Link between allergic asthma and airway mucosal infection suggested by proteinase-secreting household fungi

P. Porter, S. C. Susarla, S. Polikepahad, Y. Qian, J. Hampton, A. Kiss, S. Vaidya, S. Sur, V. Ongeri, T. Yang, G. L. Delclos, S. Abramson, F. Kheradmand, D. B. Corry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Active fungal proteinases are powerful allergens that induce experimental allergic lung disease strongly resembling atopic asthma, but the precise relationship between proteinases and asthma remains unknown. Here, we analyzed dust collected from the homes of asthmatic children for the presence and sources of active proteinases to further explore the relationship between active proteinases, atopy, and asthma. Active proteinases were present in all houses and many were derived from fungi, especially Aspergillus niger. Proteinase-active dust extracts were alone insufficient to initiate asthma-like disease in mice, but conidia of A. niger readily established a contained airway mucosal infection, allergic lung disease, and atopy to an innocuous bystander antigen. Proteinase produced by A. niger enhanced fungal clearance from lung and was required for robust allergic disease. Interleukin 13 (IL-13) and IL-5 were required for optimal clearance of lung fungal infection and eosinophils showed potent anti-fungal activity in vitro. Thus, asthma and atopy may both represent a protective response against contained airway infection due to ubiquitous proteinase-producing fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-517
Number of pages14
JournalMucosal Immunology
Volume2
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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    Porter, P., Susarla, S. C., Polikepahad, S., Qian, Y., Hampton, J., Kiss, A., Vaidya, S., Sur, S., Ongeri, V., Yang, T., Delclos, G. L., Abramson, S., Kheradmand, F., & Corry, D. B. (2009). Link between allergic asthma and airway mucosal infection suggested by proteinase-secreting household fungi. Mucosal Immunology, 2(6), 504-517. https://doi.org/10.1038/mi.2009.102