Cold severity linked to nasal bacteria: Study

New York, Oct 1 : The combination of bacteria inside your nose correlates with the type and severity of cold symptoms you develop, a study has found.

The researchers, from the University of Virginia, suggested that people whose noses contain Staphylococcus bacteria are likely to develop more severe nasal symptoms than cold sufferers who have less staph.

They found that the bacteria in participants' noses fell into six different patterns of nasal microbiomes.

The different patterns were associated with differences in symptom severity.

The compositions were also found to correlate with the amount of cold virus inside the body.

"There were effects on virus load and how much virus you shed in your nasal secretions.

So the background microbiome, the background bacterial pattern in your nose, had influences on the way that you reacted to the virus and how sick you got,"said Ronald B.

Turner, from the varsity's School of Medicine.

However, the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, stated that the microorganisms living in the nose do not cause the cold as the cold itself is caused by a cold virus.

"What we're reporting is an association, so it's entirely possible that the fact that you have staph in your nose and you have more symptoms is not directly related.

It may well be that there's some underlying host characteristic that makes you likely to have staph in your nose and also makes you more likely to become ill," Turner said.

According to the researchers, genes might also contribute to both the composition of nasal microbiome and reaction to the cold virus.

For the study, the team tested 152 study participants' nasal microbiomes before and after giving them the cold virus, ruling out the possibility that the virus or the resulting sickness was altering the composition of the microbiome significantly.

Importantly, they found that probiotic did not affect the microbiomes in their noses, and it also did not have much effect on the microbiomes in their stomachs.



Source: IANS