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Genetic biomarker may predict which wheezy kid shall develop asthma


Genetic biomarker may predict which wheezy kid shall develop asthma

Sweden: A genetic biomarker identified by researchers in Sweden can help in predicting progression from childhood wheeze to asthma.

According to the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, molecular phenotyping in combination with clinical information already at an early episode of wheeze may help to distinguish children that will outgrow their wheeze from those that will develop chronic asthma. Gene expression profiles in blood from preschool wheezers predict asthma symptoms at school-age and therefore serve as biomarkers.

Wheezing and airway obstruction in preschool children is a major clinical problem and is recognized as a risk factor for the development of chronic asthma. Shintaro Katayama, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden, and colleagues analyzed whether gene expression profiling provides information on the pathways that delineate distinct groups of children with wheezing, and in combination with clinical information could contribute to diagnosis and prognosis of disease development.

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For the purpose, the researchers analyzed transcriptomes from preschool children aged six months to three years (n=107) who presented with wheeze and again two to three months later, compared to age-matched healthy controls (n=66).

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Key findings include:

  • Significant enrichment of genes involved in the innate immune responses were observed in children with wheeze.
  • A unique acute wheeze-specific gene-module was identified by the researchers, that was associated with Vitamin D levels in infancy, and asthma medication and FEV1%/FVC several years later, at age 7.
  • A model that predicts LTRA-medication at 7 years of age with high accuracy was developed (AUC=0.815).

“Gene expression profiles in blood from preschool wheezers predict asthma symptoms at school age and therefore serve as biomarkers,” concluded the authors.

“Molecular phenotyping plus clinical information at an early episode of wheeze may help to distinguish children who will outgrow their wheeze from those who will develop chronic asthma,” wrote the authors.

More Information: “Acute wheeze-specific gene module shows correlation with vitamin D and asthma medication” published in the European Respiratory Journal.

DOI: 10.1183/13993003.01330-2019

Journal Information: European Respiratory Journal




Source: European Respiratory Journal

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