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Arch Dis Child 98:72-76 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-302760
  • Reviews

Protracted bacterial bronchitis: reinventing an old disease

  1. Mark L Everard
  1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sheffield Children's Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Mark L Everard, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sheffield Children's Hospital, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK; m.l.everard{at}sheffield.ac.uk
  • Received 31 July 2012
  • Revised 5 October 2012
  • Accepted 24 October 2012
  • Published Online First 22 November 2012

Abstract

Chronic cough is common in the paediatric population, yet the true prevalence of this condition remains difficult to define. Protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) is a disease caused by the chronic infection of the conducting airways. In many children the condition appears to be secondary to impaired mucociliary clearance that creates a niche for bacteria to become established, probably in the form of biofilms. In others, immunodeficiencies, which may be subtle, appear to be a factor. PBB causes persistent coughing and disturbed sleep, and affects exercise tolerance, causing significant levels of morbidity. PBB has remained largely unrecognised and is often misdiagnosed as asthma.

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