Test could predict cold-related flare-ups in people with asthma and COPD
People with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) could to be more susceptible to attacks or exacerbations when they have a cold.
To help predict whether people with these conditions could be more likely to experience such flare-ups, researchers in Austria and the UK are working on developing a blood test.
This test, details of which are published in the journal, EBioMedicine, could help to pinpoint the people who are most likely to experience more severe flare-ups in their condition, which can sometimes be life-threatening.
As part of the study, two groups of people – one with asthma, and one without – were infected by the rhinovirus, the virus responsible for most colds. Researchers then analysed blood samples and found that people with asthma had a reaction to a specific part of the virus’s structure, known as a protein. The researchers believe that this protein could be used as a marker in such tests.
This finding could help to identify the people in particular need of protection against colds, as well as potentially paving the way towards the development of a new rhinovirus vaccine.