For decades, Koch’s postulates highlighted the concept of “one microbe, one disease,” as a keystone within infectious diseases. Our understanding of infection has shifted rapidly across many diseases away from the monomicrobial approach. Rather, polymicrobial infections, such as in cystic fibrosis (CF) are complex microbial communities. These communities colonize the lung with subsequent environmental and evolutionary adaptation to propagate clinical disease. Treating specific pathogens in these communities is challenging due to consequences on other community members that may alter disease state and response to therapy, such as traditional targeted antimicrobials against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ecological networking has begun to touch on multimodal culture-independent approaches including genomics, transcriptomic, and metabolomics to discern these complex interactions but many outstanding questions still remain.
In this workshop, we explore the ecology CF airway communities towards effective therapies that may be translated from the bench to bedside. We will examine how interactions among bacterial, viral, and fungal communities influence the composition, function, and survival of the ecosystem. We will also survey how these high-dimensional interactions are reciprocally influenced by innate immune factors and CFTR modulators. The ability to model these communities has the framework to optimize current therapeutics and indicate potential novel approaches.
Originally recorded November 3, 2021.