Back to all News & Events

An immune-based approach to treating asthma

17 August 2012, Allergy, Asthma, Media

Prof Graham Le Gros and Prof Franca Ronchese

There is no cure for asthma and the side-effects of current treatments can sometimes be as bad as the disease itself.

Allergic diseases such as asthma are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to harmless environmental triggers that we breathe in, touch or eat. In fact it is only one part of the immune system that is activated – the Th2 immune response, which normally functions to protect us from parasitic worm infections.

Why the immune systems of individuals with asthma respond to pollen as though they were parasites is unknown, however it is thought to be due in part to some form of ‘mis-programming’ of their immune systems early in life.

Whether this is because we are now ‘too clean’ in our home environments, innocently removing the good bugs that help educate our immune systems along with the bad germs that cause disease, is the subject of current debate.

Last night Malaghan Institute Asthma Researchers Profs Graham Le Gros and Franca Ronchese spoke to Amelia Nurse from Radio New Zealand National’s Our Changing World Programme about asthma, the immune system and how the two interrelate.

They also discuss why they think a vaccine or immunotherapy would be a better option for treating asthmatic disease.

You can listen to Graham and Franca’s interview by linking to the Radio New Zealand website here.

 

For more information

Professor Graham Le Gros Director of Research, Allergic & Parasitic Diseases Programme Leader
Em.
glegros@malaghan.org.nz
Ph.
+64 4 499 6914 ext 822
Fax.
+64 4 499 6915
Prof Franca Ronchese Immune Cell Biology Programme Leader
Em.
fronchese@malaghan.org.nz
Ph.
+64 4 499 6914 ext 828
Fax.
+64 4 499 6915

Sign up to stay informed

Receive our monthly communications and keep up to date with our research and events.

Sign up

Latest news & events

Recent Publications

Sign up to stay informed

Receive our monthly communications and keep up to date with our research and events.

Sign up

Work With Us

You can view our current study opportunities here

View our current vacancies here