Epidemic Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) plays an important role in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. A novel strain, the ‘Prairie Epidemic Strain’ (PES), has been identified in up to 30% of patients in Prairie-based Canadian CF centres.Objective
To determine the incidence, prevalence and long-term clinical impact of PES infection.Methods
A cohort of adults with CF was followed from 1980 to 2014 where bacteria isolated from clinical encounters were prospectively collected. Strain typing was performed using pulse-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. Patients were divided into one of four cohorts: no PA, transient PA, chronic PA with unique strains and chronic PES. Proportional Cox hazard and linear mixed models were used to assess for CF-associated respiratory death or transplantation, and rates of %FEV1 and body mass index (BMI) decline.Results
274 patients (51.7% male) were analysed: 44––no PA, 29––transient PA, 137––unique PA, 64––PES. A total of 92 patients (33.6%) died or underwent lung transplantation (2423.0 patient-years). PES infection was associated with greater risk of respiratory death or lung transplant compared with the no PA group (aHR, 3.94 (95% CI 1.18 to 13.1); p=0.03) and unique PA group (aHR, 1.75 (95% CI 1.05 to 2.92) p=0.03). Rate of lung function decline (%FEV1 predicted) was greatest in the PES group (1.73%/year (95% CI 1.63% to 1.82%); p<0.001). BMI improved over time but at an attenuated rate in the PES group (p=0.001).Conclusions
Infection with PES was associated with increased patient morbidity through three decades and manifested in an increased risk of respiratory death and/or lung transplantation.