Microbiologic contamination study of nebulizers after aerosol therapy in patients with cystic fibrosis

Am J Infect Control. 2000 Oct;28(5):347-51. doi: 10.1067/mic.2000.110214.


Background: To evaluate the contamination of delivery systems after an aerosol therapy session in patients with cystic fibrosis who have chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.

Methods: Fifty-three patients with cystic fibrosis were enrolled in the study from March 1996 to June 1997. All patients were age 7 years or older and had P aeruginosa infection. They also had been treated with recombinant deoxyribonuclease and were capable of producing sputum for culture.

Results: Nine devices were excluded for the study. A total of 44 nebulizers were included: 37 from patients with P aeruginosa colonization with a count of 10(6) colony-forming units/mL or more and 7 with a count of between 10(5) colony-forming units/mL and 10(6) colony-forming units/mL.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that in the absence of cleaning, nebulizers of patients with cystic fibrosis who are infected with P aeruginosa are likely to be contaminated by a pathogenic flora.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / complications*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification*
  • Sputum / microbiology


  • Aerosols