Respiratory infections in patients with cystic fibrosis undergoing lung transplantation

Lancet Respir Med. 2014 Jan;2(1):73-82. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(13)70162-0. Epub 2013 Aug 23.


Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease characterised by chronic respiratory infections associated with bronchiectasis. Lung transplantation has helped to extend the lives of patients with cystic fibrosis who have advanced lung disease. However, persistent, recurrent, and newly acquired infections can be problematic. Classic cystic fibrosis-associated organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are generally manageable post-transplantation, and are associated with favourable outcomes. Burkholderia cenocepacia poses particular challenges, although other Burkholderia species are less problematic. Despite concerns about non-tuberculous mycobacteria, especially Mycobacterium abscessus, post-transplantation survival has not been definitively shown to be less than average in patients with these infections. Fungal species can be prevalent before and after transplantation and are associated with high morbidity, so should be treated aggressively. Appropriate viral screening and antiviral prophylaxis are necessary to prevent infection with and reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus and their associated complications. Awareness of drug pharmacokinetics and interactions in cystic fibrosis is crucial to prevent toxic effects and subtherapeutic or supratherapeutic drug dosing. With the large range of potential infectious organisms in patients with cystic fibrosis, infection control in hospital and outpatient settings is important. Despite its complexity, lung transplantation in the cystic fibrosis population is safe, with good outcomes if the clinician is aware of all the potential pathogens and remains vigilant by means of surveillance and proactive treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Microbiota / physiology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / prevention & control
  • Mycoses / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control