BACKGROUND. Despite guidelines promoting the prevention and aggressive treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), the importance of VAP as a driver of outcomes in mechanically ventilated patients, including patients with severe COVID-19, remains unclear. We aimed to determine the contribution of unsuccessful treatment of VAP to mortality in patients with severe pneumonia. METHODS. We performed a single-center prospective cohort study of 585 mechanically ventilated patients with severe pneumonia and respiratory failure, 190 of whom had COVID-19, who underwent at least one bronchoalveolar lavage. A panel of ICU physicians adjudicated pneumonia episodes and endpoints based on clinical and microbiologic data. Given the relatively long ICU length of stay among patients with COVID-19, we developed a machine learning approach called CarpeDiem, which groups similar ICU patient-days into clinical states based on electronic health record data. RESULTS.CarpeDiem revealed that the long ICU length of stay among patients with COVID-19 is attributable to long stays in clinical states characterized primarily by respiratory failure. While VAP was not associated with mortality overall, mortality was higher in patients with one episode of unsuccessfully treated VAP compared with successfully treated VAP (76.4% versus 17.6%, P < 0.001). In all patients, including those with COVID-19, CarpeDiem demonstrated that unresolving VAP was associated with transitions to clinical states associated with higher mortality. CONCLUSIONS. Unsuccessful treatment of VAP is associated with greater mortality. The relatively long length of stay among patients with COVID-19 is primarily due to prolonged respiratory failure, placing them at higher risk of VAP. FUNDING. U19AI135964
Catherine A. Gao, Nikolay S. Markov, Thomas Stoeger, Anna E. Pawlowski, Mengjia Kang, Prasanth Nannapaneni, Rogan A. Grant, Chiagozie Pickens, James M. Walter, Jacqueline M. Kruser, Luke V. Rasmussen, Daniel Schneider, Justin Starren, Helen K. Donnelly, Alvaro Donayre, Yuan Luo, G.R. Scott Budinger, Richard G. Wunderink, Alexander V. Misharin, Benjamin D. Singer
BACKGROUND Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) is a leading cause of death in children worldwide. LRTI diagnosis is challenging because noninfectious respiratory illnesses appear clinically similar and because existing microbiologic tests are often falsely negative or detect incidentally carried microbes, resulting in antimicrobial overuse and adverse outcomes. Lower airway metagenomics has the potential to detect host and microbial signatures of LRTI. Whether it can be applied at scale and in a pediatric population to enable improved diagnosis and treatment remains unclear.METHODS We used tracheal aspirate RNA-Seq to profile host gene expression and respiratory microbiota in 261 children with acute respiratory failure. We developed a gene expression classifier for LRTI by training on patients with an established diagnosis of LRTI (n = 117) or of noninfectious respiratory failure (n = 50). We then developed a classifier that integrates the host LRTI probability, abundance of respiratory viruses, and dominance in the lung microbiome of bacteria/fungi considered pathogenic by a rules-based algorithm.RESULTS The host classifier achieved a median AUC of 0.967 by cross-validation, driven by activation markers of T cells, alveolar macrophages, and the interferon response. The integrated classifier achieved a median AUC of 0.986 and increased the confidence of patient classifications. When applied to patients with an uncertain diagnosis (n = 94), the integrated classifier indicated LRTI in 52% of cases and nominated likely causal pathogens in 98% of those.CONCLUSION Lower airway metagenomics enables accurate LRTI diagnosis and pathogen identification in a heterogeneous cohort of critically ill children through integration of host, pathogen, and microbiome features.FUNDING Support for this study was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (UG1HD083171, 1R01HL124103, UG1HD049983, UG01HD049934, UG1HD083170, UG1HD050096, UG1HD63108, UG1HD083116, UG1HD083166, UG1HD049981, K23HL138461, and 5R01HL155418) as well as by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.
