Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Research Associate



+44 (0)20 7594 7974michael.cox1 Website




413Guy Scadding BuildingRoyal Brompton Campus






BibTex format

author = {Brill, SE and James, PL and Cuthbertson, L and Zhu, A and Lawley, T and Cookson, WOC and Cox, MJ and Wedzicha, JA and Moffatt, MF},
doi = {10.1101/419127},
publisher = {Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory},
title = {Haemophilus, antibiotic therapy and the airway microbiome in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease},
url = {},
year = {2018}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - <jats:p>Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a smoking-related illness affecting 64 million people worldwide. Airway infection drives recurrent exacerbations and lung function decline. Prophylactic antibiotics may prevent exacerbations but their use is a significant cause of population antimicrobial resistance. We characterised the sputum microbiome by 16S rRNA gene analysis using 138 samples collected during a randomised controlled trial of prophylactic antibiotics in 71 patients with stable COPD. On comparing the profile of the microbiome obtained by sequencing to the isolates grown from samples using standard culture, there were similarities overall, although with a much narrower spectrum of genera on culture with under-representation of certain genera including Veillonella and Prevotella. There was concordance in the most abundant genera within samples and the number of isolates cultured reflected the measured bacterial diversity. We found that at baseline the microbiota of 17 (24%) patients were dominated by Haemophilus influenzae, accompanied by narrowed microbial diversity and higher levels of sputum inflammatory cytokines. Different H. influenzae strains co-existed within individuals. Opportunistic whole genome sequencing of six H. influenzae isolates obtained during the study revealed that all were non-typeable H. influenzae (NTHI), with a range of different antibiotic resistance gene profiles, but an identical complement of virulence genes. Administration of 13 weeks prophylaxis with moxifloxacin, azithromycin or doxycycline revealed distinctive changes in microbial communities for each group. Haemophilus numbers reduced by 90% compared to placebo only after moxifloxacin, and significant reduction in sputum cytokines occurred in patients dominated by Haemophilus at baseline. Haemophilus influenzae dominance defines COPD patients with active disease who may particularly benefit from antibiotics or vaccination.</jats:p>
AU - Brill,SE
AU - James,PL
AU - Cuthbertson,L
AU - Zhu,A
AU - Lawley,T
AU - Cookson,WOC
AU - Cox,MJ
AU - Wedzicha,JA
AU - Moffatt,MF
DO - 10.1101/419127
PB - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
PY - 2018///
TI - Haemophilus, antibiotic therapy and the airway microbiome in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
UR -
ER -