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NDSU student is using cockroaches to develop new medical treatments

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A group at NDSU is using cockroaches to study Cystic Fibrosis

Sophomore lab assistant Bridget Eklund spends some of her free time surrounded by bugs, injecting cockroaches with catheters containing bacteria and antibiotics.

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The same bacteria that tends to attack people who have compromised immune systems, like Cystic Fibrosis patients.

She's using these cockroaches to figure out how opportunistic pathogens cause disease then trying to develop new treatments for susceptible patients and Bridget says although she was skeptical at first, it's all about making a difference.

Bridget Eklund/ Working with Cockroaches: "It's been interesting. It's definitely been a new experience working with the cockroaches. It just adds a whole new element with the live model."

Nathan Fisher/ Asst. Prof. Public Health, Infectious Disease: "Well there's always the initial gut reaction of dealing with insects and especially cockroaches, so it takes somebody to actually get into the lab and kind of see what it's like before they know if they can handle working with them on a daily basis "

Fisher says their research should take several years to complete.

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