Respiratory bacterial infections in cystic fibrosis

Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013 May;19(3):251-8. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e32835f1afc.


Purpose of review: Bacterial respiratory infections are the main cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Pseudomonas aeruginosa remains the main pathogen in adults, but other Gram-negative bacteria such as Achromobacter xylosoxidans and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia as well as nontuberculous mycobacteria have been shown to play an important role in the lung disease. The purpose of this review is to summarize the knowledge on disease and treatment of infection with CF-related pathogens.

Recent findings: The role of the paranasal sinuses as a source of infection and site of bacterial adaptation has been recognized. This review will focus on the different conditions encountered by the bacteria in sinuses and lung, as well as the principles of treatment in the different infection sites.

Summary: Chronic, pulmonary infections remain the single most prominent cause of the increased morbidity and mortality in CF. After the increasing efficiency of anti-P. aeruginosa treatment, newer pathogens have been identified, with individual clinical characteristics. Microbiological surveillance is very important in keeping the patients stable. Samples from both the lower and upper respiratory tract (nasal sampling) should be investigated and both infection sites should be treated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacterial Infections / etiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology*
  • Paranasal Sinuses / microbiology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents