Economic effects of an eradication protocol for first appearance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients: 1995 vs. 2009

J Cyst Fibros. 2011 May;10(3):175-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2011.01.002. Epub 2011 Feb 18.


Background: Acquisition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Psa) and infection with mucoid strains is associated with repeated pulmonary exacerbations which often require intravenous and long-term nebulised antibiotic treatments, repeated hospitalizations and leads to a more precipitous decline in lung function. Anti-Psa antibiotic therapy early in the course of Psa infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) may result in eradication of Psa and prevention or delay of colonization with the organism. From January 1995 to December 2009 our paediatric CF clinic has followed an early eradication protocol for the first appearance of Psa. In this paper we report on the economic effects after 15 years as reflected in hospitalization and antibiotic usage and cost.

Methods: The Psa-eradication protocol includes 2 weeks of IV piperacillin and tobramycin, followed by oral ciprofloxacin for 3 weeks, and nebulised colistimethate for 6 months. The same protocol is used for newly diagnosed CF patients who grow Psa on their first visit or who grow a mucoid strain, multiresistant strain of Psa or whose Psa co-cultured with Burkholderia cepacia complex, and for patients in whom Psa recurs after initial clearance.

Results: 195 Psa eradication courses were completed from 1995 to 2009 with an overall Psa clearance rate of 90%. Patients that only cultured a Psa classic (non-mucoid) strain had a clearance rate was 96.5%. The percentage of children chronically infected with Psa has declined from 44% in 1994 to 15% in 2009.Total days spent in hospital for all reasons declined by 43%; chronic Psa hospital days declined by 75%; IV and nebulised anti-Psa antibiotic costs reduced by 44%.

Conclusions: Results indicate that application of a Pseudomonas eradication protocol as described in this report has economic and resource utilization benefits in addition to clinical benefits.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Burkholderia cepacia complex / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ciprofloxacin / administration & dosage
  • Cohort Studies
  • Colistin / administration & dosage
  • Colistin / analogs & derivatives
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / adverse effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / economics
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Resources / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Piperacillin / administration & dosage
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa* / classification
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa* / isolation & purification
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • colistinmethanesulfonic acid
  • Tobramycin
  • Piperacillin
  • Colistin