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Respir Med. 1998 Feb;92(2):178-83.

Transmission and prevalence of Burkholderia cepacia in Welsh cystic fibrosis patients.

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Department of Child Health, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, U.K.


From 1987 to 1994, 16 of 162 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients attending CF clinics at three different hospitals in South Wales, U.K. were found to have respiratory secretions colonized with Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia). Bacteriological typing by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) ribotyping demonstrated seven strains of B. cepacia among these 16 CF patients. This typing confirmed that cross-infection was the mechanism of colonization in six of the nine patients who were colonized at the paediatric CF clinic at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, and in three of the six patients who were colonized at the adult CF clinic at Llandough Hospital in Cardiff (cross-infection rate nine of 16 patients or 56%). A search was made for a nosocomial source, with screening of wards and clinics. Swabs from fomites produced four positive cultures for B. cepacia. Two isolates had the same PCR ribotype as that of the previous CF room occupant. To establish prevalence of B. cepacia among CF children living throughout Wales, respiratory secretions were cultured from 151 of 186 CF children (age < 16 years). This failed to demonstrate B. cepacia colonization other than in the CF patients already identified.

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