Cystic fibrosis (CF) is most often thought of as a disease of the lung, and most microbiome studies of CF patients begin and end with the respiratory tract. But CF also causes profound complications in the gut and pancreas, problems that can seriously impact growth and nutrition. A study in mBio this week treats the lungs and guts of infants with CF as co-evolving ecosystems, comparing and contrasting the ways in which the bacterial communities in these niches evolve and interact.
Madan et al. studied respiratory and intestinal samples taken from infants with CF every three months from birth to 21 months, using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S genes to tease apart the identities of the bacteria living in those organs. They showed that most of the bacteria in both tracts fell into 8 distinct genera, and although the lung community was distinct from the gut community, there was some overlap between the two systems. This core microbiota is dominated by species of Veillonella and Streptococcus.
Click on the source link to read more on mBio's blog, mBiosphere.