Secretory IgA as a diagnostic tool for Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory colonization

J Cyst Fibros. 2013 Jan;12(1):81-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Jul 20.


Background: Pseudomonas aeruginosa sinusitis may be the focus for intermittent lung colonization in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The sinusitis may induce elevated IgA levels in nasal secretion and saliva against P. aeruginosa.

Methods: 120 CF patients chronically infected, intermittently colonized or without P. aeruginosa in the lungs participated in this cross-sectional study. IgA and IgG against P. aeruginosa sonicate and alginate were measured in nasal secretions, saliva, and in serum by ELISA.

Results: The intermittently colonized patients had significantly higher IgA levels in nasal secretions and saliva than those without P. aeruginosa in the lungs, indicating that P. aeruginosa sinusitis may precede intermittent colonization and chronic infection of the lungs.

Conclusions: Specific IgA against P. aeruginosa in nasal secretions and saliva can contribute to differentiation between patients chronically infected, intermittently colonized, and without P. aeruginosa in the lungs. The diagnostic value of the IgA ELISA awaits a prospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Fluids / microbiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Nose / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory System / microbiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sputum / microbiology


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory