Such patient specific effects have been observed in other studies  but the underlying reasons are yet to be explained. We found H. influenzae was, however, present in patients with long term and repeated antibiotic therapy (data not shown). P. aeruginosa has been shown to inhibit the growth of H. influenzae in vitro which suggests our observations may reflect competition between these two major pathogens in the human lung . We modelled whether patients could be stratified
on the basis of their microbiome, in particular, to determine whether patients undergoing a current exacerbation at sampling or those who were frequent exacerbators had a characteristic microbial community compared to selleckchem stable patients or those who were infrequent exacerbators. Comparing acute exacerbations versus stable patients’ the bacterial community profiles indicated three groupings, click here a small exacerbating group, a group containing both stable and exacerbating patients selleck compound and a third group of stable patients (Figure 2). We found particular
taxa are correlated with different clinical states for example, 27 taxa including Pasteurellaceae, Streptococcaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, Burkholderiales, Prevotellaceae and Veillonellaceae were associated with acute exacerbations, whereas 11 taxa including Pseudomonas species correlated with stable clinical states (Figure 3). These observations, suggest that the bacterial community in the lung of exacerbating very bronchiectasis patients has a more dynamic community composition than that seen in stable patients. It may be that the three groups identified based on community profiles are transient and individuals move in and out of them depending upon frequency of exacerbation, antibiotic
treatment or other factors. Culture based studies of COPD suggest strain emergence is associated with exacerbations . Although no patients were culture positive for Burkholderia spp., the presence of 1% of amplicons belonging to Burkholderiales, with one OTU accounting for 94% of the reads which was present, albeit in low numbers in 27% of the cohort, is notable as these organisms have not previously been considered pathogens in NCFBr. We hypothesised that those individuals who frequently exacerbate would have significantly different bacterial community compositions and diversity compared to clinically stable patients. Soft-class modelling did not give a definitive answer, 39 profiles of both frequent exacerbators and stable patients were indistinguishable in the model, however, it did stratify a small group of 6 stable patient’s bacterial communities from those of a distinct group of 14 frequently exacerbating individuals (Figure 4).