Complexity, temporal stability, and clinical correlates of airway bacterial community composition in primary ciliary Dyskinesia

Geraint B. Rogers, Mary P. Carroll, Nur Masirah M Zain, Kenneth D. Bruce, Karen Lock, Woolf Walker, Graeme Jones, Thomas W V Daniels, Jane S. Lucas

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a genetic disease characterized by abnormalities in ciliary function, leading to compromised airway clearance and chronic bacterial infection of the upper and lower airways. The compositions of these infections and the relationships between their characteristics and disease presentation are poorly defined. We describe here the first systematic culture-independent evaluation of lower airway bacteriology in PCD. Thirty-three airway samples (26 from sputum, 7 from bronchoalveolar lavage [BAL] fluid) were collected from 24 PCD patients aged 4 to 73 years. 16S rRNA quantitative PCR and pyrosequencing were used to determine the bacterial loads and community compositions of the samples. Bacterial loads, which ranged from 1.3104 to 5.2109 CFU/ml, were positively correlated with age (P0.002) but not lung function. An analysis of 7,000 16S rRNA sequences per sample identified bacterial species belonging to 128 genera. The concurrently collected paired samples showed high bacterial community similarity. The mean relative abundance of the dominant genera was 64.5% (standard deviation [SD], 24.5), including taxa reported through standard diagnostic microbiology (members of the genera Pseudomonas, Haemophilus, and Streptococcus) and those requiring specific ex vivo growth conditions (members of the genera Prevotella and Porphyromonas). The significant correlations observed included a positive relationship between Pseudomonas aeruginosa relative abundance and age and a negative relationship between P. aeruginosa relative abundance and lung function. Members of the genus Ralstonia were also found to contribute substantially to the bacterial communities in a number of patients. Follow-up samples from a subset of patients revealed high levels of bacterial community temporal stability. The detailed microbiological characterization presented here provides a basis for the reassessment of the clinical management of PCD airway infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4029-4035
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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