Cystic fibrosis pathogens survive for extended periods within cough-generated droplet nuclei

Michelle E Wood, Rebecca E Stockwell, Graham R Johnson, Kay A Ramsay, Laura J Sherrard, Timothy J Kidd, Joyce Cheney, Emma L Ballard, Peter O'Rourke, Nassib Jabbour, Claire E Wainwright, Luke D Knibbs, Peter D Sly, Lidia Morawska, Scott C Bell

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Abstract

The airborne route is a potential pathway in the person-to-person transmission of bacterial strains among cystic fibrosis (CF) populations. In this cross-sectional study, we investigate the physical properties and survival of common non-Pseudomonas aeruginosa CF pathogens generated during coughing. We conclude that Gram-negative bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus are aerosolised during coughing, can travel up to 4 m and remain viable within droplet nuclei for up to 45 min. These results suggest that airborne person-to-person transmission is plausible for the CF pathogens we measured.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThorax
Early online date07 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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    Wood, M. E., Stockwell, R. E., Johnson, G. R., Ramsay, K. A., Sherrard, L. J., Kidd, T. J., Cheney, J., Ballard, E. L., O'Rourke, P., Jabbour, N., Wainwright, C. E., Knibbs, L. D., Sly, P. D., Morawska, L., & Bell, S. C. (2018). Cystic fibrosis pathogens survive for extended periods within cough-generated droplet nuclei. Thorax. https://doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2018-211567