Burkholderia cenocepacia infections in cystic fibrosis patients: Drug resistance and therapeutic approaches

Viola C. Scoffone, Laurent R. Chiarelli, Gabriele Trespidi, Massimo Mentasti, Giovanna Riccardi, Silvia Buroni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic pathogen particularly dangerous for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. It can cause a severe decline in CF lung function possibly developing into a life-threatening systemic infection known as cepacia syndrome. Antibiotic resistance and presence of numerous virulence determinants in the genome make B. cenocepacia extremely difficult to treat. Better understanding of its resistance profiles and mechanisms is crucial to improve management of these infections. Here, we present the clinical distribution of B. cenocepacia described in the last 6 years and methods for identification and classification of epidemic strains. We also detail new antibiotics, clinical trials, and alternative approaches reported in the literature in the last 5 years to tackle B. cenocepacia resistance issue. All together these findings point out the urgent need of new and alternative therapies to improve CF patients' life expectancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1592
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberAUG
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Italian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (FFC#19/2015 to GR, adopted by Gruppo di Sostegno FFC di Como Dongo, Delegazione FFC di Olbia Tempio, Delegazione FFC di Reggio Calabria), by a grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Christmas Campaign “In ricordo di Antonio Fiorillo.” The funders had no role in preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Scoffone, Chiarelli, Trespidi, Mentasti, Riccardi and Buroni.


  • Antibiotics
  • Burkholderia cenocepacia
  • Epidemiology
  • New therapies
  • Resistance


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