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Infection spreading in cystic fibrosis patients

3rd April 2013

Cambridge researchers have warned that a serious infection is being spread between cystic fibrosis patients.

Bacteria

The Mycobacterium abscessus bacteria was previously believed to only spread via water and soil, but researchers said they now know it can spread from person to person.

Dr Andres Floto, research director of the Cystic Fibrosis Unit at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge and principal investigator at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, wrote in the Lancet that they did not yet understand why the bug had more likelihood of infecting people with cystic fibrosis.

In Europe and the United States, it is thought around 3-10% of cystic fibrosis patients are infected with the bacterium, which leads to lung damage.

Dr Floto said: "...we believe it gets aerosolised, for example, when people cough and because this bacteria is tough it hangs around in the air." 

 

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