Intravenous antibiotics given for 2 weeks do not eradicate persistent Staphylococcus aureus clones in cystic fibrosis patients

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 May;20(5):O285-91. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12406. Epub 2013 Nov 4.


Staphylococcus aureus is the most commonly isolated pathogen in respiratory tract secretions from young patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), and several treatment strategies are used to control the infection. However, it is not known whether intensified treatment with antimicrobial agents causes eradication of S. aureus clones. We retrospectively determined the impact of intravenous (IV) antimicrobial agents on the suppression and eradication of S. aureus clones. One thousand and sixty-one S. aureus isolates cultured from 2526 samples from 130 CF patients during a 2-year study period were subjected to spa typing. Intervals between positive samples and the occurrence of clone replacements were calculated in relation to courses of IV antimicrobial agents. Of 65 patients chronically infected with S. aureus, 37 received 139 courses of IV antimicrobial agents with activity against S. aureus (mean duration, 15 days; range, 6-31 days). Administration of IV antibiotics increased the time to the next sample with growth of S. aureus: the mean interval between two positive samples was 68 days if IV treatment had been administered, in contrast to 49 days if no IV treatment had been administered (p 0.003). When S. aureus recurred in sputum after IV treatment, the isolate belonged to a different clone in 33 of 114 (29%) intervals, in comparison with 68 of 232 (29%) intervals where IV treatment had not been prescribed (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.60-1.61). In conclusion, we show that 2 weeks of IV antimicrobial treatment can significantly suppress chronic staphylococcal infection in CF, but is not associated with the eradication of persistent bacterial clones.

Keywords: Antistaphylococcal therapy; colonization; fusidic acid; persistent bacterial clones; spa typing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cefuroxime / administration & dosage
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Dicloxacillin / administration & dosage
  • Disk Diffusion Antimicrobial Tests
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Recurrence
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Cefuroxime