Reduced Bacterial Colony Count of Anaerobic Bacteria Is Associated with a Worsening in Lung Clearance Index and Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis

Katherine O'Neill, Judy M Bradley, Elinor Johnston, Stephanie McGrath, Leanne McIlreavey, Stephen Rowan, Alastair Reid, Ian Bradbury, Gisli Einarsson, J Stuart Elborn, Michael M Tunney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
197 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Anaerobic bacteria have been identified in abundance in the airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) subjects. The impact their presence and abundance has on lung function and inflammation is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the colony count of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, lung clearance index (LCI), spirometry and C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in patients with CF. Sputum and blood were collected from CF patients at a single cross-sectional visit when clinically stable. Community composition and bacterial colony counts were analysed using extended aerobic and anaerobic culture. Patients completed spirometry and a multiple breath washout (MBW) test to obtain LCI. An inverse correlation between colony count of aerobic bacteria (n = 41, r = -0.35; p = 0.02), anaerobic bacteria (n = 41, r = -0.44, p = 0.004) and LCI was observed. There was an inverse correlation between colony count of anaerobic bacteria and CRP (n = 25, r = -0.44, p = 0.03) only. The results of this study demonstrate that a lower colony count of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria correlated with a worse LCI. A lower colony count of anaerobic bacteria also correlated with higher CRP levels. These results indicate that lower abundance of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria may reflect microbiota disruption and disease progression in the CF lung.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0126980
Number of pages14
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2015

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