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Pulmonary infection sustained by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality of patients affected by Cystic Fibrosis (FC), the most common inherited disease among Caucasian. P. aeruginosa is a ubiquitous microorganism, widely diffuse in the natural and nosocomial environment; however the initial source of acquisition and the way of transmission of this pathogen among CF patients are not yet elucidated. The acquisition of P. aeruginosa by the environment and/or patients to patients transmission was speculated. Moreover in some countries (Australia, United Kingdom) some highly virulent and transmissible strains, called epidemic strains, have spread within the CF care Centres. Aim of the present study was to determine the presence of possible diffuse lineages and the cross-infection degree of P. aeruginosa among Italian CF patients. For this purpose we carried out a national survey, determining the genetic relationship, by molecular typing of a collection of 530 strains recovered from respiratory specimens of 335 patients colonised in follow-up at 8 Regional Reference CF Care Centres located in 3 geographic Italian areas.To investigate a possible environmental acquisition of P. aeruginosa, the genetic relationship between strains from FC, from natural environment, household and nosocomial sources. The molecular epidemiological survey was assessed using DNAfingerprinting methods (Box-PCR e Multi Locus Sequence Typing).
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