Clinical trial to prevent and treat chronic wet cough in children

Clinical trial to prevent and treat chronic wet cough in children

A clinical trial to investigate the treatable traits of chronic wet cough in children that could lead to prevention of chronic lung disease has received $2.6 million from the Medical Research Future Fund Clinical Trials Activity grant.

A research team led by the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI)’s Professor Anne Chang AM will conduct a multi-centre randomised controlled trial to investigate whether nine months’ treatment with azithromycin (an antibiotic for bronchiectasis and pneumonia) reduces recurrent, protracted bacterial bronchitis and future bronchiectasis.

“A chronic wet cough in children is associated with bronchiectasis, recurrent doctor visits and impaired quality-of-life,” said Professor Chang.

Leap cough

“Bronchiectasis is a condition that affects the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs. They become thickened, inflamed and lined with sticky mucus.

“Sufferers have flare-ups which are distressing with coughing and shortness of breath that cause school and work absences.

“Early accurate diagnosis and treatment could lead to decreased cost and much improved quality of life.”

Professor Chang said the primary aim was to see if nine months’ treatment with azithromycin in children with ‘high-risk traits’ reduced the risk of future recurrent, protracted bacterial bronchitis.

“A further aim is to determine if this 9-month treatment could improve lung function, time-to-next-exacerbation, recurrence rate and reduce time off school or work.

The “Preventing bronchiectasis in children: A multicentre randomised controlled trial and cohort study” is funded by a $2,621,218 MRFF Clinical Trials grant.

The investigators on the project are:

  • Professor Anne Chang AM, Professor Steven McPhail, Associate Professor Julie Marchant, Dr Stephanie Yerkovich, Dr Vikas Goyal, Dr Hannah O’Farrell (QUT)
  • Professor Keith Grimwood, Dr Nicholas West (Griffith University);
  • Professor Shyamali Dharmage, Dr Danielle Wurzel (University of Melbourne);
  • Associate Professor Robyn Marsh, Dr Gabrielle McCallum, Professor Peter Morris (Menzies School of Health Research);
  • Professor Hiran Selvahurai (Children’s Hospital at Westmead);
  • Professor Mike Taylor (University of Auckland);
  • Dr Katherine Baines (The University of Newcastle).

Read the QUT news story.

Media contacts
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation: Sian Conway Lamb, 07 3138 6087,

QUT: Niki Widdowson, 07 3138 2999 or

QUT: After hours: 0407 585 901 or

IMAGE (top)
From left: Professor Stephanie Yerkovich, Professor Anne Chang AM, Dr Hannah O’Farrell, Associate Professor Julie Marchant.