In this study, microbiological profile of the airway in 94 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients followed in Dicle University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Paediatric Pulmonology between 2010 and 2016 was retrospectively evaluated. Data including sex and age of the patients, age of diagnosis, birth weight, sputum at the time of diagnosis and within the previous year of follow-up, presence of microorganisms in throat and bronchoalveolar lavage liquid (BAL) cultures and presence of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus colonisation were recorded.
The most common microorganism in the sputum-throat cultures collected at the time of diagnosis and at the final visit was P. aeruginosa, followed by S. aureus. It was found that P. aureginosa was the most prevalent microorganism in all age groups. Age of microbial growth in the throat-sputum cultures did not vary depending on the length of breastfeeding period. P. aeruginosa colonisation was found in 15 patients (15,9%); however, S. aureus colonisation was not found in any of the patients. In addition, the ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) was lower in the patients with P. aeruginosa. Nutritional status of the patients with P. aeruginosa colonisation was poorer than those without. The main reasons for hospitalisation were acute pulmonary inflammation in 46,8% and electrolyte imbalance in 21,7% of the patients. It was found that P. aeruginosa colonisation led to hospitalisation upon both pulmonary inflammation and electrolyte imbalance, and also increased the rate of hospitalisation. A total of 91,9% of the patients used oral antibiotics and 19,6% of the patients received intravenous antibiotics. The patients with P. aeruginosa colonisation required a higher amount of oral and intravenous antibiotics.
In conclusion, respiratory tract infections are clinical conditions which are most frequently responsible for morbidity and mortality in patients with CF. The life expectancy and quality of life improve with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Therefore, we suggest that healthcare professionals, primarily physicians, and the families of the patients with CF should be informed on microbial ecology to improve the outcomes.