Achromobacter species in cystic fibrosis: cross-infection caused by indirect patient-to-patient contact

J Cyst Fibros. 2013 Dec;12(6):609-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2013.05.004. Epub 2013 Jun 12.


Background and methods: Achromobacter species leads to chronic infection in an increasing number of CF patients. We report 2 cases of Achromobacter ruhlandii cross-infection between patients after well-described indirect contact.

Results: Both cases were young, stable, CF patients without chronic infections and with normal FEV1, but experienced clinical deterioration after visits to the home of a CF patient with A. ruhlandii infection and after sharing facilities with an A. ruhlandii infected CF patient on a skiing vacation, respectively. Both cases became positive for A. ruhlandii in airway secretions and were colonized with A. ruhlandii in their sinuses. Aggressive, long-term antibiotic treatment led to clinical stability. One of the cases developed chronic A. ruhlandii infection.

Conclusion: A. species can cause cross-infection even after a short period of indirect contact between infected and non-infected CF patients. Patients should be followed closely for several months before the possibility of cross-infection is ruled out.

Keywords: Achromobacter xylosoxidans; Cross-infection; Pulmonary infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Achromobacter* / classification
  • Achromobacter* / isolation & purification
  • Adolescent
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Paranasal Sinuses / microbiology
  • Sputum / microbiology