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Dynamic Interplay Between Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity in Early Shaping of Asthma and its Implication for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors AlKhater SA

Received 18 July 2020

Accepted for publication 6 September 2020

Published 28 September 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 369—383


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Amrita Dosanjh

Suzan A AlKhater1,2

1College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Pediatrics, King Fahad Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Suzan A AlKhater Email [email protected]

Abstract: The crosstalk between host immunity and the external environment in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts in bronchial asthma has recently been scrutinized. There is compelling evidence that the microbiota at these sites may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this chronic airway disease. The appearance of bacteria early in life in the gut before dissemination to the airways plays a pivotal role in shaping mucosal immunity. Loss of microbial diversity or dysbiosis can result in aberrant immune-mediated inflammation and mucosal barrier disruption, which coincides clinically with the successive development of the “allergic march” in asthma. Microbial manipulation may be effective in curbing asthma development by indirectly preserving homeostatic epithelial barrier functions. The protective effects and mechanisms of immunity-microbiome crosstalk at mucosal sites require further investigation to identify therapeutic and preventive measures in asthma. This topical review aims to highlight new evidence that compromised epithelial barrier function, which results in deregulated crosstalk between the microbiome and host mucosal immune system, is an important disease mechanism in asthma. In the light of current COVID-19 pandemic, the collective findings on the impact of mucosal microbiota on the suceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of COVID-19 is explored. The possible therapeutic implications to target these abnormalities are further discussed.

Keywords: asthma, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, dendritic cells, innate immunity, microbiome, barrier dysfunction

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