Pseudomonas cepacia has emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen colonizing and infecting the respiratory tract of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Although assessment of outcomes associated with P. cepacia colonization has been difficult, controlled studies have shown that colonized patients experience more adverse outcomes compared with those not colonized. In the United States, an increasing trend in national incidence and prevalence of P. cepacia colonization has been shown, but cases have been unevenly distributed in a few centers. These estimates, however, may be biased by intercenter differences in laboratory methods for detecting P. cepacia in patient sputum. The source and mode of transmission of P. cepacia have not been adequately demonstrated, and may vary from center to center. Until further studies elucidate the epidemiology of P. cepacia in patients with CF, it may be prudent for CF centers to consider the use of selective media to isolate P. cepacia from sputa of patients with CF, to conduct investigations of clusters of P. cepacia-colonized patients, and to consider adopting infection control precautions recommended for control of multiply resistant gram negative organisms.
Tablan OC, Martone WJ, Jarvis WR
Eur. J. Epidemiol. 1987 Dec;3(4):336-42