The immune system possesses a type of cell that can be activated by tissues within the body to remind the immune system not to attack our own molecules, cells and organs, UCSF researchers have discovered. The discovery is likely to lead to new strategies for fighting a range of autoimmune diseases - in which the immune system attacks and harms specific molecules and cells within us - as well as for preventing transplant rejection, according to UCSF researchers who report their findings in the online edition of the journal Nature. The cells tracked by the UCSF researchers circulate in the blood and are counterparts of the memory cells that help ward off microbial foes following vaccination or repeated exposure to the same pathogen. UCSF immunologist and chair of the Department of Pathology Abul Abbas, MBBS;
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin have found a possible link between norovirus, a virus that causes "stomach flu " in humans, and food allergies. The findings are published in The Open Immunology Journal, Volume 4, 2011. Mitchell H. Grayson, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, medicine, microbiology and molecular genetics at the Medical College, and a pediatric allergist practicing at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, is the corresponding author of the paper. The researchers took mice infected with norovirus and fed them egg protein. They then examined the mice for signs of an immunoglobulin E, or IgE, response against the food protein; an IgE response is what leads to an allergic reaction. The team of researchers has previously shown an IgE response to an inhaled protein during a respiratory infection in another a mouse model, which suggests early respiratory infections in children could lead to allergic diseases like asthma later in childhood.
Home fragrances, usually in the form of air fresheners and scented candles can trigger allergy symptoms or exacerbate existing allergies and cause more severe asthma attacks, according to a study presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), Boston, USA. ACAAI president-elect, Stanley Fineman, MD, said that while the sales of scented candles and air fresheners for the home have been rising, so has the respiratory problem rate in homes where these products are used. Dr. Fineman said: "This is a much bigger problem than people realize. About 20 percent of the population and 34 percent of people with asthma report health problems from air fresheners. We know air freshener fragrances can trigger allergy symptoms, aggravate existing allergies and worsen asthma.
Cholesterol-lowering Drugs May Worsen Asthma Cholesterol-lowering medications may help millions fight heart disease, but this class of drugs may worsen asthma control, according to a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting in Boston, Nov. 3-8. In the preliminary study researchers compared 20 patients with asthma taking prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication or statins, to 20 patients with asthma who did not take the drugs. The researchers found the patients taking statins had more airway inflammatory obstruction at three, six and 12 months compared to those not on statins. "The research showed patients taking statins more frequently used their rescue medication, had increased nighttime awakenings and had increased asthma symptoms throughout the day, " said allergist Safa Nsouli, MD ACAAI member and director of Danville Asthma and Allergy Clinic, Calif.
Asthma-Related Hospital Readmissions 50 Percent Greater in Single-Parent Households Financial strain and competing priorities at home may contribute to greater number of hospital readmissions of children with asthma from single-parent homes compared to dual-parent households, according to a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting in Boston, Nov. 3-8. The study, performed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center showed that children in single-parent homes were 50 percent more likely to return to the hospital within 12 months for asthma or wheezing compared to children in households with two parents. Single-parent status, annual household income less than $60, 000 and time constraints within the home were linked to this increased rate of readmission.