Genetic Modifiers of Lung Disease in CF

Genes are the materials that help determine the make-up of your body (passed between parent and child). Research has shown that, just as some genes control eye and hair colour, other genes (known as gene modifiers) control who among CF patients is more likely to get severe disease.  The same gene is not identical in everyone.  Small differences in genes exist which may cause some patients with CF to get sicker faster over time than others. The purpose of our study is to learn more about these genes. 

We would like to test how some genes affect the composition of saliva and sputum (mucus from the chest) in CF patients. We would also like to test how the saliva and sputum change when patients experience an exacerbation. Discovery of immune or defense molecules that are missing (or at decreased levels) in patients with more severe lung disease may one day lead to better treatments for these individuals.  

We would like to include 100 CF patients in our study. If any of these patients are hospitalized for an exacerbation, we will collect samples from them while they are in the hospital.