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Childhood Asthma Associated with Cytokine Response

Interleukin-5 T-cell response to the house dust mite the most significant

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Production of interleukin-5 (IL-5) T-cell cytokines in response to the house dust mite, the most common local inhalant allergen, is associated with the development of asthma in 5-year-old children, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Guy B. Marks, Ph.D., of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues conducted a study among children from families with a history of asthma. The children were assessed at three different time points: at age 18 months (281 children), at age 3 years (349 children) and at age 5 (370 children).

The investigators performed skin prick tests, evaluated the children for signs of asthma and eczema, and used house dust mite extracts to perform in vitro assessments of lymphocyte cytokine responses.

A positive skin prick test result in children aged 5 years was associated with house dust mite-specific IL-5 responses. Incidence of asthma among 5-year-olds was also associated with IL-5 responses. There was no association between other house dust mite-specific cytokine responses and asthma or eczema at age 5 years.

"Detectable in vitro cytokine responses to stimulation with house dust mite allergen, the dominant local environmental allergen in our region, are not fixed in early life and have a very low prevalence in infancy but increase with age," the authors write.

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