October 11, 2013

Cultured Pseudomonas

Well, the first time Az cultured pseudomonas was back in 2010. At his last CF clinic, they did their usual sputum culture, and on Wednesday the nurse called to tell me that he cultured pseudomonas again. Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (or PA), can be a very aggressive bacteria in CF. It can cause further lung damage and can be difficult to eradicate. PA is one of the reasons for boiling the nebulizer cups, as it can survive normal washing. They said he has 3 colonies of it right now. Apparently, we can think of the colonies of pseudomonas like little apartments of bacteria, each one living in a different complex. How they can figure that out from a sputum culture, I have no idea. What I do know about PA, is that it can form a bio-film to protect itself against antibiotics. The good news is, they have found his PA isn't resistant against any antibiotics at this time, so that is really good news!

The normal treatment for pseudomonas is inhaled Tobramycin, or Tobi, which is an antibiotic which is inhaled. This is inhaled though the nebulizer and usually takes about 45 minutes. What a drag, right? Well, the good news in all this is that he will be able to take his inhaled Tobi with the Tobi Podhaler, which only takes about 6 minutes to inhale the powdered antibiotic. The last time Azer did Tobi, he experienced ear ringing so bad it frightened him. With this method of taking it, it decreases the risk of ear damage.

On top of the Tobi, he is going to have to do Cipro, another antibiotic on top of the one he is already taking for the Staph in his sinuses. He has already been spending a lot of time in the bathroom because of the antibiotics, so needless to say, this isn't going to help that situation much. However, the PA has to be treated aggressively. I hope we can control or eradicate it as quickly as we did last time.

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