Pseudomonas cepacia infection in cystic fibrosis: an emerging problem

J Pediatr. 1984 Feb;104(2):206-10. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(84)80993-2.


The prevalence of Pseudomonas cepacia infection increased from 10% in 1971 to 18% by 1981 in a population of approximately 500 patients with cystic fibrosis. Carriage of P. aeruginosa has remained unchanged at 70% to 80% over the same period. Patients infected with P. cepacia have greater impairment of pulmonary function than those with P. aeruginosa. A syndrome characterized by high fever, severe progressive respiratory failure, leukocytosis, and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate has occurred in eight patients over the past 3 years, with a 62% fatality rate. Because P. cepacia strains are uniformly resistant to ticarcillin, piperacillin, and aminoglycosides, and because ceftazidime is ineffective despite in vitro activity, treatment of these infections is very difficult. Prevention of acquisition and effective treatment of P. cepacia in patients with cystic fibrosis are now major clinical problems in our clinic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pseudomonas / drug effects
  • Pseudomonas Infections / complications*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sputum / microbiology*