Chronic Mycobacterium abscessus infection and lung function decline in cystic fibrosis

J Cyst Fibros. 2010 Mar;9(2):117-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2009.12.001. Epub 2010 Jan 13.


Background: Although nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are recognized pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF), associations with clinical outcomes remain unclear.

Methods: Microbiological data was obtained from 1216 CF patients over 8years (481+/-55patients/year). Relationships to clinical outcomes were examined in the subset (n=271, 203+/-23 patients/year) with longitudinal data.

Results: Five hundred thirty-six of 4862 (11%) acid-fast bacilli (AFB) cultures grew NTM, with Mycobacterium abscessus (n=298, 55.6%) and Mycobacterium avium complex (n=190, 35.4%) most common. Associated bacterial cultures grew Stenotrophomonas or Aspergillus species more often when NTM were isolated (18.2% vs. 8.4% and 13.9% vs. 7.2%, respectively, p<0.01). After controlling for confounders, patients with chronic M. abscessus infection had greater rates of lung function decline than those with no NTM infection (-2.52 vs. -1.64% predicted FEV(1)/year, p<0.05).

Conclusions: NTM infection is common in CF and associated with particular pathogens. Chronic M. abscessus infection is associated with increased lung function decline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mycobacterium / isolation & purification
  • Mycobacterium Infections / complications*
  • Mycobacterium Infections / microbiology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Stenotrophomonas / isolation & purification
  • Young Adult