This European Respiratory Society statement provides a comprehensive overview on protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) in children. A task force of experts, consisting of clinicians from Europe and Australia who manage children with PBB determined the overall scope of this statement through consensus. Systematic reviews addressing key questions were undertaken, diagrams in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement constructed and findings of relevant studies summarised. The final content of this statement was agreed upon by all members.
The current knowledge regarding PBB is presented, including the definition, microbiology data, known pathobiology, bronchoalveolar lavage findings and treatment strategies to manage these children. Evidence for the definition of PBB was sought specifically and presented. In addition, the task force identified several major clinical areas in PBB requiring further research, including collecting more prospective data to better identify the disease burden within the community, determining its natural history, a better understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms and how to optimise its treatment, with a particular requirement for randomised controlled trials to be conducted in primary care.