Persistency of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in sputum cultures and clinical outcomes in adult patients with cystic fibrosis

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Jul;31(7):1603-10. doi: 10.1007/s10096-011-1483-8. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


Our objective was to describe the natural history of infection with transmissible and unique strains of P. aeruginosa (PA) in adult CF patients and to determine if clearance of PA from sputum was associated with an improvement in clinical status. This was a 3-year prospective cohort study of adult patients with CF. Sputum was collected at baseline and annually. Rate of decline of FEV1, BMI, exacerbation rate, and time to death or transplant were compared between patients who cleared PA versus those in whom PA was persistent. A total of 373 patients were included in the study, 75% were infected with PA at baseline; 24% were infected with transmissible strains and 51% with unique strains. Patients infected with unique strains were more likely to clear PA from their sputum over 3 years compared to those infected with transmissible strains (19% vs 10%, P=0.05). Declines in FEV1 and rates of pulmonary exacerbations, deaths, or lung transplants were not different between patients who cleared PA compared to those who remained persistently infected. No clinical benefit was identified in patients who cleared PA from sputum compared to those who remained persistently infected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / mortality
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organ Transplantation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / pathology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification*
  • Sputum / microbiology*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents