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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Cystic fibrosis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Mucoviscidosis
  • CF
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

We have been told that my newborn grandson has been classified as a carrier for cystic fibrosis.  I know that if both parents have the defective gene, the child has a 25 percent chance of actually getting CF, and a 50 percent chance of being a carrier.  My question is, can the child be a carrier if only one parent has the defective gene? 
Thank you.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Can the child be a carrier if only one parent has the defective gene? 

Yes. A child who has one parent with a defective (mutated) copy of the CFTR gene has a 50% (1 in 2) chance to also be a carrier. Each person has two copies of each gene and passes along one of those copies to his or her child. Therefore, a carrier of CF can pass either the normal or mutated copy of the gene to each child. If a child’s parent has CF, or two mutated copies of the gene, the child will definitely be a carrier for CF. Because CF is an autosomal recessive condition, carriers typically do not have any signs or symptoms of the condition.

Individuals with specific questions about the genetics of the CFTR gene in their family should speak with a genetics professional.
Last updated: 6/19/2012

How can I find a genetics professional in my area?

To find a medical professional who specializes in genetics, you can ask your doctor for a referral or you can search for one yourself. Online directories are provided by GeneTests, the American College of Medical Genetics, and the National Society of Genetic Counselors. If you need additional help, contact a GARD Information Specialist. You can also learn more about genetic consultations from Genetics Home Reference.
Last updated: 7/15/2016
Other Names for this Disease
  • Mucoviscidosis
  • CF
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.