American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting

March 10, 2016
1 min read

Viral infections may affect respiratory microbiome of patients with CF

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LOS ANGELES — Viral infections in patients with cystic fibrosis were associated with pulmonary exacerbations, according to recent study findings presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.

Further, the researchers believe these viral infections may be associated with changes in the respiratory microbiome, although they could not confirm these findings.

“Our research suggests that in pediatric patients with [cystic fibrosis (CF)], viral infections are associated with pulmonary exacerbations and changes in respiratory microbial communities may be part of the underlying mechanism,” Gina T. Coscia, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center, told

Viruses are already known to negatively affect the clinical status of patients with CF, however their effects on the respiratory microbiome are unknown, the researchers wrote.

To determine whether the viruses negatively affect the microbiome, the researchers performed a prospective longitudinal study of 102 patients with CF aged younger than 22 years between 2013 and 2014. The researchers collected swab, sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage and oropharyngeal samples from the patients at both baseline and exacerbation states. For bacterial detection, the researchers used Illumina sequencing and standard culture. For viral detection, the researchers used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

The researchers collected 380 samples from their 102 patients, 73 of which were virus positive and 307 were virus negative. The most common viruses found were rhinovirus/enterovirus and coronavirus. The researchers found that virus positive samples were associated with a higher prevalence of traditional CF pathogens. However, they found no association between viral infections and clinical status or lung function. Using deep-sequencing, they found some changes in the amount of microbiota bacteria in virus positive samples compared with virus negative.

 “Detection of viruses in pediatric patients with CF may predict subsequent infection with traditional CF pathogens,” Coscia and colleagues wrote. “Viruses may also be associated with subtle changes in the microbiome but further analysis is needed.” – by Will Offit


Coscia GT, et al. Abstract 313. Presented at: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting; March 4-7, 2016; Los Angeles.

Disclosure: could not confirm disclosures at the time of reporting.