A new study entitled “Microbiological diagnostic procedures for respiratory cystic fibrosis samples in Spain: towards standard of care practices” was published in BMC Microbiology by Juan de Dios Caballero and a group of researchers from Spain. In this study, the authors evaluated the compliance of microbiological procedures of the Spanish Hospitals with cystic fibrosis units with recent guidelines and suggested general recommendations for processing Cystic Fibrosis samples. The findings from the study could offer insights into CF care in other healthcare markets as well.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTR). The mutation in CFTR leads to the production of viscous secretions in respiratory airways that cannot be removed by the mucociliary system and patients become chronically colonized by different microorganisms (bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi) that can induce inflammation, progressive destruction of the lung and, ultimately, death by respiratory failure.
The authors analyzed microbiological protocols for cystic fibrosis (CF) samples from 17 Spanish centers and verified their compliance with current national and international guidelines as well as established standards of care for microbiology practices. Their analysis included a questionnaire with 47 items covering different CF microbiology aspects, which were either sent to enrolled laboratories or conducted in telephone interviews. They also collected results about processing of samples for bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi.
In this study, the research team found that the Spanish CF laboratories are usually in conformity with National, European and American consensus CF guidelines. Still, certain procedures have to be improved, such as creation of specific CF sections in the laboratories, inclusion of media specific for S. aureus and BCC and establishing typing methods for epidemiologic studies. These procedures will align the Spanish CF microbiology laboratories in accordance with recommended standards of care for Microbiology laboratories within the framework of European cystic fibrosis centers. Importantly, this will improve microbiological diagnosis and, subsequently, the treatment, management and quality of life of the cystic fibrosis patients.