A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled phase III study of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa flagella vaccine in cystic fibrosis patients

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 26;104(26):11020-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0702403104. Epub 2007 Jun 21.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes life-threatening lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. We hypothesized that vaccination may prevent P. aeruginosa lung infection. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, 483 European patients, 2-18 years of age without P. aeruginosa colonization were randomly assigned to receive four intramuscular injections of a bivalent P. aeruginosa flagella vaccine or placebo over a 14-month period. Patients were evaluated quarterly for P. aeruginosa-positive throat cultures and antipseudomonal serum antibody titers during the study period of 2 years. The vaccine was well tolerated, and the patients developed high and long-lasting serum antiflagella IgG titers. In the intention-to-treat group (all patients enrolled), 82 of 239 vaccinated patients had P. aeruginosa infection and/or antipseudomonal serum titers compared with 105 of 244 patients in the placebo group (P = 0.05; relative risk: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.64-1.00). Analysis of the 381 patients in the per-protocol group, who received all four vaccinations or placebo treatments, revealed 37 of 189 patients with infection episodes in the vaccine group compared with 59 of 192 patients with such episodes in the placebo group (P = 0.02; relative risk: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.46-0.93). P. aeruginosa strains, exhibiting flagella subtypes included in the vaccine, were significantly less frequently isolated from vaccinates than from placebo controls (P = 0.016, relative risk: 0.319; 95% CI: 0.12-0.86). Chronic P. aeruginosa infection was rare because of recent institution of early antibiotic eradication regimes. Active immunization of patients with cystic fibrosis lowers the risk for infection with P. aeruginosa and therefore may contribute to a longer survival of these patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Pseudomonas Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pseudomonas Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Pseudomonas Vaccines / pharmacology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Placebos
  • Pseudomonas Vaccines