London: A bacterial protein in common house dust may worsen allergic responses to indoor allergens, a new research has revealed.The finding is the first to document the presence of the protein flagellin in house dust, bolstering the link between allergic asthma and the environment.The research was conducted by scientists from the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and Duke University Medical Center.“Most people with asthma have allergic asthma, resulting largely from allergic responses to inhaled substances,” said the paper’s corresponding author Donald Cook, Ph.D., an NIEHS scientist.His research team began the study to identify environmental factors that amplify the allergic responses.“Although flagellin is not an allergen, it can boost allergic responses to true allergens,” Cook stated.After inhaling house dust, mice that were able to respond to flagellin displayed all of the common symptoms of allergic asthma, including more mucous production, airway obstruction, and airway inflammation. However, mice lacking a gene that detects the presence of flagellin had reduced levels of these symptoms.
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