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Cystic Fibrosis Lung Transplant Recipients Have Suppressed Airway Interferon Responses during Pseudomonas Infection.


Lung transplantation can be lifesaving in end-stage cystic fibrosis (CF), but long-term survival is limited by chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). Persistent upper airway Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PsA) colonization can seed the allograft. While de novo PsA infection is associated with CLAD in non-CF recipients, this association is less clear for CF recipients experiencing PsA recolonization. Here, we evaluate host and pathogen contributions to this phenomenon. In the context of PsA infection, brushings from the airways of CF recipients demonstrate type 1 interferon gene suppression. Airway epithelial cell (AEC) cultures demonstrate similar findings in the absence of pathogens or immune cells, contrasting with the pre-transplant CF AEC phenotype. Type 1 interferon promoters are relatively hypermethylated in CF AECs. CF subjects in this cohort have more mucoid PsA, while non-CF PsA subjects have decreased microbiome α diversity. Peri-transplant protocols may benefit from consideration of this host and microbiome equilibrium.

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