Although there is now compelling evidence for cross-infection by strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa at some specialist (cystic fibrosis [CF]) centers, the clinical impact of infection by transmissible strains is unclear.
In an 8-year prospective study, we compared the clinical outcome of two groups of patients with CF infected by transmissible (n = 28) and sporadic strains (n = 52) of P aeruginosa.
There were no differences between the two groups in survival, annual changes in spirometry, or BMI. There were differences in requirements for IV antibiotic treatment (mean [SD]: 29.3 [21.9] days vs 53.1 [32.5] days) and hospitalization (median [range]: 11.6 [1.1, 49.3] days vs 23.3 [5.5, 103.6] days) between patients infected with sporadic and transmissible strains of P aeruginosa, respectively.
We conclude that infection by transmissible P aeruginosa does not increase mortality but is associated with increased health-care and antibiotic use for patients with CF.