Chronic pulmonary infection with P. aeruginosa develops in most patients with cystic fibrosis (CF); by adulthood 80% of patients are infected and chronic P. aeruginosa infection is the primary cause of increased morbidity and mortality in CF. Chronic infection is preceded by an intermittent stage of infection. The initial stage is characteristically followed by the gradual emergence of mucoid variants of the colonizing strains and a rise in anti-Pseudomonas antibodies. In addition to optimizing existing therapeutic strategies, effective new agents need to be identified. Studies in patients with CF are particularly challenging: the progressive nature of the disease and the wide variation in severity influence considerably the outcome of drug testing. A validated, universally accepted, and clinically useful classification of patients infected with P. aeruginosa, particularly those chronically infected, is needed that can be used as both a criterion for patient selection for clinical trials and as a study endpoint.
Copyright © 2011 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.