Navigation Links
Moldy homes a serious risk for severe asthma attacks in some

Exposure to high levels of fungus may increase the risk of severe asthma attacks among people with certain chitinase gene variants, according to a study from Harvard Medical School, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The research was published online on the American Thoracic Society's journal Web site ahead of the print edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"We found that the interaction between environmental mold exposure and certain variants of chitinase genes were positively associated with severe asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalization," said lead researcher, Ann Wu, assistant professor at the at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.

Chitinases break down chitin, a component in many fungi, and are induced during allergic inflammation. It has been suggested by past research that these could be biomarkers of inflammation. Moreover, certain variants of chitinase genes are known to be expressed more heavily in people with asthma.

The researchers used data from the Childhood Asthma Management Program, a multicenter trial that enrolled children between the ages of 5 and 12 with mild to moderate persistent asthma. Mold measures were taken in the subjects' homes at the beginning of the study, and homes were classified as having greater or less than 25,000 mold colonies per gram of household dust.

"This level of mold in dust is high for a residential environment. However, it is not likely to be easily recognized. Studies have shown that homes that have problems with dampness (e.g. visible mold on walls/ceilings, water collection in basement, etc.) have higher levels of mold, but there is no specific level that is currently accepted to 'cause' problems," said Dr. Wu.

Finally, using blood samples, the researchers genotyped all the single nucleotide polymorphismsSNPs, or variants in which just a single "letter" of the DNA code in a given gene is differentof chitinase genes and a chitinase-like gene within the study population.

They then analyzed the appearance of different variations of chitinase genes with level of mold exposure and number of hospital visits from severe asthma exacerbations. They found that certain variants of the chitinase gene CHIT1, in conjunction with high mold exposure, were associated with increased risk of severe asthma attacks.

"Our results support increasing evidence that CHIT1, which is primarily expressed in the lung, plays an important role in the pathophysiology of asthma in the proper environmental context of exposure to chitin, which was approximated by mold levels," said Dr. Wu. "To our knowledge this was the first study to examine the effect of mold levels on the association of SNPs in the genes of both chitinases and chitinase-like proteins with asthma and allergy-related phenotypes."

Chitinases may play a role in future targets for asthma therapy. Inhibition of chitinase enzymatic activity has been demonstrated to prevent hyper-responsiveness and inflammation in mice. It is plausible, said Wu, that therapeutics designed to block chitinase enzyme activity may prevent hyper-responsiveness and inflammation related to asthma.

"Future research should focus on expanding and replicating these findings," she said. "The focus should be on mechanisms of chitinases and chitinase-like proteins in allergic inflammation. Additionally, finding other genes that may interact with mold exposure will also be important. We plan to find a population to replicate these findings. Additionally, we are preparing to perform a Genome-Wide Association Study in this same population to identify other genes that may interact with mold exposure."


Contact: Keely Savoie
American Thoracic Society

Related medicine news :

1. Revolutionary Sports Bottle Unscrews at Both Ends for Easy Cleaning -- Never Deal With Stinky, Moldy Bottles Again
2. Closes $1.1 Million Series A Round of Investment Financing
3. ‘Best in Class' Nursing Homes Recognized for Exemplary Customer, Workforce Satisfaction
4. Ivory Homes Plans Ahead for the April 30th Home Buyer Tax Credit Deadline with 100 New Homes Ready for Quick Purchase
5. Classic Maya history is embedded in commoners homes
6. Statement From Larry Minnix, President & CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, on the Beginning of the Reconciliation Process for Health Reform Legislation
7. Historic Agreement Reached to Transition Illinois Residents Unnecessarily Housed in Large, Impersonal Nursing Homes
8. Legislation Aims to Reform Nursing Homes in Illinois
9. Study Reveals Californians Must Increase Earthquake Preparedness; Less Than 20 Percent Have Prepared Their Homes; Only 40 Percent Have Sufficient Water
10. Saks 5th Ave, By Kilian, Versace, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, GL Homes, Bluefly and NUVO Support Women On The Moves Unveil Your Pink Event!
11. Statement from Larry Minnix, President & CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, On the Therapy Cap Coalition Press Conference
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... must mark the film for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils ... inventor from Sacramento, Calif., has found a way to alleviate this problem. , ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Visage accelerates mobile ... wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced they are ... of North America (RSNA) 2015 annual meeting through December 3 in Chicago, Illinois, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... it has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: ... Next IT Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and ... to the devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is a Superior ... nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own and operate. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Effective Post-Affiliation Integration ,” addresses a main “pain point” for merging or aligning ... results, once a deal is signed. This quick-read guidance suggests that failing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 As enforcement of ... Chain Security Act (DSCSA) approaches, InfiniTrak ... independent pharmacies comply with looming FDA regulations. ... is entering endorsement agreements with State Pharmacy Associations, ... administration organization (PSAO) to exclusively provide the InfiniTrak ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ) ... "Spinal Muscular Atrophy Market - Pipeline Assessment, ... 2023" report to their offering. ... addition of the "Spinal Muscular Atrophy ... and Forecast 2015 - 2023" report ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... AMSTERDAM , Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- ... announced SkyFlow , an X-ray imaging software that ... clinicians decide not to use a grid, at the ... (RSNA) 1 . SkyFlow is Philips, first digital ... for grid-less radiography, which improves clinician,s workflow and supports ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: