Following baby noses for clues about asthma

Scientists in the UK have made a preliminary finding that the cells taken from the noses of newborn babies react differently to being stimulated by various irritants known to be asthma triggers. Those that react quickly tend to be from babies who do not go on the develop asthma, and those who respond more slowly did tend to develop asthma. This suggests that there is either a genetic difference between the babies that causes this difference in response or something happens to them while still in their mothers wombs.

We already know that differences in mothers diet has an impact on their children developing asthma and this may be one outcome. Later in life an asthmatic childs airway lining cells are linked to asthma symptoms.

As a result of this interesting study a new study has been launched to test the airway cells of 1000 new born babies in a bid to prove that this observation remains true when testing many more children.

The authors stated:

“Something is happening pre-birth which predisposes them to being susceptible to asthma and then something else occurs after birth which results in them developing asthmatic symptoms. In other words, having these poor responding nose cells puts the bullet in the gun, but doesn’t pull the trigger. We can’t stop the bullet going in the gun but we can maybe look at what it is that pulls the trigger.

“We were the first researchers to use new-born babies’ nose cells in this way and it will be interesting to see if we can identify what is different between the children that go on to develop asthma, and those that don’t.”

Original Article