Asthma is a common chronic respiratory disease, which can be serious if it is not controlled. Like other diseases, a lack of diversity in the microbiota can favor its development.
There are around 334 million asthmatics in the world. Children are more affected than adults (14% compared to 6%, on average).
The attacks that characterize asthma are due to inflammation of the bronchi in reaction to triggers, causing diffuse obstruction of the airways. Breathing problems follow, with varying severity and frequency from one patient to another.
Numerous risk factors
Asthma develops in people who have a genetic predisposition (allergies, prematurity) and/or who are exposed to environmental factors like allergens (pollens, dust mites), tobacco smoke, or air pollution. Strong emotions, cold air and physical exercise can also trigger attacks. However, several studies have established a link with dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota and the pulmonary microbiota, suggesting that these bacterial ecosystems play a role.
An incurable disease
Although there is no cure for asthma, it is possible to manage it with rescue treatments, which quickly lessen the intensity of an attack, and controller treatments, which aim to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.
Preclinical studies on the connection between microbiota and asthma suggest that a change in microbiota could prevent this disease and justify research efforts on probiotics and prebiotics.