Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in cystic fibrosis: pathophysiological mechanisms and therapeutic approaches

Helena Lund-Palau, Andrew R. Turnbull*, Andrew Bush, Emmanuelle Bardin, Loren Cameron, Odel Soren, Natasha Wierre-Gore, Eric W.F.W. Alton, Jacob G. Bundy, Gary Connett, Saul N. Faust, Alain Filloux, Paul Freemont, Andy Jones, Valerie Khoo, Sandra Morales, Ronan Murphy, Rishi Pabary, Ameze Simbo, Silke SchelenzZoltan Takats, Jeremy Webb, Huw D. Williams, Jane C. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a remarkably versatile environmental bacterium with an extraordinary capacity to infect the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung. Infection with P. aeruginosa occurs early, and although eradication can be achieved following early detection, chronic infection occurs in over 60% of adults with CF. Chronic infection is associated with accelerated disease progression and increased mortality. Extensive research has revealed complex mechanisms by which P. aeruginosa adapts to and persists within the CF airway. Yet knowledge gaps remain, and prevention and treatment strategies are limited by the lack of sensitive detection methods and by a narrow armoury of antibiotics. Further developments in this field are urgently needed in order to improve morbidity and mortality in people with CF. Here, we summarize current knowledge of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying P. aeruginosa infection in CF. Established treatments are discussed, and an overview is offered of novel detection methods and therapeutic strategies in development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-697
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • airway
  • antibiotic
  • biofilm
  • cystic fibrosis
  • persistence
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • sputum


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