Many people in Taiwan suffer from asthma, and around 10 percent cannot be treated with steroids due to drug resistance. The good news is, a new study has found that corticosteroid-resistant asthma can be treated using an immunomodulatory microparticle-based approach derived from bacteria that causes acne.
The asthma prevalence among children in Taiwan is very high. In the past, it was believed that allergens promoted the activation of T-cells, resulting in asthma, and therefore asthma was treated with steroids. However, around 10 percent of asthmatics have corticosteroid-resistant asthma. A new study conducted by the Academia Sinica's Institute of Biomedical Sciences said recent studies have implicated group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) in asthma development and exacerbation, and ILC2-induced airway hyperreactivity and lung inflammation can be suppressed by TLR9 immunostimulatory CpG motifs from acne bacteria.
We used this microparticle, which contains the TLR9 ligand. It creates more interferons, and these interferons suppress this ILC-2 cell that we have studied for a long time. Once ILC-2 cells are suppressed, lung inflammation and asthma are also suppressed.
The researchers used a microparticle derived from the bacteria P. acne, which is the bacteria that causes acne. The immunomodulatory microparticle that they developed was administered to mice through inhalants, and the result was the suppression of the asthma symptoms caused by ILC-2 cells. It was also effective in suppressing asthma produced by T-cells, and is safe, harmless, and without side effects.
In both mice and humanized mice, which are those with human cells injected, the asthma flare-up rate was effectively reduced.
The Academia Sinica says immunomodulatory microparticles were previously used in medication to treat multiple sclerosis patients. This was the first time they were used to treat asthma. This study was published in the March edition of international periodical "The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology." The drugs derived from this study are expected to hit the market in 10 years' time.