Bacterial Protein Found in House Dust Linked to Asthma

A bacterial protein in common house dust may make allergic responses to indoor allergens more severe, according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health and Duke University.

The result of this research is the first documentation of the protein flagellin in house dust, which bolsters the link between allergic asthma and the environment. According to the study, mice responded to flagellin after inhaling house dust. Symptoms caused by the dust inhalation resulted in allergic asthma, including more mucus production, airway inflammation, and airway obstruction.

Researchers also determined that people who suffer from asthma have higher levels of antibodies against flagellin in their blood than non-asthmatic subjects. These findings provide more evidence of the link between environmental factors and allergic asthma in humans.

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