Inhaled oxygen, although commonly administered to patients with respiratory disease, causes severe lung injury in animals and is associated with poor clinical outcomes in humans. The relationship between hyperoxia, lung and gut microbiota, and lung injury is unknown. Here, we show that hyperoxia conferred a selective relative growth advantage on oxygen-tolerant respiratory microbial species (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus) as demonstrated by an observational study of critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation and experiments using neonatal and adult mouse models. During exposure of mice to hyperoxia, both lung and gut bacterial communities were altered, and these communities contributed to oxygen-induced lung injury.
Read more at: Science Translational Medicine