Test could predict cold-related flare-ups in people with asthma and COPD

Researchers are working on a test to predict the people with asthma and COPD most at risk of flare-ups when they have a cold.

People with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could to be more susceptible to attacks or exacerbations when they have a cold.

To help predict whether people with these conditions could be more likely to experience such flare-ups, researchers in Austria and the UK are working on developing a blood test.

This test, details of which are published in the journal, EBioMedicine, could help to pinpoint the people who are most likely to experience more severe flare-ups in their condition, which can sometimes be life-threatening.

As part of the study, two groups of people – one with asthma, and one without – were infected by the rhinovirus, the virus responsible for most colds. Researchers then analysed blood samples and found that people with asthma had a reaction to a specific part of the virus’s structure, known as a protein. The researchers believe that this protein could be used as a marker in such tests.

This finding could help to identify the people in particular need of protection against colds, as well as potentially paving the way towards the development of a new rhinovirus vaccine.

Read the original news story.

Read the journal article

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