Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third commonest cause of death globally, and manifests as a progressive inflammatory lung disease with no curative treatment. The lung microbiome contributes to COPD progression, but the function of the gut microbiome remains unclear. Here we examine the faecal microbiome and metabolome of COPD patients and healthy controls, finding 146 bacterial species differing between the two groups. Several species, including Streptococcus sp000187445, Streptococcus vestibularis and multiple members of the family Lachnospiraceae, also correlate with reduced lung function. Untargeted metabolomics identifies a COPD signature comprising 46% lipid, 20% xenobiotic and 20% amino acid related metabolites. Furthermore, we describe a disease-associated network connecting Streptococcus parasanguinis_B with COPD-associated metabolites, including N-acetylglutamate and its analogue N-carbamoylglutamate. While correlative, our results suggest that the faecal microbiome and metabolome of COPD patients are distinct from those of healthy individuals, and may thus aid in the search for biomarkers for COPD.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressing disease, with lung but not gut microbiota implicated in its etiology. Here the authors compare the stool from patients with COPD and healthy controls to find specific gut bacteria and metabolites associated with active disease, thereby hinting at a potential role for the gut microbiome in COPD.