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Pseudomonas in sputum on child with CF

My nephew who is 1 years old has been diagnosed twice with having pseudomonas in his sputum and has been put on medication to help with the infection. His parents have 2 cats and a few fish in a small tank in their home. My brother and sister in law are very good about keeping the house clean and disinfecting everything. Is there something they can do to help prevent my nephew from getting this infection?
Dear questionner

Thank you for your question regarding your nephew. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium commonly seen in people with Cystic Fibrosis as it has a particular affinity for the CF lung. It is unfortunate that your nephew has isolated this at such a young age and his CF team and his parents will be trying hard to eradicate this.
Pseudomonas is found widely throughout the environment, especially in soil and ground water. It will be found anywhere that is moist and warm, bathroom sinks were a particularly prevalent source for pseudomonas in one study(1). It can also be found in medical equipment so it is important that any nebuliser/physiotherapy equipment is washed, sterilised and dried appropriately.
Pseudomonas has been known to infect animals as well as humans. Cats can get pseudomonas respiratory tract infections and can become chronically colonised. Hypothetically transmission between an infected animal and an “at risk” person could occur. There is case report of a CF patient transmitting pseudomonas to his cat. (2) A recent report in the Journal of Fish Diseases found increased drug resistance in commensal and pathogenic organisms, including pseudomonas, in fish in Ornamental Aquariums. Certainly people with CF should avoid cleaning out fish tanks and antibiotic tablets should only be used in fish tanks on the advice of a vet. There is also an Ecorn answer that discusses aquariums in more detail.

Cross infection between CF patients is well known and it is important that close contact with other CF patients is avoided.
The CF Trust has excellent guidelines about the environment as a source for pseudomonas.
I hope you have found this information helpful.

Dr Laura Jenkins
CF Paediatric Associate Specialist Doctor

1. Pseudomonas aeurginosa in the home environment of newly infected cystic fibrosis patients
P.Schelstraete, S. Van daele, K De Boeck, M. Proesmans, P. Lebecque, J. Leclercq-Foucart, A. Malfroot, M. Vaneechoutte and F. De Baets
Eur. Resp. J, April 1 2008. Vol 31 (4) 822-829

2. Transmission of Pseudomonas aeurginosa epidemic strain from a patient with cystic fibrosis to a pet cat
Thorax, Sept 2008 63:9 839-840

The answer is edited by: Laura Jenkins