Host-pathogen interplay in the respiratory environment of cystic fibrosis

Lael M. Yonker, Cristina Cigana, Bryan P. Hurley, Alessandra Bragonzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Significant advances have been made in the understanding of disease progression in cystic fibrosis (CF), revealing a complex interplay between host and pathogenic organisms. The diverse CF microbiota within the airway activates an aberrant immune response that is ineffective in clearing infection. An appreciation of how the CF host immune system interacts with these organisms is crucial to understanding the pathogenesis of CF pulmonary disease. Here we discuss the microbial complexity present in the lungs of individuals with CF, review emerging concepts of innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens that chronically inhabit the CF lung, and discuss therapies that target the aberrant inflammatory response that characterizes CF. A greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms will shed light on pathogenesis and guide more targeted therapies in the future that serve to reduce infection, minimize lung pathology, and improve the quality of life for patients with CF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Innate and adaptive immunity
  • Lung disease
  • Microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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