Asthma

The NET effect of viral-triggered asthma

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Science  26 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6340, pp. 817-818
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6340.817-d

Infection with rhinovirus is a common cause of allergic asthma. Toussaint et al. studied how the virus triggers inflammation and stimulates an asthmatic attack. Rhinovirus infection causes the release of host double-stranded DNA and the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs are structures that capture microorganisms and activate immune cells and inflammatory responses. The authors show that rhinovirus-driven NETs promote the infiltration of inflammatory cells to the airways, causing the clinical features of an allergic response. Treatment with a compound blocking NET formation stopped the asthma from becoming worse.

Nat. Med. 10.1038/nm.4332 (2017).

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