Trends in pathogens colonising the respiratory tract of adult patients with cystic fibrosis, 1985-2005

J Cyst Fibros. 2009 Dec;8(6):386-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Sep 8.


Introduction: The treatment of patients with CF has continued to evolve. We hypothesised that sputum microbiology may have changed as a result of this.

Method: Retrospective analysis of sputum microbiology from adult CF patients (1985 to 2005) using the Royal Brompton Hospital CF database.

Results: Colonisation with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus between 1985 and 2005 remained stable (77 to 82%, p=0.159; 54 to 47%, p=0.108; respectively). Haemophilus influenzae (48 to 6%; p<0.001), Aspergillus species (18 to 9%; p=0.002) and Burkholderia cepacia complex (9 to 4%; p=0.041) prevalence decreased. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and MRSA increased (1 to 4%, p=0.02; 1 to 6%, p=0.002, respectively).

Conclusion: P. aeruginosa colonisation has remained stable; there has been a decline in B. cepacia complex, H. influenzae and Aspergillus sp., and only a small increase in S. maltophilia and MRSA. Intensive antibiotic strategies have been employed, which, so far, have not resulted in clinically significant emergence of new pathogens.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / epidemiology*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Pulmonary Aspergillosis / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult