Any part of the human body that is open to the outside world it available for the colonisation of bacteria. While this blog has covered bacteria in the gut, the vagina and the throat, one area I’ve neglected to cover is the bacteria that get into the lungs. As the company I currently work for is involved in respiratory research I was rather excited to find a PLoS One paper that looked at how the population of lung bacteria changes in respiratory disease.
The respiratory disease in question is COPD, which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. It’s caused primarily by smoke getting into the lungs, from tobacco or industrial processes, and leads to narrowed airways and overproduction of mucus. It’s not really curable, although many medications exist to help people live with it, and to slow down the progression of the disease.