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Serratia sp. clusters in bronchoalveolar lavage specimens from patients with tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial lung diseases

M Belheouane(1) B Kalsdorf(2) J Heyckendorf(2,3) S Niemann(4) K I Gaede(5,6) M Merker(1)

1:Evolution of the Resistome, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany; 2:Clinical Infectious Diseases, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany; 3:Department of Internal Medicine I, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany; 4:Molecular and Experimental Mycobacteriology, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany; 5:BioMaterialBank Nord, Research Center Borstel, Borstel, Germany; 6:German Center for Lung Research (DZL) Airway Research Center North (ARCN)

Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) remains a crucial central diagnostic tool in tuberculosis (TB), and non-tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung diseases. Here, we investigated 66 BALF specimens, sampled from TB and NTM patients. We depleted human cells and extracellular DNA, and profiled the microbiome using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing following state-of-the-art laboratory, and analytical protocols optimized for low biomass specimens.

First results indicate that distinctive clusters of Serratia sp. are associated with TB and NTM patients. Importantly, Serratia is considered a significant opportunistic pathogen, which has been showing a strong increase of multi-drug resistance. Moreover, using quantitative assays, and the Deeplex® Myc-TB technology, we plan to define Mycobacteria loads, and the resistance profiles of infectious pathogens.

We will integrate the characteristics of the pathogens, and the entire lung microbial communities to search for microbial signatures which likely contribute to disease severity, and therapy success; eventually paving the way for the inclusion of lung microbiome in designing future personalized treatments in lung infectious diseases.

Keywords: Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, Mycobacterium, Serratia, lung microbiome.

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