IntroductionIn cystic fibrosis (CF), pathological lung changes begin early in life. The technological progress currently gives many diagnostic possibilities. However, pulmonary function testing in children remains problematic.ObjectivesOur study aimed to correlate the results of impulse oscillometry (IOS) with those of multiple breath nitrogen washout (MBNW) in our pediatric CF population. We also compared those parameters between the groups with and without spirometric features of obturation.MethodsWe collected 150 pulmonary function test sets, including spirometry, IOS, and MBNW in patients with CF aged 12.08 ± 3.85 years [6–18]. The study group was divided into two subgroups: IA (without obturation) and IB (with obturation). We also compared Sacin, Scond, and oscillometry parameters of 20 patients aged 14–18 years who reached the appropriate tidal volume (VT) during MBNW.ResultsStatistical analysis showed a negative correlation between lung clearance index (LCI) and spimoetric parameters. Comparison of subgroups IA (n = 102) and IB (n = 48) indicated a statistically significant difference in LCI (p < 0.001) and FEV1z-score (p < 0.001), FEV1% pred (p < 0.001), MEF25z-score (p < 0.001), MEF50 z-score (p < 0.001), MEF75 z-score (p < 0.001), R5% pred (p < 0.05), and R20% pred (p < 0.01). LCI higher than 7.91 was found in 75.33% of the study group, in subgroup IB—91.67%, and IA−67.6%.ConclusionsLCI derived from MBNW may be a better tool than IOS for assessing pulmonary function in patients with CF, particularly those who cannot perform spirometry.
Children with cystic fibrosis (CF) (cwCF) suffer from inadequate weight gain, failure to thrive, and muscle weakness. The latter may be secondary to disuse atrophy (muscle wasting or reduction in muscle size associated with reduced physical activity and inflammation). Handgrip strength (HGS) is a reliable surrogate for muscle strength and lean body mass. Data from our CF center have shown an association between low HGS and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) in cwCF. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves physical strength. Therefore, we devised a project to assess implementing a HIIT exercise program in the home setting, in order to improve physical strength in cwCF with HGS ≤ 50th percentile. Patients were instructed to complete 3–5 sessions of HIIT exercises per week. Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank tests were used to compare HGS, FEV1, and body mass index (BMI) percentile at baseline and at a follow-up clinic visit. Follow-up was limited due to the COVID pandemic. Adherence to the HIIT regimen was poor. A total of twenty-nine cwCF participated in the program. However, a total of 13 individuals reported some form of moderate activity at follow-up and therefore constituted our final study population. There was a statistically significant increase in absolute grip strength (AGS) and FEV1 for these individuals. Even though the home HIIT protocol was not followed, the project demonstrated that moderate physical activity in cwCF can lead to significant improvement in HGS and overall physical strength.
The opportunistic pathogen
, is ubiquitous in the environment, and in humans is capable of causing acute or chronic infections. In the natural environment, predation by bacterivorous protozoa represents a primary threat to bacteria. Here, we determined the impact of long-term exposure of
to predation pressure.
persisted when co-incubated with the bacterivorous
for extended periods and produced genetic and phenotypic variants. Sequencing of late-stage amoeba-adapted
isolates demonstrated single nucleotide polymorphisms within genes that encode known virulence factors and this correlated with a reduction in expression of virulence traits. Virulence towards the nematode,
, was attenuated in late-stage amoeba-adapted
compared to early-stage amoeba-adapted and non-adapted counterparts. Further, late-stage amoeba-adapted
showed increased competitive fitness and enhanced survival in amoeba as well as in macrophage and neutrophils. Interestingly, our findings indicate that the selection imposed by amoeba resulted in
isolates with reduced virulence and enhanced fitness, similar to those recovered from chronic cystic fibrosis infections. Thus, predation by protozoa and long-term colonization of the human host may represent similar environments that select for similar losses of gene function.
is an opportunistic pathogen that causes both acute infections in plants and animals, including humans, and chronic infections in immunocompromised and cystic fibrosis patients. This bacterium is commonly found in soils and water where bacteria are constantly under threat of being consumed by bacterial predators, e.g. protozoa. To escape being killed, bacteria have evolved a suite of mechanisms that protect them from being consumed or digested. Here, we examine the effect of long-term predation on the genotypes and phenotypes expressed by
. We show that long term co-incubation with protozoa resulted in mutations that resulted in
becoming less pathogenic. This is particularly interesting as we see similar mutations arise in bacteria associated with chronic infections. Importantly, the genetic and phenotypic traits possessed by late-stage amoeba-adapted
are similar to what is observed for isolates obtained from chronic cystic fibrosis infections. This notable overlap in adaptation to different host types suggests similar selection pressures amongst host cell types as well as similar adaptation strategies.