Airway Microbial Diversity is Inversely Associated with Mite-Sensitized Rhinitis and Asthma in Early Childhood

Chih Yung Chiu*, Yi Ling Chan, Yu Shuen Tsai, Ssu An Chen, Chia Jung Wang, Kuan Fu Chen, I. Fang Chung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Microbiota plays an important role in regulating immune responses associated with atopic diseases. We sought to evaluate relationships among airway microbiota, serum IgE levels, allergic sensitization and their relevance to rhinitis and asthma. Microbial characterization was performed using Illumina-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of 87 throat swabs collected from children with asthma (n = 32) and rhinitis (n = 23), and from healthy controls (n = 32). Data analysis was performed using QIIME (Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology) v1.8. Significantly higher abundance of Proteobacteria was found in children with rhinitis than in the healthy controls (20.1% vs. 16.1%, P = 0.009). Bacterial species richness (Chao1 index) and diversity (Shannon index) were significantly reduced in children with mite sensitization but not in those with food or IgE sensitization. Compared with healthy children without mite sensitization, the mite-sensitized children with rhinitis and asthma showed significantly lower Chao1 and Shannon indices. Moraxella and Leptotrichia species were significantly found in the interaction of mite sensitization with rhinitis and asthma respectively. Airway microbial diversity appears to be inversely associated with sensitization to house dust mites. A modulation between airway dysbiosis and responses to allergens may potentially cause susceptibility to rhinitis and asthma in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1820
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


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