12:13pm Saturday 21 October 2017

Scientists discover protein that helps trigger allergic asthma

The findings, published in the journal Science, could help develop more targeted treatments in the future.

Allergic asthma is often marked by the symptoms of difficulty breathing in, wheezing and coughing, and can be trigged by different factors in the environment such as dust, mould or animals.

Researchers investigated allergic reactions in mice. They looked at how a protein, called fibrinogen, is broken down by elements found within mould. The researchers found that in addition to causing blood clotting, fibrogen also causes clotting that creates a barrier to breathing and inflammation, triggering allergic asthma.

The results found that the protein is part of a protective biological chain of events in some people, but not others.

The researchers suggest that medication which can prevent the breakdown of the protein could help in the future to prevent allergic asthma.

Read the original news article

Read the original research paper

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