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Effective mircoorganisms (EM)

Dear expert team,

We would like to use effective microorganisms (EM) in our house (e.g. for cleaning).

We are wondering whether the bacteria contained in them constitute a risk for individuals with CF. Otherwise, the reports are generally positive.

We are looking forward to your answer.

Kind regards.

As a medical microbiologist, I am rather sceptical about using “effective microorganisms” in the household. As far as I could determine, the mixture of the bacteria is not known and not controlled, either. CF patients are particularly susceptible to bacteria that occur in the environment and are completely harmless for healthy people, and new germs are found constantly which are otherwise practically insignificant medically but colonize the patients’ lungs. It is not known whether these germs contribute to inflammations of the respiratory tracts and can possibly lead to deterioration in lung function. Equally, it is not known whether the germs contained in this mixture are resistant to antibiotics. Should these “effective microorganisms” possess resistance mechanisms against antibiotics, it is possible that these mechanisms are transmitted to other germs CF patients may have. Therefore I strongly recommend not using this unknown mixture of microorganisms for cleaning in a household with CF patients.

I hope my assessment is helpful for you.

Kind regards
Barbara Kahl