Erik Jensen, M.D.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Does Bacteria Imbalance Play Role in Premature Infant Lung Disease?
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that affects 50 percent of surviving extremely preterm infants and is a strong risk factor of lifelong deficits in lung, heart, and neurologic function. Few safe preventative therapies for BPD exist. Recently, abnormalities in the normal balance of bacteria (dysbiosis) in the lung were identified as a contributor to chronic lung illness in older children and adults. Fortunately, therapies that restore the normal balance may improve lung function. Whether dysbiosis contributes to the development of BPD is an unanswered question. We will determine whether the microbial communities in the lungs of preterm infants who do and do not go on to develop BPD differ during the first month of life.