Achromobacter respiratory infections

Colin E. Swenson, Ruxana T. Sadikot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Achromobacteria are ubiquitous environmental organisms that may also become opportunistic pathogens in certain conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, hematologic and solid organ malignancies, renal failure, and certain immune deficiencies. Some members of this genus, such as xylosoxidans, cause primarily nosocomially acquired infections affecting multiple organ systems, including the respiratory tract, urinary tract, and, less commonly, the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Despite an increasing number of published case reports and literature reviews suggesting a global increase in achromobacterial disease, most clinicians remain uncertain of the organism's significance when clinically isolated. Moreover, effective treatment can be challenging due to the organism's inherent and acquired multidrug resistance patterns. We reviewed all published cases to date of non-cystic fibrosis achromobacterial lung infections to better understand the organism's pathogenic potential and drug susceptibilities. We found that the majority of these cases were community acquired, typically presenting as pneumonias (88%), and were most frequent in individuals with hematologic and solid organ malignancies. Our findings also suggest that achromobacterial lung infections are difficult to treat, but respond well to extended-spectrum penicillins and cephalosporins, such as ticarcillin, piperacillin, and cefoperazone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-258
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial drug resistance
  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Virulence factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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