Level, Room 176, 6331 Crescent Road, Vancouver