1887

Abstract

is the most prevalent organism isolated from the airways of people with cystic fibrosis (CF), predominantly early in life. Yet its role in the pathology of lung disease is poorly understood. In mice, and many experiments using cell lines, the bacterium invades cells or interstitium, and forms abscesses. This is at odds with the limited available clinical data: interstitial bacteria are rare in CF biopsies and abscesses are highly unusual. Bacteria instead appear to localize in mucus plugs in the lumens of bronchioles. We show that, in an established model of CF infection comprising porcine bronchiolar tissue and synthetic mucus, demonstrates clinically significant characteristics including colonization of the airway lumen, with preferential localization as multicellular aggregates in mucus, initiation of a small colony variant phenotype and increased antibiotic tolerance of tissue-associated aggregates. Tissue invasion and abscesses were not observed. Our results may inform ongoing debates relating to clinical responses to in people with CF.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Medical Research Council (Award MR/R001898/1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: Freya Harrison
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2020-11-13
2021-07-29
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