Antibiotic therapy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis: a European consensus


  • This document is the result of an European Consensus Conference which took place in Artimino, Tuscany, Italy, in November 1999 involving 34 experts on antibiotic therapy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients, organized by the European Cystic Fibrosis Society, and sponsored by PathoGenesis (major spon-sor), Astra-Zeneca, Aventis, Bayer, Glaxo-Wellcome, Lilly and Pharmax. The purpose of the conference was to develop a con-sensus document on antibiotic treatment against P. aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients based on current evidence.

G. Döring, Dept of General and Environmental Hygiene, Hygiene-Institute, University of Tübingen, Wilhelmstrasse 31, D-72074 Tübingen, Germany. Fax: 49 7071293011


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common lethal hereditary disorder with autosomal recessive heredity in caucasians. The majority of CF patients suffer from chronic respiratory infection with the opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. No consensus among clinicians has been reached so far concerning antibiotic treatment against P. aeruginosa in CF patients.

Consensus answers to 24 important questions in this context, based on current evidence, are presented, given by a panel of 34 European experts. Questions addressed and answered are: The diagnosis of P. aeruginosa lung colonization in CF; The impact of P. aeruginosa on the clinical state of CF patients; The assessment of P. aeruginosa susceptibility against antibiotics and the importance of these results for the clinician; The use of monotherapy versus combination therapy; The development of microbial resistance; The achievement of optimal airway concentrations; The effects of subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics on P. aeruginosa; Statements on the pharmacokinetics of antibiotics in CF patients; Recommendations for doses and dosing intervals and length of treatment regimens; and Toxic side effects due to repeated antibiotic therapy was addressed.

The expert panel answered further questions on the use of fluoroquinolones in children with CF, on the administration of nebulized antibiotics and whether prevention of P. aeruginosa lung colonization is possible in CF using antibiotic therapy.

Problems of antibiotic therapy at home and in the hospital were addressed, a consensus statement on regular maintenance treatment, or treatment on demand, was given and different routes of administration of antibiotics were recommended for different clinical situations.

Finally, the factors which determine the choice of the antibiotic, the dosage, and the duration of the treatment in cystic fibrosis patients were addressed and the design of future antibiotic studies in the context of Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection in cystic fibrosis patients were recommended.