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Detection of Biofilm in Bronchoalveolar Lavage from Children With Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis

Marsh, Robyn L., Thornton, Ruth B., Smith-Vaughan, Heidi C., Richmond, Peter, Pizzutto, Susan J. and Chang, Anne B. (2015). Detection of Biofilm in Bronchoalveolar Lavage from Children With Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis. Pediatric Pulmonology,50(3):284-292.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID cmartelxPUB175
Title Detection of Biofilm in Bronchoalveolar Lavage from Children With Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis
Author Marsh, Robyn L.
Thornton, Ruth B.
Smith-Vaughan, Heidi C.
Richmond, Peter
Pizzutto, Susan J.
Chang, Anne B.
Journal Name Pediatric Pulmonology
Publication Date 2015
Volume Number 50
Issue Number 3
ISSN 8755-6863   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84923081045
Start Page 284
End Page 292
Total Pages 9
Place of Publication United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
The presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms in lower airway specimens from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is well established. To date, biofilm has not been demonstrated in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from people with non-CF bronchiectasis. The aim of this study was to determine (i) if biofilm was present in BAL from children with and without bronchiectasis, and (ii) if biofilm detection differed between sequentially collected BAL.


Testing for biofilm in two sequentially collected BAL from children with and without bronchiectasis was done using BacLight™ live–dead staining and lectin staining for extracellular polymeric biofilm matrices. Bacterial culture and cytological measures were performed on the first and second lavages, respectively. Clinically important BAL infection was defined as >104 cfu of respiratory pathogens/ml BAL.


Biofilm was detected in BAL from seven of eight (87.5%) children with bronchiectasis (aged 0.8–6.9 years), but was not detected in any of three controls (aged 1.3–8.6 years). The biofilms contained both live and dead bacteria irrespective of antibiotic use prior to bronchoscopy. Biofilm was detected more frequently in the second lavage than the first. Three of the seven biofilm-positive BAL were culture-positive for respiratory pathogens at clinically important levels.


Biofilm is present in BAL from children with non-CF bronchiectasis even when BAL-defined clinically important infection was absent. Studies to characterize lower airway biofilms and determine how biofilm contributes to bronchiectasis disease progression and treatment outcomes are necessary.
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Created: Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 12:38:57 CST