New Vaccinations May Help Curb Allergy, Asthma Symptoms

tetanus shot time by blakespot, on Flickr

Asthma control often begins with knowing asthma triggers. The most common type of asthma, according to WebMD, is “allergic asthma,” which is when an allergen causes the immune system to overreact and affect the lungs and airways. ScienceDaily reports that asthma is the most common chronic illness in children worldwide; the number of people who suffer from the disease has doubled within the last 10 years.

Many parents of asthmatic children practice asthma control by knowing the allergy triggers that lead to distressed breathing and reducing exposure to them. One more tool that may help reduce allergy/asthma symptoms in the future is a promising new vaccine that can help combat one of the most common allergens asthma patients face. Although it will be years before the vaccine becomes available in the United States, it’s a development worth keeping an eye on.

Common Allergy and Asthma Triggers

Allergy/asthma symptoms can include wheezing, coughing, rapid breathing, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest. Triggers that can cause this reaction include:

Pollen

Mold

Dander from animals

Dust mite and cockroach feces

Smoke from tobacco products or a fireplace

Strong odors

Air pollution

Dust

Chemicals such as those found in perfumes, paint, pesticides, adhesives, etc.

Allergic Asthma Vaccine

The research scientists at Inserm and CNRS (Institut du thorax, CNRS/Inserm/University of Nantes) found that their new vaccine, when injected intramuscularly into mice, reduced the body’s sensitivity to the allergen and the consequential inflammatory response. Findings regarding the vaccine were published in the June issue of Human Gene Therapy.

Currently, to help patients control allergy/asthma symptoms, doctors administer corticoids, desensitization treatments through immunotherapy and leukotriene modifiers. The new vaccine, however, uses the DNA of the allergen found on dust mites, Dermatophagoides farinae 1 (Derf1), instead of traditional allergen extracts. The initial research has only been conducted on mice, but the next step in this asthma control treatment is human testing.

The vaccine is still a long ways off from full development and FDA approval. Although it offers hope for asthma sufferers, in the meantime it’s still important for patients to continue proactively managing their disease. Currently, the best way to control asthma symptoms is to seek the help of a physician, learn to identify and avoid triggers, and follow your doctor’s instructions for taking your asthma medications

[Photo by: blakespot via CC License]


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