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Improved culture detection of Staphylococcus aureus from sputum of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF)
  1. Hongjie Wen1,2,
  2. Jonathan Stirling1,
  3. John McCaughan1,3,
  4. Bettina Schock2,
  5. Damian G Downey2,4,
  6. Madeleine Ennis2,
  7. John E Moore1,2,4
  1. 1 Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  3. 3 Department of Medical Microbiology, Royal Group of Hospitals, Belfast, UK
  4. 4 Adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor John E Moore, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast BT9 7AD, UK; jemoore{at}

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Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a facultative anaerobic Gram-positive coccus, found in 30%–50% of the healthy adult population.1 It is considered to be a commensal organism of humans and around 20% of individuals are ‘persistent carriers’. The organism resides most commonly in the anterior nares, where there is a relative absence of immunological defences and colonisation is achieved through bacterial adherence to the surface membrane of the host cells.2 Other common sites include the axillae, vagina and pharynx. SA is responsible for a diverse range of diseases; from skin and soft tissue infection, pneumonia and gastrointestinal poisoning, to fatal conditions of bacteraemia, endocarditis, sepsis and toxic shock syndrome.1 Within cystic fibrosis (CF), SA is the most commonly isolated organism, where more than half of US individuals had at least one culture positive for methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) in 2017 and its occurrence, was highest in those younger than 10.3 Controversies remain ongoing regarding its clinical significance in early and adult lung pathology, as well as optimal treatments regimens in these populations. In a seminal review by Wong and colleagues,4 the authors highlighted the need for further investigations to help understand (1) the early host immune response that enables SA to reside within the CF lung, (2) to determine if there are organism specific factors that are associated with CF lung disease and (3) …

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  • Handling editor Tony Mazzulli.

  • Contributors JM had the concept of the work, codesigned the experiments, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript. HW performed the laboratory investigations, analysed the data and approved the final version of the manuscript. JS and JMC were involved in laboratory investigations and corrected and approved the final version of the manuscript. BS, DD and ME codesigned the experiments with JM and corrected and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.