Clinical characteristics of Pseudomonas and Aspergillus co-infected cystic fibrosis patients: A UK registry study

Dominic A Hughes, Olga Archangelidi, Matthew Coates, Darius Armstrong-James, Stuart J Elborn, Siobhán B Carr, Jane C Davies
Journal of Cystic Fibrosis: Official Journal of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society 2021 May 3

BACKGROUND: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) and Aspergillus species (Asp) are the most common bacterial and fungal organisms respectively in CF airways. Our aim was to examine impacts of Asp infection and Pa/Asp co-infection.

METHODS: Patients on the UK CF Registry in 2016 were grouped into: absent (Pa-), intermittent (Pai) or chronic Pa (Pac), each with Asp positive (Asp+) or negative (Asp-). Primary outcome was best percentage predicted FEV1 (ppFEV1 ) that year. Secondary outcomes were intravenous (IV) antibiotic courses, growth (height, weight, BMI) and additional disease complications. Associations between outcomes and infection-status were assessed using regression models adjusting for significant confounders (age, sex, Phe508del homozygosity and CF-related diabetes (CFRD)).

RESULTS: 9,270 patients were included (median age 19 [IQR 9-30] years, 54% male, 50% Phe508del/F508del). 4,142 patients (45%) isolated Pa, 1,460 (16%) Asp. Pa-/Asp+ subjects had an adjusted ppFEV1 that was 5.9% lower than Pa-/Asp- (p < 0.0001). In patients with Pai or Pac, there was no additional impact of Asp on ppFEV1 . However, there was a higher probability that Pac/Asp+ patients had required IV antibiotics than Pac/Asp- group (OR 1.23 [1.03-1.48]). Low BMI, ABPA, CF-liver disease and CFRD were all more frequent with Asp alone than Pa-/Asp-, though not more common in Pac/Asp+ than Pac/Asp-.

CONCLUSIONS: Co-infection with Pa and Asp was not associated with reduced lung function compared with Pa alone, but was associated with additional use of IV antibiotics. Asp infection itself is associated with several important indicators of disease severity. Longitudinal analyses should explore the impact of co-infection on disease progression.

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