Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research shows common airborne fungi cause chronic stuffy nose

11.10.2004


A team led by Mayo Clinic researchers has determined that over-reactive immune responses to airborne fungi could cause the stuffy noses and airway inflammation among sufferers of chronic rhinosinusitis. These findings could one day lead to a new, longer-lasting treatment.

"It’s time to recognize there is a greater sensitivity to airborne fungi in some patients, and therefore we need to remove or reduce the fungal exposure," says lead investigator Hirohito Kita, M.D.

In last Fridays electronic edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Mayo Clinic researchers and a colleague from the University of Utah conclude that certain species of airborne fungus produce spores and by-products, that when inhaled, prompt irregular and damaging immune responses. The responses, in turn, produce the congestion and inflammation. Chronic rhinosinusitis costs society about $5.6 billion a year. And that doesn’t include an estimated $70 million in annual lost work days, as well as a diminished quality of life.



Implications of Research

"The fungi we’re talking about are very common," Dr. Kita. "They are airborne fungi found anywhere in the United States. Now that we know the role of the fungi, we can work toward reducing the potential role of the fungi through such treatments as nasal irrigations (flushing with water) that clear the fungi, or prescription of antifungal medicines taken by mouth."

Preliminary results show that the irrigation treatment relieves symptoms. Larger, multicenter studies are needed before this treatment can move into general use. But the results are encouraging because they support the idea that reducing fungal exposure in sensitive individuals could offer a new treatment option to sufferers worldwide.

Background

Chronic rhinosinusitis is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the United States. Its symptoms include persistent stuffy nose, thick mucus production and loss of smell. Though chronic rhinosinusitis causes significant discomfort and health problems, it is not well understood. Viruses, bacteria and allergic reactions all have been researched and debated as potential mechanisms driving the responses. The immune system mounts different kinds of responses for different invaders -- a bacterium gets attacked by a different cell or system than an allergy-prompting particle, for example. That’s why it’s critical to identify the key mechanisms in the immune response to chronic rhinosinusitis, allowing researchers to design treatments to relieve the distressing symptoms.

The Mayo Clinic work is the first to provide data for the role of airborne fungi in chronic rhinosinusitis and to show that several immune system branches appear to collaborate in response to the fungi -- resulting in an abnormally enhanced response that causes troublesome inflammation and congestion. The research team’s data show that specific cells in 90 percent of chronic rhinosinusitis patients produce an enhanced immune-system response to one fungus in particular, Alternaria. Another kind of common fungus, Cladosporium, also provoked an abnormally enhanced immune response.

Mayo Clinic scientists previously used antifungal therapies to treat patients with chronic sinusitis, which marked a new clinical approach. These new findings serve to further support this perspective and will prompt additional research.

The Investigation

Researchers tested blood from 18 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and 15 healthy persons to evaluate how specific immune system cells responded to common airborne fungi. The immune systems of those with chronic rhinosinusitis reacted more robustly than those of healthy individuals. In fact, when exposed to Alternaria, one branch of the immune system’s response was five times greater in the chronic rhinosinusitis patients than in the healthy volunteers.

The research team investigated the body’s responses to this fungal exposure by measuring components within the two branches of the adaptive immune system. The adaptive immune system takes several days to mount a response to foreign invaders. The two branches of the adaptive immune system are: 1) a cell-directed branch that involves special cells known as T lymphocytes and 2) the humoral branch, which works primarily through cells known as B lymphocytes.

Bob Nellis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu
http://www2.us.elsevierhealth.com/scripts/om.dll/serve?action=searchDB&searchDBfor=home&id=ai

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Matabele ants: Travelling faster with detours

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>