Background: Cross-infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been reported to occur at holiday camps for children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) with varying frequency. The study aimed to establish the degree of transmission resulting in subsequent infection of P. aeruginosa among CF children (n=80) attending holiday camps in The Netherlands.
Methods: The study was performed in the summer of 2001 in four camps organised simultaneously at different locations. Sputum was collected on day 1 of the holiday, and three and six months later. Different morphotypes of P. aeruginosa from sputum were genotyped by AFLP analysis. Criteria were defined for the degree of evidence of transmission.
Results: There were 18 cases possible, 2 cases of probable transmission and 1 case of highly probable transmission. Two predominant types of P. aeruginosa were found (types 18 and 23). Type 18 was already prevalent on day 1 mostly in younger children and was involved in eleven cases of transmission; type 23 was involved in six cases of transmission among older children.
Conclusions: There was a considerable risk of transmission of P. aeruginosa during holiday camps for CF children in The Netherlands. Two genotypes of P. aeruginosa appeared to be easily transmissible, one of which seemed common in the Dutch CF population.