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Cystic fibrosis: Infection prevention & control recommendations for universities, colleges and institutes of further and higher education – A practical guide

  • Beverley C. Millar
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD, UK.
    Affiliations
    Laboratory for Disinfection and Pathogen Elimination Studies, Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD, UK

    School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, UK

    School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK
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  • Margaret McCafferty
    Affiliations
    Northern Ireland Regional Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Level 8, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AB, UK
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  • Ciara McCann
    Affiliations
    Northern Ireland Regional Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Level 8, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AB, UK
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  • Damian O'Neill
    Affiliations
    Northern Ireland Regional Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Level 8, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AB, UK
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  • Jacqueline C. Rendall
    Affiliations
    Northern Ireland Regional Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre, Level 8, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AB, UK
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  • John E. Moore
    Affiliations
    Laboratory for Disinfection and Pathogen Elimination Studies, Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD, UK

    School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, Queen's University, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland, UK

    School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland, UK
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Published:January 12, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idh.2022.12.002

      Highlights

      • Source, transmission, cross infection, hazards, risks within higher education.
      • Recommendations to protect people with cystic fibrosis at university/college.
      • Importance of risk assessment and good communication.
      • Guidance for students, educators, health/wellbeing and healthcare teams.
      • Glossary of clinical, microbiological and educational/pedagogical terms.

      Abstract

      Background

      The avoidance of cross-infection remains of critical importance to prevent the transmission of cystic fibrosis (CF)-related microbial pathogens to persons/people with cystic fibrosis (PwCF). To date, there has been a paucity of infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance relating to infection risk at higher educational institutions. With improvements in treatments, more PwCF are now attending universities/colleges and educational institutions now seek CF-specific guidance on IPC from clinical CF teams/centres.

      Methods

      Real world infection-related questions from university students, educators, university support staff and the CF multidisciplinary team were received and collated from various stakeholders, including individual consultations and focus group sessions with two local universities. Subsequently, evidence-based recommendations were compiled from existing peer-reviewed literature and from cystic fibrosis organisations. Glossaries were constructed relating to clinical, microbiological and educational/pedagogical terminology to aid with the understanding amongst these stakeholder groups.

      Results

      This review addresses CF-related IPC recommendations across five areas of university/college life, including (i) on campus estate, (ii) teaching (lectures/tutorials/small study group work/group assignments), (iii) laboratory practicals, (iv) field trips/study visits/work placements and (v) residential accommodation and lists practical recommendations to help prevent the transmission of infections to PwCF students.

      Conclusions

      It is important that the educational institutional environment is safe permitting the PwCF student to enjoy their educational experience and journey through higher education, culminating in achievement of their educational goals, employment and independent living. The guidance presented in this review is intended to equip educational establishments in creating their own bespoke and robust IPC policies relating to PwCF students.

      Keywords

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