How our microbial communities
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a very serious, progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs and other organs resulting in respiratory and gastrointestinal complications.
Very little is known about the lung microbiota in people with CF or how the microbial community of the airways contributes to lung disease in these individuals.
Treatment of CF consists mostly of keeping nutritional conditions and lung function constant, and where possible improving it. In practice this means supplementation of enzymes to improve lipid digestion, dietary restrictions and supplementations, and frequent antibiotic treatments.
Did you know?:
Cystic fibrosis is the most common life shortening genetic disease
About 4% of the population is a carrier of a cystic fibrosis mutation, but two mutated gene copies are needed to develop the disease
On average cystic fibrosis patients spend about 1.5 hours a day on treatment
Research into the lung microbiome is growing fast and revealing important insights about the microbiome’s association with respiratory disease. A recent study of researchers at the University of Cork, Ireland, have compared the gut microbiota of CF patients with those of healthy individuals. Their findings show that CF and its management have a significant impact on the gut microbiota. Probiotics could present an opportunity to further manage the disease and prevent microbiota disturbances. Hopefully the continued study of this field will provide new insights into the pathogenesis of lung diseases such as CF as well as the role the lung microbiota plays in respiratory health.
Read more about the lung microbiome in the media
Read the scientific article by Burke et al
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