Smokers have nasal microbiota dysbiosis, with an increased frequency of colonizing bacterial pathogens. It is possible that cigarette smoke increases pathogen acquisition by perturbing the microbiota and decreasing colonization resistance. However, it is difficult to disentangle microbiota dysbiosis due to cigarette smoke exposure from microbiota changes caused by increased pathogen acquisition in human smokers. Using an experimental mouse model, we investigated the impact of cigarette smoke on the nasal microbiota in the absence and presence of nasal pneumococcal colonization. We observed that cigarette smoke exposure alone did not alter the nasal microbiota composition. The microbiota composition was also unchanged at 12 h following low-dose nasal pneumococcal inoculation, suggesting that the ability of the microbiota to resist initial nasal pneumococcal acquisition was not impaired in smoke-exposed mice. However, nasal microbiota dysbiosis occurred as a consequence of established high-dose nasal pneumococcal colonization at day 3 in smoke-exposed mice. Similar to clinical reports on human smokers, an enrichment of potentially pathogenic bacterial genera such as
Fusobacterium, Gemella, and Neisseriawas observed. Our findings suggest that cigarette smoke exposure predisposes to pneumococcal colonization independent of changes to the nasal microbiota and that microbiota dysbiosis observed in smokers may occur as a consequence of established pathogen colonization.