Introduction Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) is one of the most important pathogens in cystic fibrosis (CF). Although there is a wealth of data about the prevalence of chronic PA infection, there is a paucity of evidence about the incidence of new PA infection.
Methods The SPACE (Sensitivity and specificity of PA detection using the hydrogen Cyanide concentration of Exhaled breath) study investigated if exhaled breath hydrogen cyanide is an early marker of PA infection in children with CF. Breath samples, clinical data and microbiology samples were collected at each out-patient appointment from a large cohort of children with CF who had not isolated PA for >12 months. This abstract reports the PA acquisition data.
Results 233 children were followed for a median of 2.0 (1.7–2.3) years. The median (IQR) age was 8.0 (5.0–12.2) years. 71 children isolated PA during the study period. The incidence rate (95% CI) of new PA infections was 0.15 (0.10–0.22) cases per patient year for those that had never previously isolated PA and 0.19 (0.13–0.27) cases per patient year for those that had been free from PA for >12 months. This rate varied between 0.08 (0.04–0.18) and 0.28 (0.14–0.49) cases per patient year at the 8 recruiting centres. 42% of children were asymptomatic at the time of PA acquisition. The median (IQR) number of antibiotic courses per patient year varied between the centres: 0.6 (0.2–1.3) to 3.6 (3.1–4.2) for oral and 0.0 (0–0) to 0.4 (0–1.2) for intravenous.
Conclusions This is the first prospective study to report the incidence of new PA infection in a large cohort of children with CF, considered to be free of PA airway infection. Incidence rate was higher in children who had isolated PA previously. The variation between centres is not easily explained and needs further investigation.
Acknowledgments We would like to thank the Principal Investigators, research nurses and co-ordinators at each of the recruiting centres as well as the children and their families.
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