Chronic pulmonary infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for most of the morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF). Once established as a biofilm, chronic P. aeruginosa infection caused by the mucoid phenotype cannot be eradicated. However, a period of intermittent colonization with P. aeruginosa precedes the establishment of the chronic infection. This window of opportunity can be utilized to eradicate P. aeruginosa from the respiratory tract of CF patients by means of oral ciprofloxacin in combination with nebulized colistin for 3 weeks or, even better, for 3 months or by means of inhaled tobramycin as monotherapy for 4 weeks or longer. This early, aggressive eradication therapy has now been used for 15 years without giving rise to resistance to the antibiotics and without serious side effects. The therapeutic results have been very successful and have completely changed the epidemiology in the Danish Cystic Fibrosis Center and a few other centers which have used this strategy for several years. The chronic P. aeruginosa lung infection is not seen in CF infants and children anymore due to the aggressive therapy, and no other bacteria have replaced P. aeruginosa in these young patients. The aggressive therapy has been shown to very cost-effective, and a European Consensus report recommends this approach. © 2005 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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