Summary There is a biological plausibility on the link between cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) mutations and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). The aim of the systematic review was to investigate this link by determining the frequency of CFTR mutations in ABPA. We searched the PubMed and EmBase databases for studies reporting CFTR mutations in ABPA. We pooled the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from individual studies using both fixed and random effects model. Statistical heterogeneity was evaluated using the I(2) test and the Cochran-Q statistic. Publication bias was assessed using both graphical and statistical methods. Our search yielded four studies (79 ABPA, 268 controls). The odds of encountering CFTR mutation was higher in ABPA compared with the control group (OR 10.39; 95% CI, 4.35-24.79) or the asthma population (OR 5.53; 95% CI 1.62-18.82). There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity or publication bias. There is a possible pathogenetic link between CFTR mutations and ABPA. However, because of the small numbers of patients, further studies are required to confirm this finding. Future studies should adopt a uniform methodology and should screen for the entire genetic sequence of the CFTR gene.
© 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.