Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Exposure to bile and gastric juice can impact the aerodigestive microbiome in people with cystic fibrosis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hafez Al-momani, Dr Christopher StewartORCiD, Rhys Jones, Amaran Krishnan, Dr Andrew Robertson, Professor Stephen BourkeORCiD, Dr Simon Doe, Dr Ian Forrest, Dr Matthew WilcoxORCiD, Dr Malcolm Brodlie, Jeffrey Pearson, Professor Christopher WardORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022, The Author(s). Studies of microbiota reveal inter-relationships between the microbiomes of the gut and lungs. This relationship may influence the progression of lung disease, particularly in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), who often experience extraoesophageal reflux (EOR). Despite identifying this relationship, it is not well characterised. Our hypothesis is that the gastric and lung microbiomes in CF are related, with the potential for aerodigestive pathophysiology. We evaluated gastric and sputum bacterial communities by culture and 16S rRNA gene sequencing in 13 CF patients. Impacts of varying levels of bile acids, pepsin and pH on patient isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) were evaluated. Clonally related strains of Pa and NTM were identified in gastric and sputum samples from patients with symptoms of EOR. Bacterial diversity was more pronounced in sputa compared to gastric juice. Gastric and lung bile and pepsin levels were associated with Pa biofilm formation. Analysis of the aerodigestive microbiomes of CF patients with negative sputa indicates that the gut can be a reservoir of Pa and NTM. This combined with the CF patient’s symptoms of reflux and potential aspiration, highlights the possibility of communication between microorganisms of the gut and the lungs. This phenomenon merits further research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Momani H, Perry A, Nelson A, Stewart CJ, Jones R, Krishnan A, Robertson A, Bourke S, Doe S, Cummings S, Anderson A, Forrest T, Forrest I, Griffin M, Wilcox M, Brodlie M, Pearson J, Ward C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2022

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 30/06/2022

Acceptance date: 23/06/2022

Date deposited: 21/07/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-15375-4

PubMed id: 35773410


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Boehringer Ingelheim
MRF-091-0001-RG-GARNEMedical Research Foundation
VIA 099