Volume 12, Issue 5 p. 1293-1303

Relationship between cystic fibrosis respiratory tract bacterial communities and age, genotype, antibiotics and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Vanja Klepac-Ceraj

Corresponding Author

Vanja Klepac-Ceraj

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

E-mail [email protected]; Tel. (+1) 617 892 8592; Fax (+1) 617 262 4021.Search for more papers by this author
Katherine P. Lemon

Katherine P. Lemon

Divisions of Infectious Diseases and

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Thomas R. Martin

Thomas R. Martin

Respiratory Diseases, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

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Martin Allgaier

Martin Allgaier

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

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Steven W. Kembel

Steven W. Kembel

Center for Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.

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Alixandra A. Knapp

Alixandra A. Knapp

Respiratory Diseases, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

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Stephen Lory

Stephen Lory

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

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Eoin L. Brodie

Eoin L. Brodie

Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

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Susan V. Lynch

Susan V. Lynch

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

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Brendan J. M. Bohannan

Brendan J. M. Bohannan

Center for Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.

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Jessica L. Green

Jessica L. Green

Center for Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.

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Brian A. Maurer

Brian A. Maurer

Michigan State University, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

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Roberto Kolter

Roberto Kolter

Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

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First published: 23 April 2010
Citations: 182

Summary

Polymicrobial bronchopulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) cause progressive lung damage and death. Although the arrival of Pseudomonas aeruginosa often heralds a more rapid rate of pulmonary decline, there is significant inter-individual variation in the rate of decline, the causes of which remain poorly understood. By coupling culture-independent methods with ecological analyses, we discovered correlations between bacterial community profiles and clinical disease markers in respiratory tracts of 45 children with CF. Bacterial community complexity was inversely correlated with patient age, presence of P. aeruginosa and antibiotic exposure, and was related to CF genotype. Strikingly, bacterial communities lacking P. aeruginosa were much more similar to each other than were those containing P. aeruginosa, regardless of antibiotic exposure. This suggests that community composition might be a better predictor of disease progression than the presence of P. aeruginosa alone and deserves further study.