Home pagePress monitoringA Benefit of Flu: Protection from Asthma?

A Benefit of Flu: Protection from Asthma?

Date: 16.12.2010 


In a paper that suggests a new strategy to prevent asthma, scientists at Children's Hospital Boston and their colleagues report that the influenza virus infection in young mice protected the mice as adults against the development of allergic asthma. The same protective effect was achieved by treating young mice with compound isolated from the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterium that colonizes the stomach and is best known for causing ulcers and increasing the risk of gastric cancers.

"Some infections appear to result in important protective effects against asthma," says Dale Umetsu, MD, PhD, of Children's Division of Immunology, a senior author of the paper, and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "But we certainly don't want to give people dangerous infections to prevent asthma. So if we can understand how infections prevent asthma, we may be able to replicate the good parts and avoid the bad parts of infection and develop new treatments for children to prevent asthma."

Original Paper:

Ya-Jen Chang, Hye Young Kim, Lee A. Albacker, Hyun Hee Lee, Nicole Baumgarth, Shizuo Akira, Paul B. Savage, Shin Endo, Takashi Yamamura, Janneke Maaskant, Naoki Kitano, Abel Singh, Apoorva Bhatt, Gurdyal S. Besra, Peter Van Den Elzen, Ben Appelmelk, Richard W. Franck, Guangwu Chen, Rosemarie H. Dekruyff, Michio Shimamura, Petr Illarionov and Dale T. Umetsu. Influenza infection in suckling mice expands an NKT cell subset that protects against airway hyperreactivity. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010 DOI: 10.1172/JCI44845







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