Eran Mick, Alexandra Tsitsiklis, Jack Kamm, Katrina L. Kalantar, Saharai Caldera, Amy Lyden, Michelle Tan, Angela M. Detweiler, Norma Neff, Christina M. Osborne, Kayla M. Williamson, Victoria Soesanto, Matthew Leroue, Aline B. Maddux, Eric A.F. Simões, Todd C. Carpenter, Brandie D. Wagner, Joseph L. DeRisi, Lilliam Ambroggio, Peter M. Mourani, Charles R. Langelier
BACKGROUND. Lung infections are among the most consequential manifestations of cystic fibrosis (CF) and are associated with reduced lung function and shortened survival. Drugs called CFTR modulators improve activity of dysfunctional cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) channels, which is the physiological defect causing CF. However, it is unclear how improved CFTR activity affects CF lung infections. METHODS. We performed a prospective, multicenter, observational study to measure the effect of the newest and most effective CFTR modulator, elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ETI) on CF lung infections. We studied sputum from 236 people with CF during their first 6 months of ETI using bacterial cultures, PCR and sequencing. RESULTS. Mean sputum densities of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and Achromobacter and Burkholderia spp. decreased by 2-3 log10 CFU/ml after 1 month of ETI. However, most participants remained culture-positive for the pathogens cultured from their sputum before starting ETI. In those becoming culture-negative after ETI, the pathogens present before treatment were often still detectable by PCR months after sputum converted to culture-negative. Sequence-based analyses confirmed large reductions in CF pathogen genera, but other bacteria detected in sputum were largely unchanged. ETI treatment increased average sputum bacterial diversity and produced consistent shifts in sputum bacterial composition. However, these changes were caused by ETI-mediated decreases in CF pathogen abundance rather than changes in other bacteria. CONCLUSIONS. Treatment with the most effective CFTR modulator currently available produced large and rapid reductions in traditional CF pathogens in sputum, but most participants remain infected with the pathogens present before modulator treatment. TRIAL REGISTRATION. The trial registered at www.ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT04038047. FUNDING. This study was funded by the Cystic Fibtosis Foundation (PROMISE-MICRO18K1 and SINGH19R0) and NIH (R01HL148274).
David P. Nichols, Sarah J. Morgan, Michelle Skalland, Anh T. Vo, Jill M. Van Dalfsen, Sachinkumar B.P. Singh, Wendy Ni, Lucas R. Hoffman, Kailee McGeer, Sonya L. Heltshe, John P. Clancy, Steven M. Rowe, Peter K. Jorth, Pradeep K. Singh
BACKGROUND. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus causes a variety of clinical phenotypes in patients with cystic fibrosis (pwCF). T-helper (Th) cells orchestrate immune responses against fungi, but the types of A. fumigatus-specific Th-cells in pwCF and their contribution to protective immunity or inflammation remain poorly characterized. METHODS. We used antigen-reactive T cell enrichment (ARTE) to investigate fungus-reactive Th cells in peripheral blood of pwCF and healthy controls. RESULTS. We show that clonally expanded, high-avidity A. fumigatus-specific effector Th-cells develop in pwCF, which are absent in healthy donors. Individual patients were characterized by distinct Th1, Th2, or Th17 dominated responses that remained stable over years. These different Th subsets target different A. fumigatus proteins, indicating that differential antigen uptake and presentation directs Th-cell subset development. Patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) are characterized by high frequencies of Th2-cells that cross-recognize various filamentous fungi. CONCLUSION. Our data highlight the development of heterogenous Th responses targeting different protein fractions of a single fungal pathogen and identify the development of multispecies cross-reactive Th2-cells as a potential risk factor for ABPA. FUNDING. This research was supported by grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy - EXC 2167-390884018 “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation”, EXC 2051-390713860 “Balance of the Microverse”; the Oskar Helene Heim Stiftung; the Christiane Herzog Stiftung, Stuttgart, Germany; the Mukoviszidose Institut gGmbH, Bonn, the research and development arm of the German Cystic Fibrosis Association Mukoviszidose e.V; the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) InfectControl 2020 Projects AnDiPath, BMBF 03ZZ0838A+B.
Carsten Schwarz, Patience Eschenhagen, Henrijette Schmidt, Thordis Hohnstein, Christina Iwert, Claudia Grehn, Jobst Roehmel, Eva Steinke, Mirjam Stahl, Laura Lozza, Ekaterina Tikhonova, Elisa Rosati, Ulrik Stervbo, Nina Babel, Jochen G. Mainz, Hilmar Wisplinghoff, Frank Ebel, Lei-Jie Jia, Matthew G. Blango, Peter Hortschansky, Sascha Brunke, Bernhard Hube, Axel A. Brakhage, Olaf Kniemeyer, Alexander Scheffold, Petra Bacher
KRAS is one of the most frequently activated oncogenes in human cancers. While the role of KRAS mutation in tumorigenesis and tumor maintenance has been extensively studied, the relationship between KRAS and the tumor immune microenvironment is not fully understood. Herein, we identified a novel role of KRAS in driving tumor evasion from innate immune surveillance. In lung adenocarcinoma patient samples and Kras-driven genetic mouse models of lung cancer, mutant KRAS activated the expression of cluster of differentiation 47 (CD47), an antiphagocytic signal in cancer cells, leading to decreased phagocytosis of cancer cells by macrophages. Mechanistically, mutant KRAS activated PI3K-STAT3 signaling, which restrained miR-34a expression and relieved the post-transcriptional repression of miR-34a on CD47. In three independent lung cancer patient cohorts, KRAS mutation status positively correlated with CD47 expression. Therapeutically, disruption of the KRAS-CD47 signaling axis with KRAS siRNA, the KRASG12C inhibitor AMG 510 or miR-34a mimic suppressed CD47 expression, enhanced the phagocytic capacity of macrophages and restored innate immune surveillance. Our results revealed a direct mechanistic link between active KRAS and innate immune evasion and identified CD47 as a major effector underlying KRAS-mediated immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.
