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Curr Med Res Opin. 2012 Jun;28(6):1059-67. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2012.674500. Epub 2012 May 10.

Challenges with current inhaled treatments for chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in patients with cystic fibrosis.

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National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland.



Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is the predominant pathogen infecting the airways of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Initial colonization is usually transient and associated with non-mucoid strains, which can be eradicated if identified early. This strategy can prevent, or at least delay, chronic Pa infection, which eventually develops in the majority of patients by their late teens or early adulthood. This article discusses the management and latest treatment developments of Pa lung infection in patients with CF, with a focus on nebulized antibiotic therapy.


PubMed was searched to identify English language articles published up until August 2011 using combinations of the following key words: 'antibiotics', 'chronic', 'cystic fibrosis', 'eradication', 'exacerbations', 'guidelines', 'inhaled', 'intravenous', 'lung infection', 'burden', 'adherence', 'patient segregation', 'pseudomonas aeruginosa' and 'resistance'.


Antibiotics form a central part of the treatment regimens for chronic Pa lung infection. Current treatment guidelines recommend that patients with chronic pulmonary infection with Pa should receive long-term inhaled anti-pseudomonal therapy to preserve lung function, and to reduce the frequency of pulmonary exacerbations and hospital admissions. While antibiotic resistance seems to increase with frequent antibiotic use, this does not appear to impact on clinical outcome. Negative aspects of therapy include the time needed for drug administration and subsequent cleaning of the equipment. These factors cause a significant treatment burden and impact on adherence. The availability of more convenient formulations and delivery vehicles for anti-pseudomonal antibiotics may help overcome some of these challenges.


Current challenges in the management of CF patients with chronic Pa lung infection are numerous. The availability of novel anti-pseudomonal antibiotic formulations/devices is anticipated to improve treatment adherence in patients with CF, and could improve clinical outcomes. Thus, there is hope for improved survival in individuals with CF suffering from chronic pulmonary infection with Pa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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