An international, multicentre evaluation and description of Burkholderia pseudomallei infection in cystic fibrosis

James B. Geake, David W Reid, Bart Currie, Scott Bell, MelioidCF Investigators

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Background: Several cases of Burkholderia pseudomallei infection in CF have been previously reported. We aimed to identify all cases globally, risk factors for acquisition, clinical consequences, and optimal treatment strategies.

Methods: We performed a literature search to identify all published cases of B. pseudomallei infection in CF. In addition we hand-searched respiratory journals, and contacted experts in infectious diseases and CF around the world. Supervising clinicians for identified cases were contacted and contemporaneous clinical data was requested.

Results: 25 culture-confirmed cases were identified. The median age at acquisition was 21 years, mean FEV1 % predicted was 60 %, and mean BMI was 19.5 kg/m2. The location of acquisition was northern Australia or south-east Asia for most. 19 patients (76 %) developed chronic infection, which was usually associated with clinical decline. Successful eradication strategies included a minimum of two weeks of intravenous ceftazidime, followed by a consolidation phase with trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and this resulted in a higher chance of success when instituted early. Three cases of lung transplantation have been recorded in the setting of chronic B. pseudomallei infection.

Conclusion: Chronic carriage of B. pseudomallei in patients with CF appears common after infection, in contrast to the non-CF population. This is often associated with an accelerated clinical decline. Lung transplantation has been performed in select cases of chronic B. pseudomallei infection. 

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2015

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