Huanhuan Hu, Rongjie Cheng, Yanbo Wang, Xiaojun Wang, Jianzhuang Wu, Yan Kong, Shoubin Zhan, Zhen Zhou, Hongyu Zhu, Ranran Yu, Gaoli Liang, Qingyan Wang, Xiaoju Zhu, Chen-Yu Zhang, Rong Yin, Chao Yan, Xi Chen
The vast majority of people with cystic fibrosis (CF) are now eligible for CF transmembrane regulator (CFTR) modulator therapy. Remaining individuals harbor premature termination codons (PTCs) or rare CFTR variants with limited treatment options. Although clinical modulator response can be reliably predicted using primary airway epithelial cells, primary cells carrying rare CFTR variants are scarce. To overcome this obstacle, cell lines can be created by overexpression of mouse Bmi-1 and human TERT (hTERT). Using this approach, we developed two non-CF and six CF airway epithelial cell lines, three of which are homozygous for the W1282X PTC variant. Bmi-1/hTERT cell lines recapitulated primary cell morphology and ion transport function. The two F508del-CFTR cell lines responded robustly to CFTR modulators, which was mirrored in the parent primary cells and in the cell donors’ clinical response. Cereblon E3 ligase modulators targeting eRF3a rescued W1282X-CFTR function to ~20% of wildtype levels and, when paired with G418, rescued G542X-CFTR function to ~50% of wildtype levels. Intriguingly, eRF3a degraders also diminished epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) function. These studies demonstrate that Bmi-1/hTERT cell lines faithfully mirror primary cell responses to CFTR modulators and illustrate a therapeutic approach to rescue CFTR nonsense mutations.
Rhianna E. Lee, Catherine A. Lewis, Lihua He, Emily C. Bulik-Sullivan, Samuel C. Gallant, Teresa M. Mascenik, Hong Dang, Deborah M. Cholon, Martina Gentzsch, Lisa C. Morton, John T. Minges, Jonathan W. Theile, Neil A. Castle, Michael R. Knowles, Adam J. Kimple, Scott H. Randell
Constant exposure of the airways to inhaled pathogens requires efficient early immune responses protecting against infections. How bacteria on the epithelial surface are detected and first-line protective mechanisms are initiated are not well understood. We have recently shown that tracheal brush cells (BC) express functional taste receptors. Here we report that bitter taste signaling in murine BC induces neurogenic inflammation. We demonstrate that BC signaling stimulates adjacent sensory nerve endings in the trachea to release the neuropeptides CGRP and Substance P that mediate plasma extravasation, neutrophil recruitment and diapedesis. Moreover, we show that bitter tasting quorum-sensing molecules from Pseudomonas aeruginosa activate tracheal BC. BC signaling depends on the key taste transduction gene Trpm5, triggers secretion of immune mediators, among the most abundant members of the complement system, and is needed to combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. Our data provide functional insight into first-line defense mechanisms against bacterial infections of the lung.
