Michael J Cox

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (6)21.41 Total impact

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    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 08/2010; 126(2):410-2, 412.e1-3. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a major source of morbidity and contribute significantly to healthcare costs. Although bacterial infections are implicated in nearly 50% of exacerbations, only a handful of pathogens have been consistently identified in COPD airways, primarily by culture-based methods, and the bacterial microbiota in acute exacerbations remains largely uncharacterized. The aim of this study was to comprehensively profile airway bacterial communities using a culture-independent microarray, the 16S rRNA PhyloChip, of a cohort of COPD patients requiring ventilatory support and antibiotic therapy for exacerbation-related respiratory failure. PhyloChip analysis revealed the presence of over 1,200 bacterial taxa representing 140 distinct families, many previously undetected in airway diseases; bacterial community composition was strongly influenced by the duration of intubation. A core community of 75 taxa was detected in all patients, many of which are known pathogens. Bacterial community diversity in COPD airways is substantially greater than previously recognized and includes a number of potential pathogens detected in the setting of antibiotic exposure. Comprehensive assessment of the COPD airway microbiota using high-throughput, culture-independent methods may prove key to understanding the relationships between airway bacterial colonization, acute exacerbation, and clinical outcomes in this and other chronic inflammatory airway diseases.
    Omics: a journal of integrative biology 02/2010; 14(1):9-59. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial communities in the airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are, as in other ecological niches, influenced by autogenic and allogenic factors. However, our understanding of microbial colonization in younger versus older CF airways and the association with pulmonary function is rudimentary at best. Using a phylogenetic microarray, we examine the airway microbiota in age stratified CF patients ranging from neonates (9 months) to adults (72 years). From a cohort of clinically stable patients, we demonstrate that older CF patients who exhibit poorer pulmonary function possess more uneven, phylogenetically-clustered airway communities, compared to younger patients. Using longitudinal samples collected form a subset of these patients a pattern of initial bacterial community diversification was observed in younger patients compared with a progressive loss of diversity over time in older patients. We describe in detail the distinct bacterial community profiles associated with young and old CF patients with a particular focus on the differences between respective "early" and "late" colonizing organisms. Finally we assess the influence of Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR) mutation on bacterial abundance and identify genotype-specific communities involving members of the Pseudomonadaceae, Xanthomonadaceae, Moraxellaceae and Enterobacteriaceae amongst others. Data presented here provides insights into the CF airway microbiota, including initial diversification events in younger patients and establishment of specialized communities of pathogens associated with poor pulmonary function in older patient populations.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(6):e11044. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Colonization of the infant gut by microorganisms over the first year of life is crucial for development of a balanced immune response. Early alterations in the gastrointestinal microbiota of neonates has been linked with subsequent development of asthma and atopy in older children. Here we describe high-resolution culture-independent analysis of stool samples from 6-month old infants fed daily supplements of Lactobacillus casei subsp. Rhamnosus (LGG) or placebo in a double-blind, randomized Trial of Infant Probiotic Supplementation (TIPS). Bacterial community composition was examined using a high-density microarray, the 16S rRNA PhyloChip, and the microbial assemblages of infants with either high or low LGG abundance were compared. Communities with high abundance of LGG exhibited promotion of phylogenetically clustered taxa including a number of other known probiotic species, and were significantly more even in their distribution of community members. Ecologically, these aspects are characteristic of communities that are more resistant to perturbation and outgrowth of pathogens. PhyloChip analysis also permitted identification of taxa negatively correlated with LGG abundance that have previously been associated with atopy, as well as those positively correlated that may prove useful alternative targets for investigation as alternative probiotic species. From these findings we hypothesize that a key mechanism for the protective effect of LGG supplementation on subsequent development of allergic disease is through promotion of a stable, even, and functionally redundant infant gastrointestinal community.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8745. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common disease with a complex pathophysiology involving a microbial component. Culture-independent molecular analysis represents a promising new approach to clarify the microbiology of CRS, but standardized, optimized sampling methods still have not been defined. This study was designed to compare nucleic acid extraction rates and recovery of bacteria for two methods of sampling the maxillary sinus, mucosal biopsy, and brushing. Samples were obtained from 20 patients undergoing maxillary sinus surgery. Total extracted nucleic acid concentration and bacterial burden were compared between sample types. Total nucleic acid concentration varied across patients. No statistically significant difference in mean total DNA concentration from mucosal biopsy specimens or brushings was observed. However, compared with biopsy specimens, brush samples possessed a significant (p < 0.035) increase in bacterial copy number. Endoscopically directed mucosal brushings of the maxillary sinus provide equivalent concentrations of total DNA to mucosal biopsy specimens but possess greater concentrations of bacterial DNA, likely because of the greater surface area sampled by this method. Given the additional advantage of lower risk associated with obtaining brush samples, we suggest they represent the preferred sampling method for future genomic sinus studies.
    American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy 01/2010; 24(4):263-5.