Anaerobes in cystic fibrosis patients' airways

Crit Rev Microbiol. 2019 Feb;45(1):103-117. doi: 10.1080/1040841X.2018.1549019. Epub 2019 Jan 21.


Anaerobes are known to constitute an important part of the airway microbiota in both healthy subjects and cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Studies on the potential role of anaerobic bacteria in CF and thus their involvement in CF pathophysiology have reported contradictory results, and the question is still not elucidated. The aim of this study was to summarize anaerobe diversity in the airway microbiota and its potential role in CF, to provide an overview of the state of knowledge on anaerobe antibiotic resistances (resistome), and to investigate the detectable metabolites produced by anaerobes in CF airways (metabolome). This review emphasizes key metabolites produced by strict anaerobic bacteria (sphingolipids, fermentation-induced metabolites and metabolites involved in quorum-sensing), which may be essential for the better understanding of lung disease pathophysiology in CF.

Keywords: Cystic fibrosis; airways; anaerobes; metabolome; microbiota; resistome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / chemistry
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / classification*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / growth & development*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Biodiversity*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Metabolome
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / complications