Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease characterized by complex polymicrobial communities within the lower respiratory tract. S. pneumoniae, while a well-defined pathogen in the general population, has rarely been identified in CF. Furthermore, prevalence studies on Pneumococcus in CF have predominantly focused on the infant and pediatric populations, and outcome data is lacking.
Methods: Through a review of our comprehensive clinical and microbiologic database from a single adult CF center in Canada from 1978-2013 we sought to determine the incidence, prevalence, serotype and clinical impact of Pneumococcus in adults with CF.
Results: Only fifteen of 318 adult CF patients (5%) were ever found to have transient Pneumococcus colonization, and none developed persistent infection although length of carriage varied. As all isolates were stored, capsular serotyping could be performed using a multiplex PCR panel. Capsular serotyping revealed a varied distribution of several serotypes within these isolates. Lung function testing at time of incident Pneumococcus isolation was compared with values before and after isolation and showed no significant reduction in spirometry values, nor was there an increased need for rescue antibacterial therapy.
Conclusion: Within our center, incident Pneumococcus infection is neither common, associated with a disproportionate clinical deterioration nor results in chronic infection.