Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic, progressive, devastating, inflammatory airway disease usually caused by chronic exposure to noxious pollutants. It is the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide and 2nd leading cause of death in India. Although less than 50%, tobacco smoking is one of the most established risk factor for COPD in India along with the exposure to biomass fuel. In India, 85% of COPD in rural population occurs among never smokers (exposure to biomass). Human microbiome research has changed the study of microbial identification in health and diseased population.
Our preliminary analysis revealed that biomass-smoke exposed COPD subjects harbour a greater load of potentially pathogenic bacteria, which is associated with defective macrophage phagocytic activity, and this correlates inversely with lung function. Our group focuses on deciphering the microbiome of lower respiratory tract using amplicon sequencing and correlating with the physiological parameters such as spirometry and immunological measures between healthy and diseased conditions.