Refining the Application of Microbial Lipids as Tracers of Staphylococcus aureus Growth Rates in Cystic Fibrosis Sputum.

Abstract:

:Chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) could be treated more effectively if the effects of antimicrobials on pathogens in situ were known. Here, we compared changes in the microbial community composition and pathogen growth rates in longitudinal studies of seven pediatric CF patients undergoing intravenous antibiotic administration during pulmonary exacerbations. The microbial community composition was determined by counting rRNA with NanoString DNA analysis, and growth rates were obtained by incubating CF sputum with heavy water and tracing incorporation of deuterium into two branched-chain ("anteiso") fatty acids (a-C15:0 and a-C17:0) using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Prior to this study, both lipids were thought to be specific for Staphylococcaceae; hence, their isotopic enrichment was interpreted as a growth proxy for Staphylococcus aureus Our experiments revealed, however, that Prevotella is also a relevant microbial producer of a-C17:0 fatty acid in some CF patients; thus, deuterium incorporation into these lipids is better interpreted as a more general pathogen growth rate proxy. Even accounting for a small nonmicrobial background source detected in some patient samples, a-C15:0 fatty acid still appears to be a relatively robust proxy for CF pathogens, revealing a median generation time of ∼1.5 days, similar to prior observations. Contrary to our expectation, pathogen growth rates remained relatively stable throughout exacerbation treatment. We suggest two straightforward "best practices" for application of stable-isotope probing to CF sputum metabolites: (i) parallel determination of microbial community composition in CF sputum using culture-independent tools and (ii) assessing background levels of the diagnostic metabolite.IMPORTANCE In chronic lung infections, populations of microbial pathogens change and mature in ways that are often unknown, which makes it challenging to identify appropriate treatment options. A promising tool to better understand the physiology of microorganisms in a patient is stable-isotope probing, which we previously developed to estimate the growth rates of S. aureus in cystic fibrosis (CF) sputum. Here, we tracked microbial communities in a cohort of CF patients and found that anteiso fatty acids can also originate from other sources in CF sputum. This awareness led us to develop a new workflow for the application of stable-isotope probing in this context, improving our ability to estimate pathogen generation times in clinical samples.

journal_name

J Bacteriol

journal_title

Journal of bacteriology

authors

Neubauer C,Kasi AS,Grahl N,Sessions AL,Kopf SH,Kato R,Hogan DA,Newman DK

doi

10.1128/JB.00365-18

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2018-11-26 00:00:00

issue

24

eissn

0021-9193

issn

1098-5530

pii

JB.00365-18

journal_volume

200

pub_type

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