Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Mar;50(3):502-12. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0261OC.

Lung phenotype of juvenile and adult cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator-knockout ferrets.

Author information

Departments of 1 Anatomy and Cell Biology.


Chronic bacterial lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) are caused by defects in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channel. Previously, we described that newborn CF transmembrane conductance regulator-knockout ferrets rapidly develop lung infections within the first week of life. Here, we report a more slowly progressing lung bacterial colonization phenotype observed in juvenile to adult CF ferrets reared on a layered antibiotic regimen. Even on antibiotics, CF ferrets were still very susceptible to bacterial lung infection. The severity of lung histopathology ranged from mild to severe, and variably included mucus obstruction of the airways and submucosal glands, air trapping, atelectasis, bronchopneumonia, and interstitial pneumonia. In all CF lungs, significant numbers of bacteria were detected and impaired tracheal mucociliary clearance was observed. Although Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Enterococcus were observed most frequently in the lungs of CF animals, each animal displayed a predominant bacterial species that accounted for over 50% of the culturable bacteria, with no one bacterial taxon predominating in all animals. Matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry fingerprinting was used to quantify lung bacteria in 10 CF animals and demonstrated Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, or Escherichia as the most abundant genera. Interestingly, there was significant overlap in the types of bacteria observed in the lung and intestine of a given CF animal, including bacterial taxa unique to the lung and gut of each CF animal analyzed. These findings demonstrate that CF ferrets develop lung disease during the juvenile and adult stages that is similar to patients with CF, and suggest that enteric bacterial flora may seed the lung of CF ferrets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center