Colorado Cystic Fibrosis Research & Development Program

NTM Culture, Biorepository and Coordinating Core

The NTM Culture, Biorepository, and Coordinating Core under the direction of Charles Daley and Max Salfinger serves to support the clinical care of CF patients within the CFF Care Center Network, as well as translational research and clinical trials. Within the CF microbiome, NTM are a distinct group of organisms, with over 170 different species and subspecies that vary markedly in pathogenicity. Progress in clinical research has been slow, as NTM infection is not a reportable disease and requires highly specialized culture techniques. A fundamental obstacle for both clinicians and researchers is the lack of access to state-of-the-art laboratory support to culture and identify organisms using molecular tools. National Jewish is home to the largest mycobacteria treatment program in the United States, and offers world-class facilities for mycobacterial culture, drug pharmacokinetic, and molecular diagnostics that are needed to systematically study NTM infections in the context of CF. NTM isolates submitted from within the CF Care Center Network are tracked and if requested undergo molecular identification and drug susceptibility testing (DST). Isolates are then forwarded to the Molecular Core for genetic fingerprinting through whole genome sequencing for the purpose of monitoring of clonal strains within Centers and between Centers. If detected, the NTM Culture, Biorepository and Coordinating Core will inform the Care Centers of the potential that transmission has occurred. In addition, these isolates will be banked for future analysis and as a resource for CF and NTM researchers worldwide.

 

The central mission of the NTM Culture, Biorepository, and Coordinating Core are to provide:

  1. Essential state-of-the-art culture results

  2. Molecular identification of species or subspecies (when requested)

  3. Drug susceptibility testing (when requested),

  4. Banking of isolates and distribution to qualified investigators

  5. Coordination of molecular identification and communication of results to CF Centers