Can the Flu Infection Protect Against Asthma?

A recent study conducted on mice found that infection from the influenza virus could help protect against allergic asthma later in life. So in this sense, the virus was seen to have a preventive or protective impact on future asthma.

flu infectionA similar protective effects was seen to be imparted by treating mice with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), a bacterium that colonizes the stomach. These bacteria are known to cause ulcers and also heighten gastric cancer risk.

According to researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston, these findings could help to find an immunological mechanism that could support the “hygiene hypothesis” which postulates that the reason for higher incidences of asthma are the successful lowering of rates of childhood infections.

So this study seems to underline this understanding that certain infections are able to offer protection against a person developing asthma. This doesn’t mean however, that doctors are going to go about infecting people with various diseases just so they can be protected against asthma.

What this research may well do however, is it could help medical practitioners replicate the positive aspects of an infection while avoiding the negative impacts so that effective strategies for preventing asthma can be developed.

Posted in: ASTHMA

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