Antibiotic treatment targets difficult asthma

December 17, 2007

Hunter researchers have shown that a commonly available antibiotic can improve the quality of life of patients with difficult asthma, and may also generate significant health care savings.

Results of a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a top international journal, indicate that macrolide antibiotics could prove a successful therapy in conjunction with current asthma treatment.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Viruses, Infections/Immunity,Vaccines and Asthma (VIVA) Research Program.

Current asthma medication is focused on treating a particular cell, called an eosinophil. Increased levels of eosinophils are thought to be responsible for inflammation of the airways. However, almost half of people with asthma symptoms have normal levels of eosinophils.

“In a previous study we have shown that an inflammatory cell called the neutrophil is increased in some asthma patients and that treatments are needed to combat other types of inflammation in people with asthma,” said Dr Jodie Simpson from the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases. Researchers studied 45 people who had poor asthma control and were taking high daily maintenance doses of inhaled corticosteroids. In addition to their regular asthma therapy, participants received a macrolide antibiotic (called klacid) or placebo medication for eight weeks.

“In this study we have shown that treatment with a macrolide antibiotic for eight weeks significantly reduced inflammation in the airways and improved quality of life in patients with difficult asthma,” said Dr Simpson.

“Patients with non-eosinophilic asthma particularly benefited from this treatment and this group of patients had the biggest response to the treatment. This treatment significantly reduced the number of neutrophils in the airway.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: Treating asthma or COPD with steroid inhaler raises the risk of hard-to-treat infections

Related Stories

Treating asthma or COPD with steroid inhaler raises the risk of hard-to-treat infections

September 20, 2017
Older people who use steroid inhalers for asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to suffer particular bacterial infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory ...

Children with asthma are being prescribed unnecessary antibiotics

September 11, 2017
Children with asthma are more likely to be prescribed antibiotics even though there is no evidence that they need them any more than children without asthma, according to research to be presented at the European Respiratory ...

How the microbiome could tackle antibiotic resistant infections in the lungs

August 10, 2017
Understanding how microbes contribute to respiratory health and immunity could help tackle drug resistant infections in the lungs, say scientists.

Steroids not effective for chest infections in non-asthmatic adults

August 22, 2017
Oral steroids should not be used for treating acute lower respiratory tract infection (or 'chest infections') in adults who don't have asthma or other chronic lung disease, as they do not reduce the duration or severity of ...

The role of bacteria in asthma and the potential for antibiotic treatment

May 23, 2011
People with severe asthma are more likely to have antibodies against the disease-causing bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae than the general population and in some cases antibiotic treatment can greatly improve symptoms according ...

Causal link between antibiotics and childhood asthma dismissed

December 1, 2014
In a new register study in the scientific journal BMJ, researchers at Karolinska Institutet are able to dismiss previous claims that there is a link between the increased use of antibiotics in society and a coinciding rise ...

Recommended for you

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

New tools to combat kidney fibrosis

October 16, 2017
Interstitial fibrosis – excessive tissue scarring – contributes to chronic kidney disease, which is increasing in prevalence in the United States.

How hepatitis C hides in the body

October 13, 2017
The Hepatitis C (HCV) virus is a sly enemy to have in one's body. Not only does it manage to make itself invisible to the immune system by breaking down communication between the immune cells, it also builds secret virus ...

Largest study yet of malaria in Africa shows historical rates of infection

October 12, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A team of researchers with members from the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the University of Oxford and the University of KwaZulu-Natal has conducted the largest-ever study of the history of malaria ...

Promising new target for treatment of psoriasis is safe, study shows

October 11, 2017
A protein known to play a significant role in the development of psoriasis can be prevented from functioning without posing a risk to patients, scientists at King's College London have found.

Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells

October 11, 2017
Noroviruses are the leading cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis in the world and are estimated to cause 267 million infections and 20,000 deaths each year. This virus causes severe diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.