Impact of Burkholderia infection on lung transplantation in cystic fibrosis

Susan Murray, Jeffery Charbeneau, Bruce C. Marshall, John J. LiPuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Rationale: Lung transplantation offers the only survival option for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) with end-stage pulmonary disease. Infection with Burkholderia species is typically considered a contraindication to transplantation in CF. However, the risks posed by different Burkholderia species on transplantation outcomes are poorly defined. Objectives: To quantify the risks of infection with Burkholderia species on survival before and after lung transplantation in patients with CF. Methods: Multivariate Cox survival models assessed hazard ratios of infection with Burkholderia species in 1,026 lung transplant candidates and 528 lung transplant recipients. Lung allocation scores, incorporating Burkholderia infection status, were calculated for transplant candidates. Measurements and Main Results: Transplant candidates infected with different Burkholderia species did not have statistically different mortality rates. Among transplant recipients infected with B. cenocepacia, only those infected with nonepidemic strains had significantly greater post-transplant mortality compared with uninfected patients (hazard ratio [HR], 2.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-6.12; P = 0.04). Hazards were similar between uninfected transplant recipients and those infected with B. multivorans (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.27-1.56; P = 0.34). Transplant recipients infected with B. gladioli had significantly greater post-transplant mortality than uninfected patients (HR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.05-4.74; P = 0.04). Once hazards for species/strain were included, lung allocation scores of B. multivorans-infected transplant candidates were comparable to uninfected candidate scores, whereas those of candidates infected with nonepidemic B. cenocepacia or B. gladioli were lower. Conclusions: Post-transplant mortality among patients with CF infected with Burkholderia varies by infecting species. This variability should be taken into account in evaluating lung transplantation candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Burkholderia
  • Infection
  • Lung allocation
  • Transplant benefit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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