Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the principal respiratory pathogen in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, is ubiquitous in the environment. Initial P. aeruginosa isolates in CF patients are generally environmental in nature. However, little information regarding seasonality of P. aeruginosa acquisition is available. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the seasonality of initial P. aeruginosa acquisition in young children with CF in the USA using the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation National Patient Registry from 2003 to 2009. Additionally, we assessed whether seasonal acquisition varied by climate zone. A total of 4123 children met inclusion criteria and 45% (n = 1866) acquired P. aeruginosa during a mean 2.0 years (SD 0.2 years) of follow up. Compared with winter, increased P. aeruginosa acquisition was observed in summer (incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.22; 95% CI: 1.07-1.40) and autumn (IRR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.18-1.52), with lower acquisition observed in spring (IRR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.70-0.94). Seasonal variations in P. aeruginosa acquisition rates in the temperate and continental climate zones were similar to those in the overall cohort. In contrast, no significant seasonal effect was observed in the dry climate zone. In a corresponding analysis, no seasonal difference was observed in the rate of acquisition of Staphylococcus aureus, another common CF respiratory pathogen. These results provide preliminary support that climatic factors may be associated with initial P. aeruginosa acquisition in CF patients. Investigation and identification of specific risk factors, as well as awareness of seasonal variation, could potentially inform clinical recommendations including increased awareness of infection control and prevention strategies.
Keywords: Acquisition; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; climate; cystic fibrosis; seasonality.
© 2013 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.