If we suddenly told someone that they have bacteria in your lungs, or may have them, that person is likely to suddenly feel threatened by those prospects that seem to put their health at risk. After all, there is enough evidence to understand them.
What happens is that we can associate these circumstances with some complex diseases, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, whose appearance is explained by infections produced by bacteria that, ultimately, end up affecting the respiratory system.
Now, we must quickly conclude that if those are “bad” bacteria, normally our lungs harbor “good” bacteria, which are there to react and fight pathological pictures, representing the immune response that the body provides us in those situations.
What is the lung microbiota? Why isn’t it always bad to have bacteria in your lungs?
At this point, it must be said that for centuries it was considered that a healthy lung was one that was not suitable for the development of the life of bacteria and other microorganisms inside. However, and although the subject is still being studied, today it is known that it is not.
Almost like an equivalent of the intestinal flora for the respiratory system, the lung microbiota Not only is it not a negative sign, but it is even necessary and even desirable to prepare our body for the increasing exposure to contaminated environments that we suffer from.
On the other hand, these microorganisms do not move or reproduce freely inside the lungs, but rather these organs are in charge of managing the amount of bacteria inside, establishing numerous barriers that act to limit this absolute dangerous potential.
These natural mechanisms are those that we trust to maintain the balance around the lung microbiota, so it is essential to ensure its balance, the same one that rules out the installation of harmful bacteria and their proliferation, which could generate complications.
Each lung microbiota, a different world
More than one will wonder if the lung microbiota is exactly the same, identical, in all human bodies, and the immediate answer to this is that no, it can vary greatly.
Among the factors that have a direct influence on the composition of the lung microbiota we have the climate, in turn determined by the geographical location, the habitual interaction with animals, the direct exposure to contaminating materials, to mention just a few.
And then, this microbiota can fall into a certain imbalance as a consequence of viral infections or the weakening of the immune system, such as due to bad behaviors, especially smoking or the excessive and undiagnosed consumption of antibiotics.