Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infection is an increasingly common infection in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), can be very difficult to treat and can have an adverse impact on an individual’s ability to have a successful lung transplant. This project will represent the largest study of NTM infection in CF and aims to significantly advance our knowledge about the prevalence of NTM, what risk factors (including treatments, health status, other airway-based infection and local environments) are important to its acquisition.
This research project is a multicentre study and the largest internationally, building on existing collaborations and includes centres with patients living in widely different climates and environments. The NTM in Aus Consortium is equipped with leading experts in the fields of lung infection in CF, NTM infection and environmental epidemiology and has strong links with both the Australian CF Data Registry.
The research aims are to:
- determine the prevalence, and the host and geographic characteristics associated with NTM infection in people with CF in Australia
- quantify correlations between lower airway microbiota composition and identified risk factors, as a basis for development of a biomarker for NTM acquisition risk
- identify whole genome mutation and airway microbiota signatures associated with virulence, treatment response, and transmissibility.
Funded by NHMRC project grant 2016-2020.
- PhD project (microbiology background).