The chronic colonisation of the lower airways by bacterial pathogens is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The use of novel culture-independent techniques such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) to analyse the lungs has allowed us to further understand the diversity, the complexity, the effects of acute exacerbations and the use of antibiotics on the bacterial communities. The understanding of the CF microbiome to airway disease remains a fascinating area of research; it presents new opportunities for disease management in CF and has the potential to explore the effects of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators. It also allows further appreciation regarding the roles played by anaerobic organisms within the CF airways. It is also of interest that a number of studies have demonstrated that the fluctuations of microbiome are not necessarily associated with the patient’s clinical status. Despite the available evidence, there remain many challenges that must be overcome if microbiome profiling is going to influence future clinical practice. The effects of fungus and the emergence of nontuberculous mycobacteria in CF are also briefly discussed in this chapter.
Part of the book: Cystic Fibrosis