Changes in the respiratory microbiome during acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Philip L. Molyneaux, Michael J. Cox, Athol U. Wells, Ho Cheol Kim, Wonjun Ji, William O.C. Cookson, Miriam F. Moffatt, Dong Soon Kim, Toby M. Maher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalRespiratory research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • 16S
  • Acute exacerbation
  • Bacterial infection
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in the respiratory microbiome during acute exacerbations of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this