London: Scientists have devised a new approach to defeating asthma by targeting the trigger - allergen - before it can spark an attack.
Current asthma treatments can alleviate wheezing, coughing and other symptoms felt by the patients, but they do not get to the root cause of the condition.
"To prevent many health problems, the ideal approach to treatment or prevention involves getting to the cause of a condition and targeting it directly," said Clive Robinson from St George's, University of London.
Scientists have found that dust mites are one of the most important triggers of allergic asthma.
So Robinson and his team wanted to find a way to neutralise mite allergens.
They identified a compound that binds to a major dust mite allergen and turned it into an inhalable powder.
They tested it on rats and found that it significantly dampened the animals' immune response when they were exposed to a variety of allergens.
This compound and other similar inhibitors could hail a new direction in asthma treatment, concluded the research.
They findings appeared in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.