Monika I. Hollenhorst, Rajender Nandigama, Saskia B. Evers, Igor Gamayun, Noran Abdel Wadood, Alaa Salah, Mario Pieper, Amanda Wyatt, Alexey Stukalov, Anna Gebhardt, Wiebke Nadolni, Wera Burow, Christian Herr, Christoph Beisswenger, Soumya Kusumakshi, Fabien Ectors, Tatjana I. Kichko, Lisa Hübner, Peter Reeh, Antje Munder, Sandra-Maria Wienhold, Martin Witzenrath, Robert Bals, Veit Flockerzi, Thomas Gudermann, Markus Bischoff, Peter Lipp, Susanna Zierler, Vladimir Chubanov, Andreas Pichlmair, Peter König, Ulrich Boehm, Gabriela Krasteva-Christ
Highly effective modulator therapies dramatically improve the prognosis for those with cystic fibrosis (CF). The triple combination of elexacaftor, tezacaftor, and ivacaftor (ETI) benefits many, but not all, of those with the most common F508del mutation in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Here, we showed that poor sweat chloride concentration responses and lung function improvements upon initiation of ETI were associated with elevated levels of active transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) in the upper airway. Furthermore, TGF-β1 impaired the function of ETI-corrected F508del-CFTR, thereby increasing airway surface liquid (ASL) absorption rates and inducing mucus hyperconcentration in primary CF bronchial epithelial cells in vitro. TGF-β1 not only decreased CFTR mRNA but was also associated with increases in the mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFA) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and TNF-⍺ protein. Losartan improved TGF-β1-mediated inhibition of ETI-corrected F508del-CFTR function and reduced TNFA and COX2 mRNA and TNF⍺ protein expression. This occurred likely by improving correction of mutant CFTR rather than increasing its mRNA (without an effect on potentiation), thereby reversing the negative effects of TGF-β1 and improving ASL hydration in the CF airway epithelium in vitro. Importantly, these effects were independent of type 1 angiotensin II receptor inhibition.
Michael D. Kim, Charles D. Bengtson, Makoto Yoshida, Asef J. Niloy, John S. Dennis, Nathalie Baumlin, Matthias Salathe
AbstractType 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AEC2s) function as progenitor cells in the lung. We have shown previously that failure of AEC2 regeneration results in progressive lung fibrosis in mice and is a cardinal feature of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In this study, we identified a deficiency of a specific zinc transporter SLC39A8 (ZIP8) in AEC2s from both IPF lungs and lungs of old mice. Loss of ZIP8 expression was associated with impaired renewal capacity of AEC2s and enhanced lung fibrosis. ZIP8 regulation of AEC2 progenitor function was dependent on SIRT1. Replenishment with exogenous zinc and SIRT1 activation promoted self-renewal and differentiation of AEC2s from lung tissues of IPF patients and old mice. Deletion of Zip8 in AEC2s in mice impaired AEC2 renewal, increased susceptibility of the mice to bleomycin injury, and the mice developed spontaneous lung fibrosis. Therapeutic strategies to restore zinc metabolism and appropriate SIRT1 signaling could improve AEC2 progenitor function and mitigate ongoing fibrogenesis.
Jiurong Liang, Guanling Huang, Xue Liu, Forough Taghavifar, Ningshan Liu, Yizhou Wang, Nan Deng, Changfu Yao, Ting Xie, Vrishika Kulur, Kristy Dai, Ankita Burman, Simon C. Rowan, S. Samuel Weigt, John Belperio, Barry Stripp, William C. Parks, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble
The respiratory tract surface is protected from inhaled pathogens by a secreted layer of mucus rich in mucin glycoproteins. Abnormal mucus accumulation is a cardinal feature of chronic respiratory diseases but the relationship between mucus and pathogens during exacerbations is poorly understood. We identified elevations in airway MUC5AC and MUC5B concentrations during spontaneous and experimentally-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. MUC5AC was more sensitive to changes in expression during exacerbation and was therefore more predictably associated with virus load, inflammation, symptom severity, decrements in lung function, and secondary bacterial infections. MUC5AC was functionally related to inflammation as Muc5ac-deficient (Muc5ac-/-) mice had attenuated rhinovirus (RV)–induced airway inflammation and exogenous MUC5AC glycoprotein administration augmented inflammatory responses and increased release of extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in mice and human airway epithelial cell cultures. Hydrolysis of ATP suppressed MUC5AC augmentation of rhinovirus-induced inflammation in mice. Therapeutic suppression of mucin production using an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antagonist ameliorated immunopathology in a mouse COPD exacerbation model. The coordinated virus induction of MUC5AC and MUC5B suggests that non-Th2 mechanisms trigger mucin hypersecretion during exacerbations. Our data identifies a pro-inflammatory role for MUC5AC during viral infection and suggest that MUC5AC inhibition may ameliorate COPD exacerbations.
Aran Singanayagam, Joseph Footitt, Matthias Marczynski, Giorgia Radicioni, Michael T. Cross, Lydia J. Finney, Maria-Belen Trujillo-Torralbo, Maria Adelaide Calderazzo, Jie Zhu, Julia Aniscenko, Thomas B. Clarke, Philip L. Molyneaux, Nathan W. Bartlett, Miriam F. Moffatt, William O. Cookson, Jadwiga A. Wedzicha, Christopher M. Evans, Richard C. Boucher, Mehmet Kesimer, Oliver Lieleg, Patrick Mallia, Sebastian L. Johnston