Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by a defect in the CF
transmembrane conductance regulator gene that affects the transport
of ions and water across the epithelium. This leads to progressive
pulmonary disease associated with pulmonary infections, which are
the major cause of morbidity and mortality in CF patients. The
major pathogens are S. aureus, H. influenzae
(usually non-encapsulated in CF patients), S. pneumoniae,
Burkholderia and pseudomonads, particularly mucoid P.
aeruginosa strains. Strains of P. aeruginosa with
differing antibiotic susceptibilities may be isolated from a single
Collection container (including preservatives):
Collect specimens in appropriate CE marked leak proof containers
and transport specimens in sealed plastic bags.
Cough Swabs (Paediatric CF)
Specimen type: Respiratory specimens; Sputum
and Cough Swabs (Paediatric use only)
Collection: Use aseptic technique.
Specimen transport: Specimens should be
transported and processed as soon as possible. Paediatric postal
samples should be submitted using the kit provided by the
Minimum volume of sample: 5mL
Special precautions: Some complex
identification can take several weeks to confirm identity.
If processing is delayed, refrigeration is preferable to storage
at ambient temperature. Delays of over 48hr are undesirable.
Measurement units: Not applicable
Biological reference units: Not applicable
Turnaround time: Negative results available at
48 hours and positives generally within 5 days.
Clinical decision points: Not applicable
Factors known to significantly affect the
results: Specimens should be transported and processed as
soon as possible. The recovery rate of Haemophilus sp. is
reduced the longer the time taken to transport the specimen.