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Title: Assessment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa epidemiology and the wider microbial diversity within the bronchiectatic lung
Author: Mitchelmore, Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 2981
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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The bronchiectatic lung is a diseased state in which the airways are chronically damaged and dilated. This state is found in the clinical entities of cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. These are two highly relevant chronic suppurative lung diseases in which an understanding of the microbiology of these patients is considered key to appropriate management. This has traditionally been via the use of traditional culture techniques. However, with the development of molecular methodologies, the previously perceived wisdom is being challenged. In both cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is considered the most significant pathogen. In CF there has been considerable concern surrounding the risk of transmission of Pseudomonas aeruginosa between patients on the basis of a significant quantity of research into this matter. In contrast, there has been very little research performed into the equivalent risk in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. In this thesis we describe an extensive single-centre epidemiological review of Pseudomonas aeruginosa spanning both these diseases. Via this we have shown evidence of cross-infection within a non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis cohort. This epidemiological review has included multiple genotyping methods including multilocus sequence typing and whole genome sequencing, As an extension of the epidemiological review, we have performed an in silico prediction of hypermutator status from the whole genome sequencing data to provide greater understanding of the likelihood of cross-infection, and have also demonstrated a culture-independent adaption of multilocus sequence typing for potential screening for cross-infection. In addition to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we have also looked at the wider bacterial community in the lungs of patients with these two conditions via culture-independent techniques. We have shown that whilst Pseudomonas aeruginosa is often an important component, these are clearly complex communities. We have primarily investigated the cohort with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, but we have demonstrated associations between clinically-relevant markers and complexity of the bacterial communities within the lungs of both these cohorts of patients. Whilst we have used the gold-standard technique of 16S rRNA sequencing, we have also shown the validity of a simple and potentially more feasible profiling technique for standard clinical care. In summary, through the application of culture-dependent and independent molecular techniques, this research has shed light on the epidemiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa within our respiratory cohorts, and the complexity and clinical relevance of the wider microbial communities within these patients. Such studies are essential if we are to advance our understanding of the bronchiectatic lung and optimise strategies for patient management.
Supervisor: Scotton, Christopher ; Brown, Alan ; Sheldon, Christopher ; Withers, Nicholas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa ; Bronchiectasis ; Cystic Fibrosis ; Lung ; Microbiota ; Cross-infection