Lower airway tract colonization may trigger neutrophil-mediated airway inflammation. We investigated whether transient airway colonization influences airway inflammation and pulmonary function after lung transplantation (LTx). In this retrospective study, stable LTx patients with consecutive broncho-alveolar lavages (BAL), the first colonized and the second noncolonized, were included to create a Pooled group (P, n=32) and a Gram Negative (GN, n=14), Gram Positive (GP, n=9) and Fungi (F, n=9) subgroup. Similarly, LTx patients with consecutive, noncolonized BAL samples were included as Control group (C, n=19). BAL analysis (cell counts, IL6, IL8) and forced expiratory volume (FEV(1)) were compared between groups. In the P group and the GN subgroup, colonized BAL samples showed a significant increase in total cells, neutrophilia and IL8-concentration and a significant decrease in FEV(1), even when compared with the matched samples of the C group. A significant increase in neutrophilia was observed in the GP subgroup, but no other significant difference was found either in the GP and F subgroup or the C group. IL6 levels were not significantly different between groups. Transient airway colonization, especially with Pseudomonas-like GN bacteria, in stable LTx patients may be associated with IL8-dependent neutrophilic airway inflammation and a, albeit subtle, decrease in FEV(1).