Cystic fibrosis is the most common, life-threatening, recessively inherited disease of Caucasian populations. It is a multisystem disorder caused by a mutation in the gene encoding the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein which is important in producing sweat, digestive juices and mucus.The impaired or absent function of this protein results in the production of viscous mucus within the lungs and an environment that is susceptible to chronic airway obstruction and pulmonary colonization by a range of pathogenic bacteria. Morbidity and mortality of cystic fibrosis is related to chronic pulmonary sepsis and its complications by these bacteria.
Influenza can worsen the course of the disease in cystic fibrosis by increasing the risk of pneumonia and secondary respiratory complications. Antiviral agents form an important part of influenza management and include the neuraminidase inhibitors zanamivir and oseltamivir. These inhibitors can limit the infection and prevent the spread of the virus.