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P. aeruginosa and horse riding

My eight years old little boy is willing to practice horse riding. But I read that some animals carry P. aeruginosa and that we had to be careful concerning the risks of transmission while riding. Could you please give me more precise information on the subject? Thank you.
First of all, it is good news that your little boy wants to practice sport: for people with cystic fibrosis, doing sport regularly indeed provides several benefits (respiratory, muscular, social and psychological). It is important to consider sport as part of day to day life, while always insisting on the entertaining aspect of it. Your son chose horse riding, and you have concerns about the infectious exposure associated with this activity.
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is an organism that is able to colonize the bronchi of patients with CF. It is mainly found in the environment, preferring hot and humid places: water, plants and humid soil. It is more unusual to see it carried by animals.
However, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa can be found in horses (see reference below), mainly in the genito-urinary tract, but also in the lungs, wounds, ears and nose. It is not known if those equine isolates are likely to transmit and cause infections in CF patients. Therefore, it is of major importance to take precautions to minimize exposure to such sites of open wounds, urine etc. This could be helped by e.g. Wearing gloves whilst "mucking out" stables and practicing meticulous good hygiene precautions, washing hands and alcohol disinfection, after touching animals and their environments.

Another point that has to be considered, is that horse riding seems to increase the risk of inhalation of a fungus: the Aspergillus which can cause allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis in patients with CF. This risk seems very low while riding outside and in the countryside. During horse care, one has to be more cautious concerning the possible inhalation of spores, and avoid brushing the horse in a closed box.
Adjustments are possible on a case by case basis, and have to be discussed with your CF team and the riding center.
Finally, we consider that there are no contraindications concerning horse riding, which, if practiced with good hygienic rules, will certainly provide lot of great moments to your child.
Dr Michèle Gérardin

Moore JE, Goldsmith CE, Millar BC, Rooney PJ, Buckley T, Dooley JS, Rendall J, Elborn JS. In The Veterinary Record, July 22, 2006: "Cystic fibrosis and the isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from