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Production of interferon in asthmatic patients with small bacille Calmette-Guerin scars: A pilot study

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Some studies suggest a decrease in interferon (IFN)  production among atopic individuals, and others refer to low IFN- levels as a characteristic of asthma, regardless of the atopic state. Recent research has indicated a relation between asthma and a tendency toward a bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine scar with a small diameter, suggesting an association of this illness with the low production of IFN-. The aim of this study was to check the hypothesis that asthmatic patients with a small BCG scar present low IFN- production. This work was a quasi-experimental study. The capacity to produce IFN- among 12 asthmatic patients with an average BCG vaccine scar diameter <5 mm was compared with 7 nonasthmatic individuals with scars ≥5 mm using whole blood cells stimulated by purified protein derivative (PPD), phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin (PMA/Iono) and medium (no stimulus). The study also analyzed the relation between IFN- production after PPD stimulation and eosinophil count, total IgE, and dust-mite–specific IgE levels. The asthmatic patients presented a decrease in IFN- production in comparison with a control group after PPD stimulation (p < 0.02). However, the same was not observed when PMA/Iono stimulation was used or when no stimulation was used. Asthmatic patients with small BCG scars showed a decrease in IFN- production, suggesting that there may be an intrinsic characteristic of these patients.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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