Queen's University Belfast is a lead partner in a new 6 million (euro) global research programme to develop new ways to treat Cystic Fibrosis.
Affecting more than 10,000 people in the UK, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common life-threatening inherited diseases. Symptoms include repeated chest infections, the major cause of death for patients.
The new global programme, known as CF Matters, aims to develop personalised antibiotic treatments for these chest infections. The work could revolutionise the practice of antibiotic prescription and limit resistance to the drugs globally.
The study brings together renowned CF clinicians and scientists from 12 academic institutions and hospitals across Europe and the USA. It is led by University College Cork with Queen's as a lead partner. It will involve lab-based research and clinical trials with 252 patients in seven countries, including around 40 in Northern Ireland.
Queen's lead on the study is Professor Stuart Elborn, Director of Queen's Centre for Infection and Immunity. An internationally recognised CF expert, he led the original trial for a drug which has now been approved for use by CF patients with the G551D gene mutation or 'Celtic Gene'. The drug Ivacaftor, also known as Kalydeco, treats the root cause of CF for people with the Gene.
Professor Elborn said: "When patients have a flare-up they are treated with several antibiotics but it isn't always effective and can lead to antibiotic resistance. In this study we will use molecular next generation DNA sequencing methods to detect all the bacteria present in the sputum of CF patients and use this knowledge to determine what antibiotics should be used in individual patients.
"This personalised antibiotic treatment will be compared with standard therapy for CF patients. We will determine the patient's immune response to all the different bacteria present in the sputum. Using models of infection we will al
|Contact: Anne-Marie Clarke|
Queen's University Belfast