A collaborative clinical study between DuPont Nutrition & Health, the University of Virginia and 4Pharma Ltd indicates that nasal microbiota may influence the viral load, host innate immune response and clinical symptoms during rhinovirus infection.
The DuPont Microbiome Venture and Global Health & Nutrition Science teams have worked in collaboration with the University of Virginia and 4Pharma Ltd in an experimental rhinovirus challenge to understand the role of nasal microbiota clusters and their association with inflammatory response, viral load and symptom severity.
The study has been published recently in Scientific Reports, available at
In the clinical study, the nasal microbiota of the healthy adult study subjects was characterized before they were infected with common cold virus. The study team found that the baseline nasal microbiota samples divided into six types named after predominant bacterial genera: (1) Staphylococcus, (2) Corynebacterium/Alloiococcus, (3) Moraxella, (4) Haemophilus, (5) Pseudomonadaceae/Mixed, and (6) Mixed. Thus, each study subject could be classified based on nasal microbiota type before the infection.
The most common nasal microbiota types were Staphyloccocus, Corynebacterium/Alloiococcus, Moraxella, and Pseudomonadaceae/Mixed and these were used to compare differences in the course of the infection and severity of cold symptoms. The investigators collected nasal washes over the course of the infection and analyzed for inflammatory markers and viral load.
Each nasal microbiota type had a characteristic inflammatory response and viral load profile. In general, subjects having Staphyloccocus, and Corynebacterium/Alloiococcus types had lower inflammatory responses and Pseudomonadaceae/Mixed type had lower viral load than other types. These results suggest that nasal microbiota influences the host response to rhinovirus infection. Importantly, changes in the response were reflected in cold symptoms and showed that subjects with Corynebacterium/Alloiococcus nasal microbiota type had lower symptom scores than Staphylococcus or Pseudomonadaceae/Mixed types.
Overall the results of the study suggest a role for the nasal microbiota in the modulation of immune response, viral load and symptoms of the common cold in otherwise healthy adults.
Rhinoviruses are the predominant cause of the common cold and associated symptoms. Billions of rhinovirus infections occur each year and cause great discomfort for global populations along with loss in productivity for the world economy. Current scientific literature indicates that changes in the nasal microbiota during infection or associations between the microbial profile and clinical characteristics can be detected when nasopharyngeal microbiota is characterized at the genus level.
Further research studies are required to fully elucidate the possibilities that changes in nasal microbiota could bring to the treatment of the common cold. However, this study raises the possibility that the modulation of the nasal microbiota might provide a positive intervention in rhinovirus-associated illness or other viral infections.
The DuPont Microbiome Venture team continue to work collaboratively with appropriate external partners to help advance our knowledge of important human microbiomes and to provide practical and science-based solutions for improvements in global health.
To find out more about the DuPont Microbiome Venture, please visit: HMV
4Pharma is a contract research organization (CRO) providing research services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and medical devices companies, and academic research groups. Focused on biostatistics, data management, data warehousing and medical writing, we offer a unique blend of industry experience, service provider flexibility and the academic excellence of truly data driven mindsets. With the assistance of our partners we can provide a variety of services, including full clinical studies. Our expertise in the fields of information technology, international regulatory affairs and drug development is significant. More information can be found at www.4pharma.com.
UVA Health System is an academic health system that includes a 612-bed hospital, the UVA School of Medicine, a level I trauma center, nationally recognized cancer and heart centers and primary and specialty clinics throughout Central Virginia. UVA is recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report, Best Doctors in America and America's Top Doctors. More information is available at www.uvahealth.com.
DuPont Nutrition & Health, a DowDuPont Specialty Products Division business, combines in-depth knowledge of food and nutrition with current research and expert science to deliver unmatched value to the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries. We are innovative solvers, drawing on deep consumer insights and a broad product portfolio to help our customers turn challenges into high-value business opportunities. More information is available at www.food.dupont.com.
DowDuPont Specialty Products, a division of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), is a global innovation leader with technology-based materials, ingredients and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. Our employees apply diverse science and expertise to help customers advance their best ideas and deliver essential innovations in key markets including electronics, transportation, building and construction, health and wellness, food and worker safety. DowDuPont intends to separate the Specialty Products Division, which will be called DuPont, into an independent, publicly traded company. More information can be found at www.dow-dupont.com.