A study of the airway mycobiome in COPD patients and controls

Einar Marius Hjellestad Martinsen, Tomas Mikal Lind Eagan, Elise Orvedal Leiten, Ingvild Haaland, Gunnar Reksten Husebø, Walter Sanseverino, Andreu Paytuvi-Gallart, Rune Nielsen
Background: We aimed to explore the so far unknown role of the pulmonary mycobiome in COPD and asthma patients compared to controls.
Methods: In addition to oral wash (OW) and negative control samples, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was collected through a sterile catheter during bronchoscopies in the Bergen MicroCOPD study. We used QIIME2 and the R package decontam for bioinformatic analyses. UNITE databases were used to assign taxonomy.
Results: We obtained samples from 95 COPD and 13 asthma patients, and 100 healthy controls. 66% were ex-smokers, mean age was 66.3, and 60% of COPD patients, and 69% of asthma patients, used inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). After removal of likely contaminants and low-abundance taxa, 410 samples and 13×106 sequences remained. Malassezia was the most frequent genus in control samples from BAL, while Candida dominated in COPD


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