House dust exposure mediates gut microbiome Lactobacillus enrichment and airway immune defense against allergens and virus infection

Kei E. Fujimura, Tine Demoor, Marcus Rauch, Ali A. Faruqi, Sihyug Jang, Christine C. Johnson, Homer A. Boushey, Edward Zoratti, Dennis Ownby, Nicholas W. Lukacs, Susan V. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

306 Scopus citations


Exposure to dogs in early infancy has been shown to reduce therisk of childhood allergic disease development, and dog ownershipis associated with a distinct house dust microbial exposure. Here,we demonstrate, using murine models, that exposure of mice todog-associated house dust protects against ovalbumin or cockroach allergen-mediated airway pathology. Protected animalsexhibited significant reduction in the total number of airway Tcells, down-regulation of Th2-related airway responses, as well asmucin secretion. Following dog-associated dust exposure, the cecalmicrobiome of protected animals was extensively restructured withsignificant enrichment of, amongst others, Lactobacillus johnsonii.Supplementation of wild-type animals with L. johnsonii protectedthem against both airway allergen challenge or infection with respiratory syncytial virus. L. johnsonii-mediated protection was associated with significant reductions in the total number and proportion of activated CD11c+/CD11b+ and CD11c+/CD8+ cells, as well assignificantly reduced airway Th2 cytokine expression. Our resultsreveal that exposure to dog-associated household dust results inprotection against airway allergen challenge and a distinct gastrointestinal microbiome composition. Moreover, the study identifiesL. johnsonii as a pivotal species within the gastrointestinal tract capable of influencing adaptive immunity at remote mucosal surfaces ina manner that is protective against a variety of respiratory insults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-810
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway adaptive immunity
  • Gastrointestinal bacterial community
  • House environment
  • Lactobacilliaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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