Cystic fibrosis is a genetic inherited disease


Genes are part of our DNA, the unique material inside all our cells that is the molecular code for everything in our body. They are a set of instructions that determine characteristics such as eye colour and hair colour.1

Genes also contain the instructions for making proteins, which are the building blocks for everything in the body and are needed to keep our bodies functioning properly. Everyone has two copies of each gene, one from each parent.1

Sometimes, a gene might have a change in it that causes it to behave differently to a normal gene; this change is called a mutation.1



Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease inherited from your parents


CF is a disease you are born with. It is a genetic disease meaning it is inherited from your parents.2

  • There is a gene that determines whether you have CF or not, it is called the CFTR* gene. Everybody inherits two copies of the CFTR gene.
  • If one of the CFTR genes you inherit has a mutation (change) that causes CF, you are a “carrier” but do not have the condition.
  • If both of the CFTR genes you inherit have a mutation that causes CF, you are born with CF.

On this website you will find lots of information about CF, the underlying cause of the condition and its symptoms.


*CFTR = Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator

    1. Orenstein DM. Cystic Fibrosis: A Guide for Patient and Family. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.

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