Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Asthmatics naturally deficient in antiviral immunity

06.04.2005


Asthmatics produce lower levels of a type of immune cell protein needed to fight off infection from colds and other viruses, scientists have discovered.



The finding reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, helps to explain why asthmatics are more susceptible to respiratory virus infections -- the cause of the vast majority of acute asthma attacks in both adults and children.

The researchers, from Imperial College London and University of Southampton, found that asthmatics produce lower levels of interferon beta than healthy people.


Professor Sebastian Johnston, from Imperial College London, and St Mary’s Hospital, and one of the report authors, comments: "The discovery that asthmatics produce lower levels of interferons when they encounter respiratory viruses could help in the development of new treatments for asthma attacks. By giving interferons to asthma sufferers it may be possible to prevent or treat the asthma attacks, stopping sufferers from becoming hospitalised through illness."

Professor Stephen Holgate, from the University of Southampton and one of the report authors adds: "We are all very excited about this discovery because it identifies a new way of treating and preventing bad attacks of asthma associated with the common cold.’"

The team examined the interferon responses of cells taken from the lungs of healthy and asthmatic volunteers, measuring how effectively a cold virus (Rhinovirus) was able to replicate in them. Rhinoviruses are the major trigger of acute asthma exacerbations and asthma sufferers are more susceptible to them.

They found that the replication levels of rhinovirus-infected cells was increased 50-fold in the asthmatic group compared with the healthy control group, who were almost completely protected from infection of their lung cells. The asthmatic cells displayed very deficient interferon responses, and the researchers found that replacing the interferon protected these cells from infection, making them behave like normal cells again.

The team now believe this discovery could lead to a potential new treatment for asthma attacks by using a device similar to an asthma inhaler to top up the levels of interferons in the lungs.

Tony Stephenson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>