Acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (AE-IPF) have been defined as events of clinically significant respiratory deterioration with an unidentifiable cause. They carry a significant mortality and morbidity and while their exact pathogenesis remains unclear, the possibility remains that hidden infection may play a role. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether changes in the respiratory microbiota occur during an AE-IPF. Bacterial DNA was extracted from bronchoalveolar lavage from patients with stable IPF and those experiencing an AE-IPF. A hyper-variable region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S rRNA) was amplified, quantified and pyrosequenced. Culture independent techniques demonstrate AE-IPF is associated with an increased BAL bacterial burden compared to stable disease and highlight shifts in the composition of the respiratory microbiota during an AE-IPF.
- Acute exacerbation
- Bacterial infection
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine