The latest medical research on Respiratory Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about respiratory medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Maintenance tobramycin primarily affects untargeted bacteria in the CF sputum microbiome.


The most common antibiotic used to treat people with cystic fibrosis (PWCF) is inhaled tobramycin, administered as maintenance therapy for chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections. While the effects of inhaled tobramycin on P. aeruginosa abundance and lung function diminish with continued therapy, this maintenance treatment is known to improve long-term outcomes, underscoring how little is known about why antibiotics work in CF infections, what their effects are on complex CF sputum microbiomes and how to improve these treatments.

To rigorously define the effect of maintenance tobramycin on CF sputum microbiome characteristics.

We collected sputum from 30 PWCF at standardised times before, during and after a single month-long course of maintenance inhaled tobramycin. We used traditional culture, quantitative PCR and metagenomic sequencing to define the dynamic effects of this treatment on sputum microbiomes, including abundance changes in both clinically targeted and untargeted bacteria, as well as functional gene categories.

CF sputum microbiota changed most markedly by 1 week of antibiotic therapy and plateaued thereafter, and this shift was largely driven by changes in non-dominant taxa. The genetically conferred functional capacities (ie, metagenomes) of subjects' sputum communities changed little with antibiotic perturbation, despite taxonomic shifts, suggesting functional redundancy within the CF sputum microbiome.

Maintenance treatment with inhaled tobramycin, an antibiotic with demonstrated long-term mortality benefit, primarily impacted clinically untargeted bacteria in CF sputum, highlighting the importance of monitoring the non-canonical effects of antibiotics and other treatments to accurately define and improve their clinical impact.

Maintenance inhaler therapy preferences of patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a discrete choice experiment.


A variety of maintenance inhaler therapies are available to treat asthma and COPD. Patient-centric treatment choices require understanding patient preferences for the alternative therapies.

A self-completed web-based discrete choice experiment was conducted to elicit patient preferences for inhaler device and medication attributes. Selection of attributes was informed by patient focus groups and literature review.

The discrete choice experiment was completed by 810 patients with asthma and 1147 patients with COPD. Patients with asthma most valued decreasing the onset of action from 30 to 5 min, followed by reducing yearly exacerbations from 3 to 1. Patients with COPD most and equally valued decreasing the onset of action from 30 to 5 min and reducing yearly exacerbations from 3 to 1. Both patients with asthma and patients with COPD were willing to accept an additional exacerbation in exchange for a 15 min decrease in onset of action and a longer onset of action in exchange for a lower risk of adverse effects from inhaled corticosteroids. Patients with asthma and COPD valued once-daily over twice-daily dosing, pressurised inhalers over dry powder inhalers and non-capsule priming over single-use capsules, although these attributes were not valued as highly as faster onset of action or reduced exacerbations.

The most important maintenance inhaler attributes for patients with asthma and COPD were fast onset of symptom relief and a lower rate of exacerbations. Concerns about safety of inhaled corticosteroids and device convenience also affected patient preferences but were less important.

Analysis of lung cancer risk model (PLCOM2012 and LLPv2) performance in a community-based lung cancer screening programme.


Low-dose CT (LDCT) screening of high-risk smokers reduces lung cancer (LC) specific mortality. Determining screening eligibility using individualised risk may improve screening effectiveness and reduce harm. Here, we compare the performance of two risk prediction models (PLCOM2012 and Liverpool Lung Project model (LLPv2)) and National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) eligibility criteria in a community-based screening programme.

Ever-smokers aged 55-74, from deprived areas of Manchester, were invited to a Lung Health Check (LHC). Individuals at higher risk (PLCOM2012 score ≥1.51%) were offered annual LDCT screening over two rounds. LLPv2 score was calculated but not used for screening selection; ≥2.5% and ≥5% thresholds were used for analysis.

PLCOM2012 ≥1.51% selected 56% (n=1429) of LHC attendees for screening. LLPv2 ≥2.5% also selected 56% (n=1430) whereas NLST (47%, n=1188) and LLPv2 ≥5% (33%, n=826) selected fewer. Over two screening rounds 62 individuals were diagnosed with LC; representing 87% (n=62/71) of 6-year incidence predicted by mean PLCOM2012 score (5.0%). 26% (n=16/62) of individuals with LC were not eligible for screening using LLPv2 ≥5%, 18% (n=11/62) with NLST criteria and 7% (n=5/62) with LLPv2 ≥2.5%. NLST eligible Manchester attendees had 2.5 times the LC detection rate than NLST participants after two annual screens (≈4.3% (n=51/1188) vs 1.7% (n=438/26 309); p<0.0001). Adverse measures of health, including airflow obstruction, respiratory symptoms and cardiovascular disease, were positively correlated with LC risk. Coronary artery calcification was predictive of LC (adjOR 2.50, 95% CI 1.11 to 5.64; p=0.028).

