The altered sputum microbiome profile in patients with moderate and severe COPD exacerbations, compared to the healthy group in the Indian population

Druti Hazra, Fayaz SM, Kiran Chawla, Vitali Sintchenko, Elena Martinez, Rahul Magazine, Nayana Siddalingaiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Microbial culture-independent sequencing techniques have advanced our understanding of host-microbiome interactions in health and disease. The purpose of this study was to explore the dysbiosis of airway microbiota in patients with moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and compare them with healthy controls. Methods: The COPD patients were investigated for disease severity based on airflow limitations and divided into moderate (50%≤FEV1<80% predicted) and severe groups (FEV1<50% predicted). Spontaneous sputum samples were collected and, the V3-V4 regions of the 16S rRNA coding gene were sequenced to examine the microbiome profile of COPD and healthy participants. Results: A total of 45 sputum samples were collected from 17 severe COPD, 12 moderate COPD cases, and 16 healthy volunteers. The bacterial alpha diversity (Shannon and Simpson’s index) significantly decreased in the moderate and severe COPD groups, compared to healthy samples. A significantly higher proportion of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were present in moderate COPD, and Proteobacteria numbers were comparatively increased in severe COPD. In healthy samples, Bacteroidetes and Fusobacteria were more abundant in comparison to both the COPD groups. Among the most commonly detected 20 bacterial genera, Streptococcus was predominant among the COPD sputum samples, whereas Prevotella was the top genus in healthy controls. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA>2) revealed that marker genera like Streptococcus and Rothia were abundant in moderate COPD. For severe COPD, the genera Pseudomonasand Leptotrichia were most prevalent, whereas Fusobacterium and Prevotella were dominant in the healthy group. Conclusions: Our findings suggest a significant dysbiosis of the respiratory microbiome in COPD patients. The decreased microbial diversity may influence the host immune response and provide microbiological biomarkers for the diagnosis and monitoring of COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number528
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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