Cystic fibrosis and antibiotic hypersensitivity: Present knowledge and practical approach

D. Caimmi, R. Chiron, F. Tremblay, S. Caimmi, A. Ricci, A. Licari, Gl Marseglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common fatal genetic diseases (1 in 2500 births). The defect causing the disease is localized on the 7q31 gene, which codifies for the CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator) transmembrane protein. CFTR is a chloride channel localized on the epithelial cells of the mucosa of the respiratory tract, pancreatic ducts, biliary tree, intestine, vas deferens, and sweat glands. More than 2000 different mutations are currently known; some are prominent or relatively frequent, ranging from one population to another. The most frequent complications of cystic fibrosis are those affecting the bronchial tree. Patients suffer from recurrent lung infections, which involve a progressive loss of lung function. The pulmonary infections are frequent or chronic and limit the quality of life of patients. In addition to being enormously exposed to antibiotics, they have many more opportunities to develop hypersensitivity reactions to these molecules. Only a complete allergy work-up with a detailed analysis of the clinical history, skin tests and provocation test can show if the patient has actually experienced an allergic hypersensitivity reaction. Desensitization is to be considered as a treatment that may help patients benefit from antibiotic treatment in those cases in which they have a proven allergy to a certain molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Allergy work-up
  • Antibiotics
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Desensitization
  • Drug allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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