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Asthma and bacteria link discovered

03 February 2012 09:04

Researchers have found a link between asthma and a common environmental bacteria.

Researchers have found a link between asthma and a common environmental bacteria.

Parents taking asthmatic children on holiday may be interested in research that claims some cases of the condition may be caused by an allergic reaction to a common environmental bacteria.

Experts at the University of California's Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco have uncovered a link between inflammation of the airways and a bacteria regularly found in the environment.

Researchers found evidence that suggested certain strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes high levels of histamine to be produced by white blood cells.

This then causes inflammation, which is one of asthma's symptoms.

Medical travel insurance policies can offer some protection if a loved one suffers with an asthma attack during a holiday abroad. The symptoms may have been brought on by a change in the environment.

One of the researchers, Dr George Caughey, said:" We hope that these findings in mice will encourage human-focused research regarding bacterial stimulation of histamine production by white blood cells, like neutrophils, that are not traditionally associated with allergic inflammation.

"Such research could improve our understanding of inflammation in bacterial infections, and help us to craft therapies for relief of inflammation and its consequences for short and long-term health."