Can mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa be eradicated in children with cystic fibrosis?

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010 Jun;45(6):566-8. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21220.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PsA) is the most common pathogen to cause chronic lung infection in children with cystic fibrosis (CF), and is associated with an increase in both morbidity and mortality. Whilst the non-mucoid strain can be eradicated, it is believed that mucoid PsA is difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. We hypothesized that with modern and aggressive antibiotic regimes, mucoid PsA can be eradicated in children with CF. We investigated this hypothesis through a retrospective review of respiratory tract cultures of children with CF at The Royal Brompton Hospital, London. Children aged under 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of CF and mucoid PsA on respiratory tract culture during a defined 9-year period were eligible for inclusion. Respiratory tract culture results were followed up for each patient to establish whether children remained infected with mucoid PsA and specifically to identify clearance of infection. Factors which may have been associated with persistence or clearance were also sought. One hundred sixteen children had the minimum dataset, and of these patients 67 (58%) cleared mucoid PsA for more than 1 year. Of the 67 patients who cleared mucoid PsA for more than 1 year, 38 (57%) patients remained clear of mucoid PsA at the last available culture (median 30, range 2-106 clear cultures, and median 55, 12-103 months clear). We conclude that isolation of mucoid PsA does not necessarily equate to lifelong infection. We suggest that trials of eradication of mucoid PsA at first isolation are required.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Colistin / administration & dosage
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Gentamicins / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / etiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gentamicins
  • Colistin