Asthma and COPD

Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction and easily triggered bronchospasms. Asthma affects all ages but frequently begins in childhood

The episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Those may occur a few times a day or a few times per week. Depending on the case, they may become worse at night or with exercise.


According to WHO estimates, over 235 million people suffer from asthma. The disease is not just a public health problem for high-income countries: it occurs in all countries regardless of the level of development. Over 80% of asthma deaths occur in low and lower-middle-income countries. And although asthma cannot be cured, appropriate management can control the disease and enable people to enjoy a good quality of life.


Recent studies have demonstrated a role for the gut microbiome in influencing remote organs and mucosal and hematopoietic immune functions. By improving the understanding of the role of the microbiome in asthma, novel therapeutic strategies of modifying the microbiome may be developed. The effects of these therapies on the overall microbiome and consequently on disease severity and/or progression remain unknown and need to be properly understood to realize the full impact of these treatments.



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. The common symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing. It’s often caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. According to WHO estimates, 65 million people have moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is known that almost 90% of COPD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions. Estimates show that COPD becomes in 2030 the third leading cause of death worldwide.


Although the microbial composition of the respiratory flora in COPD has been known through microbiome analyses, the involvement of the respiratory flora in the pathogenesis of the disease, and especially the role microorganisms considered non-pathogenic by culture-based microbiology, is practically unknown. We want to develop a treatment that will conserve the flora that acts as positive mutualist, as opposed to the respiratory pathogens that progressively replace it when COPD progresses to advanced disease.