Prospective comparisons of risk prediction tools are required to optimise screening selection in different settings. The PLCOM2012 model may underestimate risk in deprived UK populations; further research focused on model calibration is required.

Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between urinary zinc and lung function among urban adults in China.


Exposure to zinc was suggested to be associated with pulmonary damage, but whether zinc exposure affects lung function remains unclear.

To quantify the association between urinary zinc and lung function and explore the potential mechanisms.

Urinary zinc and lung function were measured in 3917 adults from the Wuhan-Zhuhai cohort and were repeated after 3 years of follow-up. Indicators of systemic inflammation (C reactive protein), lung epithelium integrity (club cell secretory protein-16) and oxidative damage (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine and 8-isoprostane) were measured at baseline. Linear mixed models were used to estimate the exposure-response relationship between urinary zinc and lung function. Mediation analyses were conducted to assess mediating roles of inflammation and oxidative damage in above relationships.

Each 1-unit increase in log-transformed urinary zinc values was associated with a 35.72 mL decrease in forced vital capacity (FVC) and a 24.89 mL decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) in the baseline analyses. In the follow-up analyses, there was a negative association between urinary zinc and FVC among participants with persistent high urinary zinc levels, with an estimated change of -93.31 mL (95% CI -178.47 to -8.14). Furthermore, urinary zinc was positively associated with restrictive ventilatory impairment. The mediation analyses suggested that C reactive protein mediated 8.62% and 8.71% of the associations of urinary zinc with FVC and FEV1, respectively.

Urinary zinc was negatively associated with lung function, and the systemic inflammation may be one of the underlying mechanisms.

Pleural effusions and pneumothorax: Beyond simple plumbing: Expert opinions on knowledge gaps and essential next steps.


Pleural diseases affect millions of people worldwide. Pleural infection, malignant pleural diseases and pneumothorax are common clinical challenges...

CEACAM3 decreases asthma exacerbations and modulates respiratory syncytial virus latent infection in children.


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is associated with childhood asthma. Nevertheless, not all children exposed to RSV develop asthma symptoms, possibly because genes modulate the effects of RSV on asthma exacerbations.

The purpose of this study was to identify genes that modulate the effect of RSV latent infection on asthma exacerbations.

We performed a meta-analysis to investigate differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of RSV infection from Gene Expression Omnibus datasets. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) methods were applied to select single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were associated with DEGs. Gene-based analysis was used to identify SNPs that were significantly associated with asthma exacerbations in the Taiwanese Consortium of Childhood Asthma Study (TCCAS), and validation was attempted in an independent cohort, the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP). Gene-RSV interaction analyses were performed to investigate the association between the interaction of SNPs and RSV latent infection on asthma exacerbations.

A total of 352 significant DEGs were found by meta-analysis of RSV-related genes. We used 38 123 SNPs related to DEGs to investigate the genetic main effects on asthma exacerbations. We found that eight RSV-related genes (GADD45A, GYPB, MS4A3, NFE2, RNASE3, EPB41L3, CEACAM6 and CEACAM3) were significantly associated with asthma exacerbations in TCCAS and also validated in CAMP. In TCCAS, rs7251960 (CEACAM3) significantly modulated the effect of RSV latent infection on asthma exacerbations (false-discovery rate <0.05). The rs7251960 variant was associated with CEACAM3 mRNA expression in lung tissue (p for trend=1.2×10-7). CEACAM3 mRNA was reduced in nasal mucosa from subjects with asthma exacerbations in two independent datasets.

rs7251960 is an eQTL for CEACAM3, and CEACAM3 mRNA expression is reduced in subjects experiencing asthma exacerbations. CEACAM3 may be a modulator of RSV latent infection on asthma exacerbations.

Exercise Challenge to Test for Exercise-induced Bronchoconstriction


American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 202, Issue 1, Page P1-P2, July 1, 2020.

Erratum: Validation of a Host Response Assay, SeptiCyte LAB, for Discriminating Sepsis from Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in the ICU


American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 202, Issue 1, Page 155-155, July 1, 2020.

Reply to Topeli et al. and to Akinosoglou et al.


American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 202, Issue 1, Page 154-154, July 1, 2020.

Could the Quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Predictive Accuracy Be Affected by Site of Infection?


American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 202, Issue 1, Page 153-154, July 1, 2020.

In Search of the Ideal Risk Score in Sepsis


American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Volume 202, Issue 1, Page 152-153, July 1, 2020.