Dr KK Aggarwal
Patients with cystic fibrosis who take ivacaftor have fewer respiratory infections due to major pathogens compared to those not taking the drug, suggests a new study.
The retrospective cohort study analyzed data from the United Kingdom CF Registry 2011-2016 and compared patients (age 6 and older) who took ivacaftor with patients who did not take the drug, over a period of 3 years.
Early and sustained reduction in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections (32%) was seen with the use of ivacaftor, which was also associated with a 15% reduction in Staphylococcus aureus infections. A decline in Aspergillus infections was also noted. But, no decline in Burkholderia cepacia complex infections was seen.
For the first time the study showed that the decline in P. aeruginosa infections occurred due to the combination of increased clearance of the infection in those already infected and in reduced acquisition in those who did not have infection.
According to the researchers, their results mean that some patients taking ivacaftor reduce their need of antibiotics; they can take fewer antibiotics and still remain clinically stable.
Ivacaftor is a cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) potentiator and can restore CFTR function in people with a gating mutation such as G551D. Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. By restoring the gate’s function, ivacaftor improves lung function and quality of life.
The study is published online July 19, 2019 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.
(Source: American Thoracic Society)
Padma Shri Awardee
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