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Scientists Identify Two Unexpected Sweat Biomarkers for Cystic Fibrosis Diagnosis

04:05 EDT 31 Jul 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

The sweat chloride test was introduced nearly 60 years ago and still represents the gold standard for diagnosing cystic fibrosis (CF) in infants who have tested positive in screening programs. Elevated levels of chloride in sweat (≥60 mM) are considered confirmatory for CF, but the sweat test can be somewhat ambiguous when chloride levels are intermediate (30-59 mM), and this can complicate clinical decision making. A positive sweat chloride result also isn’t predictive of how severely cystic fibrosis might develop in any one individual with a specific mutation in the causative cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Scientists at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada have now identified two new biological markers of CF that could help to improve diagnosis and and provide new insights into mechanisms of the disease. Both of the markers found in the sweat of infant CF patients are exogenous compounds, which means that ...

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