Scientists in the UK have been researching why people with asthma tend to struggle more than people without the condition if they catch the flu.
The study, published in The Journal of Asthma and Clinical Immunology, was carried out by researchers from the U-BIOPRED (Unbiased BIOmarkers in PREDiction of respiratory disease outcomes) project.
Researchers took tissue samples from the lungs of people who have asthma and people who do not. In the lab, both groups of samples were exposed to the flu virus to see how they would respond.
After finding that there was a much weaker immune system reaction to the virus among the samples from people who have asthma than among those who do not, the scientists suggest that the immune system could be key to understanding why people with asthma can find it harder to fight off flu.
Further research is now needed to find out whether this difference is related to having asthma itself, or whether it could be caused by the medications people take to control their asthma.
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