Progress in Definition, Prevention and Treatment of Fungal Infections in Cystic Fibrosis

Carsten Schwarz, Dominik Hartl, Olaf Eickmeier, Andreas Hector, Christian Benden, Isabelle Durieu, Amparo Sole, Silvia Gartner, Carlos E. Milla, Peter James Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic lethal multi-system condition; however, most of the morbidity and mortality is dependent on the status of the respiratory system. Progressive respiratory decline is mediated by chronic infection and inflammation, punctuated by important acute events known as pulmonary exacerbations which can lead to accelerated decline. The main bacterial species causing infections include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae and Achromobacter xylosoxidans. In addition to bacteria, fungi are detected in a significant number of patients. The impact of fungal colonization of the airways is still not completely elucidated, but an increasing body of evidence suggests an important role for moulds and yeasts. Although fungal infections are rare, fungi can cause severe pneumonia requiring appropriate targeted treatment. The most common fungi in respiratory samples of patients with CF are Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus and Scedosporium species for filamentous fungi, and yeasts such as Candida albicans and Candida glabrata. Therapeutic strategies depend on the detected fungus and the underlying clinical status of the patient. The antifungal therapy can range from a simple monotherapy up to a combination of three different drugs. Treatment course may be indicated in some patients for two weeks and in others for up to six months, and in rare cases even longer. New antifungal drugs have been developed and are being tested in clinical studies offering the hope of therapeutic alternatives to existing drugs. Identifying relevant risk factors and diagnostic criteria for fungal colonization and infection is crucial to enabling an adequate prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Allylamines
  • Azoles
  • Echinocandins
  • Filamentous fungi
  • Polyenes
  • Yeasts


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