Researchers in the UK have been looking into why colds seem to trigger asthma attacks in people with the condition.
As part of the study, published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, researchers compared cells taken from the lungs of people both with and without asthma.
The researchers investigated the way the cells behaved when the immune system tried to tackle the infection. In particular, they looked at molecules called IL-25 cytokines, which are produced during an immune response to encourage the movement of cells towards the infection.
They found that, when the lung cells were infected with the virus that causes a cold, the cells from people with asthma produced 10 times as many IL-25 cytokines than the cells from people without.
Next, the scientists infected both asthmatic and non-asthmatic people with the virus and studied the same immune response. They discovered that people with asthma had a higher level of IL-25 cytokines in their nasal mucus than those without.
The researchers believe that targeting the IL-25 cytokines and trying to reduce the numbers produced during the immune response, could potentially be used as a target for new treatments for people with asthma.
Learn about the factors that can cause lung disease and the ways to reduce your contact with them.
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