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Analysis of the fungal microbiome in exhaled breath condensate of patients with asthma

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The presence of virus and bacteria in the airways of subjects with asthma is common and seems to be associated with a deterioration due to the disease. The microbiologic study of airways in asthma is foreseen by guidelines with induced sputum that is often ineffective and contraindicated in severe asthma.


To analyze the fungal microbiome in the exhaled breath condensate (EBC) of subjects with asthma by evaluating a possible correlation with anthropometric and asthma severity data.


We enrolled 47 consecutive subjects with asthma (28 with atopic asthma and 19 with nonatopic asthma) and 20 controls. Enrolled subjects underwent EBC and sputum collection. Fungal microbiome was assessed by culture on EBC and sputum samples by using Czapek yeast extract agar.


A fungal colonization in the EBC of 70% of enrolled subjects with asthma was detected (none detected in the controls). An overlap of fungal microbiome in EBC and sputum was observed (100% of overlap). Fungal colonization was higher in subjects without atopic, obesity, and severe and uncontrolled asthma.


When considering the high morbidity and mortality of patients with severe asthma in whom we found an important fungal airways colonization, we support the use of the analysis of exhaled fungal microbiome in these subjects.
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Keywords: Exhaled breath condensate; airways; asthma; atopy; fungi; induced sputum; microbiome; non invasive methods; obesity; pneumo allergens

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, University of Foggia, Italy

Publication date: May 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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