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Differences Seen in Lung Microbes of Cystic Fibrosis Patients, Stanford University Study


10/1/2012 7:34:16 AM

Healthy people's lungs are home to a diverse community of microbes that differs markedly from the bacteria found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. That's the result of new research from Stanford University and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, which has wide implications for treatment of cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases. "The lung is not a sterile organ," said David Cornfield, MD, an author of the new study, which will be published Sept. 26 in Science Translational Medicine. Although decades of received scientific wisdom said healthy lungs lacked resident microbes, scientists had begun questioning that notion. "This research confirmed a long-held suspicion that a forest of microbes exists in both healthy and diseased lungs," said Cornfield, a pulmonologist at Packard Children's and a professor of pediatrics in pulmonary medicine at the School of Medicine. "More surprising, our data presents a suggestion that the lung flora provides microbial homeostasis that might function to preserve health."

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