Background: Hispanic people with cystic fibrosis (CF) have
decreased life expectancy and earlier acquisition of Pseudomonas
aeruginosa compared to non-Hispanic white individuals with CF. Racial
and ethnic differences in the airway microbiome of CF may contribute to
known health disparity, but have not been studied. The objective was to
describe differences in the upper airway microbial community in Hispanic
and non-Hispanic white children with CF. Methods: This
prospective, observational cohort study of fifty-nine Hispanic and
non-Hispanic white children with CF, ages 2-10 years old, was performed
at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) from February 2019 to January 2020.
Oropharyngeal swabs were collected from the cohort during clinic visit.
Swab samples underwent sequencing (16S V4 rRNA), diversity analysis, and
taxonomic profiling. Key demographic and clinical data were collected
from the electronic medical record and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Patient Registry (CFFPR). Statistical analysis compared sequencing,
demographic, and clinical data. Results: We found no
significant difference in Shannon diversity or relative abundance of
bacterial phyla between Hispanic and non-Hispanic children with CF.
However, a low abundant taxa- “uncultured bacterium” belonging to the
order Saccharimonadales was significantly higher in Hispanic
children (mean relative abundance=0.13%) compared to the non-Hispanic
children (0.03%). Hispanic children had increased incidence of
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (p=0.045) compared to non-Hispanic
children. Conclusion: We did not find a significant difference
in the airway microbial diversity between Hispanic and non-Hispanic
white children with CF. However, we found a greater relative abundance
of Saccharimonadales and higher incidence of Pseudomonas
aeruginosa in Hispanic children with CF.