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Duration of initial antibiotic course is associated with recurrent relapse in protracted bacterial bronchitis


Protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) is the leading cause of chronic wet cough in young children from developed countries. Despite its high prevalence there is a paucity of evidence to inform the optimal duration of treatment leading to variation in practice. Relapse of chronic cough is common and recurrent PBB (>3 episodes in 12 months) is associated with a future diagnosis of bronchiectasis. We investigated the factors associated with any relapse (≥1 episode in 12 months) and recurrent PBB in 66 children. No factor was significantly associated with any relapse. Duration of initial antibiotic treatment was the only factor significantly associated with recurrent PBB. Those who received antibiotics for 6 weeks antibiotics were less likely to develop recurrent PBB than those who received for 2 weeks (p=0.046). This is the first study to show an association between duration of initial antibiotic course and therefore future bronchiectasis. Prospective studies are needed to investigate this association.

  • bacterial infection
  • bronchiectasis
  • cough
  • paediatric lung disease
  • respiratory infection

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