Authors: Einar M. H. Martinsen, Tomas M. L. Eagan, Harald G. Wiker, Elise O. Leiten, Gunnar R. Husebø, Kristel S. Knudsen, Solveig Tangedal, Walter Sanseverino, Andreu Paytuví-Gallart, Rune Nielsen


  • Department of Clinical Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • Department of Microbiology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  • Department of Thoracic Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  • Sequentia Biotech SL, Barcelona, Spain

Publication: Plos One

Date: June, 2022

Link: A longitudinal study of the pulmonary mycobiome in subjects with and without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease



Few studies have examined the stability of the pulmonary mycobiome. We report longitudinal changes in the oral and pulmonary mycobiome of participants with and without COPD in a large-scale bronchoscopy study (MicroCOPD).


Repeated sampling was performed in 30 participants with and 21 without COPD. We collected an oral wash (OW) and a bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sample from each participant at two time points. The internal transcribed spacer 1 region of the ribosomal RNA gene cluster was PCR amplified and sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq sequencer. Differences in taxonomy, alpha diversity, and beta diversity between the two time points were compared, and we examined the effect of intercurrent antibiotic use.


Sample pairs were dominated by Candida. We observed less stability in the pulmonary taxonomy compared to the oral taxonomy, additionally emphasised by a higher Yue-Clayton measure in BAL compared to OW (0.69 vs 0.22). No apparent effect was visually seen on taxonomy from intercurrent antibiotic use or participant category. We found no systematic variation in alpha diversity by time either in BAL (p-value 0.16) or in OW (p-value 0.97), and no obvious clusters on bronchoscopy number in PCoA plots. Pairwise distance analyses showed that OW samples from repeated sampling appeared more stable compared to BAL samples using the Bray-Curtis distance metric (p-value 0.0012), but not for Jaccard.


Results from the current study propose that the pulmonary mycobiome is less stable than the oral mycobiome, and neither COPD diagnosis nor intercurrent antibiotic use seemed to influence the stability.