Factors influencing the acquisition of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infection in cystic fibrosis patients

J Cyst Fibros. 2013 Dec;12(6):575-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 Jun 10.


Background: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is one of the most common multi-drug resistant organisms causing pulmonary infections in CF patients. It is unknown whether S. maltophilia infection follows the same pattern and shares similar risk factors for acquisition as described for Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Methods: We examined all clinical events from 1997 to 2008 in the Toronto CF Database to identify risk factors for the acquisition of S. maltophilia and to define distinct patterns of infection.

Results: We followed 601 patients over 12 years, during which time one quarter of subjects had at least one positive culture for S. maltophilia; the incidence rate was slightly higher in children (11.6/100 person years) compared with adults (10.6/100 person years). Using multi-variable Cox proportional hazards models, steeper rate of FEV1 decline was a significant risk factor for S. maltophilia acquisition, whereas new infections were less likely to occur with greater oral antibiotic use and a history of Burkholderia cepacia complex infection.

Conclusions: This study illustrates the evolution of S. maltophilia infection over time in a large cohort of adults and children with CF. Younger CF patients, and those with greater lung function decline were at increased risk of S. maltophilia infection. The use of oral antibiotics to maintain lung function may be a way of decreasing the risk of infection. However, the optimal management of CF patients with persistent S. maltophilia infection is not yet known and requires further studies.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Latent class models; Risk factors; Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia*
  • Young Adult