Journal Article

Small-Colony Variants of <i>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</i> in Cystic Fibrosis

Susanne Häußler, Burkhard Tümmler, Hartmut Weißbrodt, Manfred Rohde and Ivo Steinmetz

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 3, pages 621-625
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Small-Colony Variants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in Cystic Fibrosis

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In the context of chronic lung infection due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis (CF), attention has been focused on the presence of the most common mucoid phenotype. In this study, the presence of small-colony variants (SCVs) of P. aeruginosa in respiratory tract specimens from patients with CF was investigated, and the clinical conditions predisposing to SCVs were analyzed. P. aeruginosa SCVs were isolated from 33 of 86 P. aeruginosa-positive CF patients over a 2-year period. Fast-growing revertants with larger surface colonies could be isolated from SCV populations. Electron microscopy revealed no significant difference in cell size or morphology. MICs of a broad range of antipseudomonas agents for SCVs were two- to eightfold higher than values for revertants. Recovery of SCVs was correlated with parameters revealing poor lung function and was significantly associated with daily inhalation of tobramycin or colistin.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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