Culture and Molecular Profiling of the Respiratory Tract Microbiota

  • Fiona J. Whelan
  • Laura Rossi
  • Jennifer C. Stearns
  • Michael G. SuretteEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1849)


Microbiome research of host-associated communities has been advanced recently through improvements in sequencing technologies and bioinformatic methods. Traditional microbiological culture, when combined with molecular techniques, can provide a sensitive platform to comprehensively study the airway microbiota. Here we describe the culture methods necessary to capture a large proportion of the airway microbiota and molecular methods for profiling bacterial communities through the 16S rRNA gene, which, when combined, offer a more complete picture of the diversity of airway microbial communities than either method alone.

Key words

Culture enrichment Respiratory tract microbiota Microbiome 16S rRNA gene Human microbiota 



Thank you to the members of the Surette laboratory as well as the clinicians and patients who have helped us improve the culturing conditions and techniques described within over the years.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona J. Whelan
    • 2
  • Laura Rossi
    • 2
  • Jennifer C. Stearns
    • 1
  • Michael G. Surette
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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