School of Translational Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester, Southmoor Road, Manchester, UK, M23 9LT.
Chronic pulmonary infection is one of the hallmarks of lung disease in cystic fibrosis. Infections dominated by organisms of the Burkholderia cepacia complex, a group of at least 17 closely-related species of gram-negative bacteria, are particularly difficult to treat. These infections may be associated with a fulminant necrotising pneumonia, and are greatly feared by patients. Burkholderia cepacia bacteria are innately resistant to many common antibiotics and able to acquire resistance against many more. Since strict patient segregation was introduced to cystic fibrosis medical care, the incidence of the more virulent epidemic strains has fallen, and new infections are more likely to be with environmentally-acquired strains which seem to exhibit less virulence. Nonetheless, exacerbations of respiratory symptoms require effective therapy directed against the dominant bacterial species. Although evidence-based guidelines exist for the treatment of respiratory exacerbations involving Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the most common chronic infection in cystic fibrosis, these cannot be directly extended to Burkholderia cepacia complex infections. The aim of this review is to assess the available trial evidence for choice and application of treatments for Burkholderia cepacia complex infections.
To assess the effectiveness and safety of different antibiotic regimens in people with cystic fibrosis experiencing an exacerbation, who are chronically infected with organisms of the Burkholderia cepacia complex.
We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis Trials Register, compiled from electronic database searches and handsearching of journals and conference abstract books. We also searched the reference lists of relevant articles and reviews.Date of latest search: 29 November 2011.
Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials of treatments for exacerbations of pulmonary symptoms in cystic fibrosis patients chronically infected with organisms of the Burkholderia cepacia complex.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:No trials were included in this review.
MAIN RESULTS:No trials were included in this review.
Burkholderia cepacia complex infections present a significant challenge for cystic fibrosis clinicians and patients alike. The incidence is likely to increase as the cystic fibrosis population ages and the problem of how to manage and treat these infections becomes more important. There is a lack of trial evidence to guide decision making and no conclusions can be drawn from this review about the optimal antibiotic regimens for cystic fibrosis patients with chronic Burkholderia cepacia complex infections. Clinicians must continue to assess each patient individually, taking into account in vitro antibiotic susceptibility data, previous clinical responses and their own experience. There is a clear need for multi-centre randomised clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of different antibiotic regimens in cystic fibrosis patients infected with organisms of the Burkholderia cepacia complex.