Impact of CFTR modulation with Ivacaftor on Gut Microbiota and Intestinal Inflammation Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractCystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Next to progressive airway disease, CF is also associated with intestinal inflammation and dysbiosis. Ivacaftor, a CFTR potentiator, has improved pulmonary and nutritional status but its effects on the intestinal microbiota and inflammation are unclear. Hence, we assessed the changes on the intestinal microbial communities (16S rRNA variable 3 gene region) and inflammatory markers (calprotectin and M2-pyruvate kinase [M2-PK]) in 16 CF individuals (8 children and 8 adults) before and after (median 6.1 months) ivacaftor. Stool calprotectin significantly decreased following ivacaftor (median [IQR]: 154.4 [102.1–284.2] vs. 87.5 [19.5–190.2] mg/kg, P = 0.03). There was a significant increase in Akkermansia with ivacaftor. Increased abundance of Akkermansia was associated with normal stool M2-PK concentrations, and decreased abundances of Enterobacteriaceae correlated with decreased stool calprotectin concentrations. In summary, changes in the gut microbiome and decrease in intestinal inflammation was associated with Ivacaftor treatment among individuals with CF carrying at least one gating CFTR mutation. Thus, CFTR-modifying therapy may adequately improve the aberrant pathophysiology and milieu of the CF gut to favor a more healthy microbiota, which in turn reduces intestinal inflammation.


  • Ooi, Chee Y
  • Syed, Saad A
  • Rossi, Laura
  • Garg, Millie
  • Needham, Bronwen
  • Avolio, Julie
  • Young, Kelsey
  • Surette, Michael
  • Gonska, Tanja

publication date

  • December 13, 2018