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Cross infection could be an issue at cystic fibrosis centres

Cross infection could be an issue at cystic fibrosis centres

A new study has found that there appears to be a fairly high level of cross infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa between patients attending cystic fibrosis treatment centres.

The Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection has many variations or ‘strains’. The research team found that patients attending the same centres were often infected by the same strain.

This shared strain strongly suggests cross infection between patients attending the centres. The study also identified where patients had visited other centres and found that the strains could be spread over long distances by this patient movement.

This study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, looked at 18 CF centres in Australia. They found that amongst 983 of the patients, there were 531 different strains of P. aeruginosa. However, 610 of the patients shared just 38 of the strains, which suggests cross infection between the patients.

The authors suggest that to reduce the problem greater separation of patients, monitoring of potential strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and improved ventilation are needed. They found that one of the centres actively checked for shared strains and that centre had the greatest variety of strains.

In a 2012 study published in the European Respiratory Journal, results showed that 40% of infections in Australian CF patients were caused by the same two strains of P. aeruginosa.

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