Bacterial and Viral Coinfection in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients

The Prevalence and Possible Role in Disease Progression

Mohsen Moghoofei; Shayan Mostafaei; Nasim Kondori; Michelle E. Armstrong; Farhad Babaei


BMC Pulm Med. 2022;22(60) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive interstitial pneumonia of unknown aetiology with a mean survival rate of less than 3 years. No previous studies have been performed on the role of co-infection (viral and bacterial infection) in the pathogenesis and progression of IPF. In this study, we investigated the role of viral/bacterial infection and coinfection and their possible association with pathogenesis and progression of IPF.

Methods: We investigated the prevalence and impact of bacterial and viral coinfection in IPF patients (n = 67) in the context of pulmonary function (FVC, FEV1 and DLCO), disease status and mortality risk. Using principal component analysis (PCA), we also investigated the relationship between distribution of bacterial and viral co-infection in the IPF cohort.

Results: Of the 67 samples, 17.9% samples were positive for viral infection, 10.4% samples were positive for bacterial infection and 59.7% samples were positive coinfection. We demonstrated that IPF patients who were co-infected had a significantly increased risk of mortality compared (p = 0.031) with IPF patients who were non-infected [Hazard ratio: 8.12; 95% CI 1.3–26.9].

Conclusion: In this study, we report for the first time that IPF patients who were coinfected with bacterial and viral infection have significantly decreased FVC and DLCO (% predicted). Besides, the results demonstrated the increased AE-IPF, increased incidence of death and risk of mortality in infected/coinfected patients compared to non-infected IPF patients.