For the past 30 years, researchers in Dr. David Speert’s laboratory at BC Children’s Hospital have been collecting and storing bacteria samples in the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Repository. Their research has led to the publication of over 100 scientific papers and to major changes in patient care.
Researchers have used the repository to carry out experiments that have contributed to national infection control guidelines and improvements that have advanced the detection of bacterial infections by region. Dr. Speert has also identified a number of factors in the lungs that create an environment favourable to the growth of bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia cepacia complex in CF patients.
Highlights of research discoveries from the Cystic Fibrosis Repository:
The impact of Dr. Speert’s work is evident in the increased median age of survival in Canadians with CF from age 22 in the 70s to over 40 years of age today. This research is very exciting considering most cystic fibrosis-related deaths are due to lung disease caused by chronic lung infections.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada invests significantly in research related to infection in cystic fibrosis. In 2011-2012, Cystic Fibrosis Canada invested more than $1.4 million on 22 projects investigating different microorganisms and aspects of infection. This research may lead to treatments that fight these organisms and help Canadians with cystic fibrosis live longer, healthier lives.
Cystic Fibrosis Canada has contributed over $1 million to Dr. Speert’s research and invests $20 thousand each year to support the CF Repository.
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