Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis: North American perspective.
Davidson, D. J., Currie, A. J. and Speert, D. P.
Severe Infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ed. A. Hauser and Rello, J. Kluwer Academic Publishers (2003) 71 – 89
In Canada and the United States, more than 30,000 people suffer from cystic fibrosis (CF); it is therefore the most common potentially fatal inherited disease among Caucasians in those North American countries. Infection of the lung is the leading cause of death in patients with CF, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant infectious agent. Whereas CF patients may become infected with other organisms (such as Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae, Burkholderia cepacia, and atypical mycobacteria), P. aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen, ultimately infecting approximately 80% of patients. Once infected with P. aeruginosa, patients usually retain the organism for the duration of their lives. This host-microbe interaction is unique and raises many important questions about mode of acquisition, microbial virulence, host susceptibility and strategies for control of infection. This brief chapter will review the latest information on the host-microbial détente in the CF lung, focusing on new observations from a North American perspective.