The lower airways microbiome and antimicrobial peptides in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis differ from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPLoS ONE. 2022, 17(1): e0262082. 10.1371/journal.pone.0262082
Background The lower airways microbiome and host immune response in chronic pulmonary diseases are incompletely understood. We aimed to investigate possible microbiome characteristics and key antimicrobial peptides and proteins in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods 12 IPF patients, 12 COPD patients and 12 healthy controls were sampled with oral wash (OW), protected bronchoalveolar lavage (PBAL) and right lung protected sterile brushings (rPSB). The antimicrobial peptides and proteins (AMPs), secretory leucocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) and human beta defensins 1 and 2 (hBD-1 & hBD-2), were measured in PBAL by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The V3V4 region of the bacterial 16S rDNA gene was sequenced. Bioinformatic analyses were performed with QIIME 2. Results hBD-1 levels in PBAL for IPF were lower compared with COPD. The predominant phyla in IPF were Firmicutes, Bacteroides and Actinobacteria; Proteobacteria were among top three in COPD. Differential abundance analysis at genus level showed significant differences between study groups for less abundant, mostly oropharyngeal, microbes. Alpha diversity was lower in IPF in PBAL compared to COPD (p = 0.03) and controls (p = 0.01), as well as in rPSB compared to COPD (p = 0.02) and controls (p = 0.04). Phylogenetic beta diversity showed significantly more similarity for IPF compared with COPD and controls. There were no significant correlations between alpha diversity and AMPs. Conclusions IPF differed in microbial diversity from COPD and controls, accompanied by differences in antimicrobial peptides. Beta diversity similarity between OW and PBAL in IPF may indicate that microaspiration contributes to changes in its microbiome.