Could Probiotics be used to treat Asthma

Could asthma be treated with PROBIOTICS? Bug that mimics salmonella could reduce airway inflammation

Children who have had salmonella are less likely to develop asthma
Salmonella reduces the production of an inflammatory compound
The research could lead to probiotic asthma treatments

PUBLISHED: 17:25, 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:33, 24 January 2014

Asthma could be treated with probiotics that mimic the salmonella bug, new research suggests.

A study has identified a mechanism through which the food poisoning bug reduces the lung disease in mice.

Earlier research has suggested children who have been infected with salmonella are less likely to get asthma.

A leading theory is the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ that reasons the surge in asthma cases has resulted from the modern world’s obsession with cleanliness, which is leaving immune systems undeveloped.

Dr Venkateswaran Ganesh, of Hanover Medical School in Germany, said the latest study found salmonella infection was linked with reduced airway inflammation.

The findings, published in the journal Infection and Immunity, open up new avenues of research that could lead to treatments.

Dr Ganesh traced the improvement to reduced production of an inflammatory compound called interleukin 4 which is produced by an immune cell known as T helper-2.

He found an increase in a certain type of ‘myeloid’ immune cell was responsible for regulating the T helper-2 cells to produce less interleukin-4.

Myeloid cells include an array of immune cells and are ultimately derived from the bone marrow.

The research could lead to probiotic asthma treatments based on the use of the body’s harmless bacteria resembling Salmonella, or the application of myeloid cells as therapeutics, said Dr Ganesh.

In the UK 5.4 million people are treated for asthma, or one in 11 children and one in 12 adults. On average, three people a day die from the condition.

An estimated 75 per cent of hospital admissions for asthma are avoidable and 90 per cent of deaths preventable.

It is more common in women than men. The NHS spends around £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with asthma.

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