Cystic Fibrosis Alters Microbiome?

The microbiome of the lung is different in patients with the disease, which causes a thick buildup of mucus that makes breathing difficult.

By | September 28, 2012

SOCIALisBETTER" > Lung Ashtray designed by Chi-Ja LingFlickr, SOCIALisBETTER

The lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis harbor a different microbial makeup, including less diversity of species, than the lungs of healthy individuals, according to a study published Wednesday (September 26) in Science Translational Medicine.

Although the disease is caused by a genetic mutation, bacterial infections of the lungs cause many of the complications experienced by these patients, and can even lead to death. The new study shows that decreased microbial diversity plays a role in these complications.  “Diminished microbial diversity is associated with severity of pulmonary inflammation within our adult CF cohort,” the Stanford University-based authors write in their report.

The team compared the 16S ribosomal RNA sequences—a segment of genetic information that is used to determine the phylogeny of a species—from sputum samples taken from 16 normal study participants and nine cystic fibrosis patients. Healthy participants had more bacteria from the phyla Baceriodetes and Fusobacteria, while cystic fibrosis patients had a greater number of Actinobacteria.

Although the authors call for further research to determine how and which of these bacterial communities contribute to the inflammation associated with the disease, the authors suggest taking a more measured approach with antibiotic treatment. "Rather than aggressively prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics,” the authors write, “clinicians might introduce targeted antimicrobials and probiotic therapies intended to regulate pathogen activity and enhance the efficacy of natural immune mechanisms with reduced long-term toxicity to the patient and the healthy microbiome."

(Hat tip to GenomeWeb.)

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo


Avatar of: jhnycmltly


Posts: 65

October 1, 2012

There is a theory Cystic Fibrosis is genetically linked to Hemochromatosis.
"Is the hemochromatosis gene a modifier locus for cystic fibrosis?"
Increased iron levels have been shown to affect the microbiome , in that , iron feeds some bacteria BUT some bacteria such as Lactobacillus do not require iron and in the case of iron excess those bacteria which DO require iron , gain an upper hand.
"Certain probiotic strains underperform in the presence of iron-rich environments created during the active phase of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), UK researchers have found"
So , would the lowering of iron levels , shown to be raised in the lungs of those with Cystic Fibrosis , be an effective method of control of bacteria such as Pseudomonas which has been shown to be effectively controlled by the bodies own iron-binding 'antibiotic' , lactoferrin ?
"A probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus plantarum 299, has been used to out-compete the dangerous bacteria that cause respiratory illness in ventilated patients"
"Airway iron and iron-regulatory cytokines in cystic fibrosis."
"The increased iron content may even facilitate Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection"

Avatar of: Atiyah


Posts: 5

October 20, 2012

One great article, kind of helpful to those who have cystic fibrosis. They could actually find out more on the bacteria that have been stated, and how these bacteria might affect their health and body. It is also great to know various types of bacteria. 

Popular Now

  1. Can Young Stem Cells Make Older People Stronger?
  2. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  3. CRISPR to Debut in Clinical Trials
  4. Two Dozen House Republicans Do an About-Face on Tuition Tax