Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Developing Natural Immunity To Asthma Caused By Research Rats

Date:
June 30, 2006
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Laboratory workers who frequently handle research rats that commonly cause asthma symptoms have fewer allergic reactions to the rats than individuals with less exposure, according to a study at six pharmaceutical sites in Great Britain.

Laboratory workers who frequently handle research rats that commonly cause asthma symptoms have fewer allergic reactions to the rats than individuals with less exposure, according to a study at six pharmaceutical sites in Great Britain.

The findings appear in the first issue for July 2006 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

Meinir Jones, Ph.D., of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Imperial College in London, and five associates analyzed the background information and blood tests of 689 pharmaceutical employees who had been exposed to lab rats in varying degrees.

The investigators wanted to learn more about the complex relationship between allergen exposure from the animals and the induction of human asthma. They noted that occupational asthma caused by an allergy to a laboratory animal can provide a useful model of allergic reaction from which exposure can be readily characterized and measured.

"We recorded the dates of their first and most recent handling of rats and estimated the duration of contact with rat proteins," said Dr. Jones. "Employees were classified according to the job they had that incurred the highest exposure to rats, with office and maintenance workers showing low exposure, scientists medium exposure, and animal technicians or cage cleaners high exposure."

There was close agreement between the exposure category associated with the job title and the maximum number of rats handled in one day.

"Approximately 38 percent had handled more than 50 rats per day, whereas 17 percent had never handled any," said Dr. Jones. "There were equal proportions, 23 and 22 percent, who had handled either from 1 to 10 or 11 to 50 rats. For 464 employees or 68 percent, their highest exposure to rat proteins came during their work as a scientist."

For the first time, the authors found a two-fold reduction in the risk of developing work-related chest symptoms in those who produced both rat-specific IgG4 and IgE antibodies, as compared with those producing IgE alone.

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is one of five classes of immunoglobulins, which constitute the human body's main antibody defense against most bacterial invasions. Immunoglobulins also trigger antibodies against other antigens.

IgG is present primarily in human skin and mucus membranes. It functions in response to environmental challenges and plays a role in allergic reactions to those challenges.

"Laboratory animal workers may, at very high exposure, be experiencing a natural form of immunotherapy," said Dr. Jones. "Interestingly, this does not seem to be the case for other groups at risk of occupational asthma such as bakers and detergent manufacturers. We propose that the differences arise because laboratory animal workers experience exposure not only through inhalation but also through an intradermal route after bites and scratches."

In an editorial on the research in the same issue of the journal, Karin A. Pacheco, M.D., M.S.P.H., of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, wrote: the authors "speculate that the protective effect against symptomatic disease offered by a high IgG4-IgE ratio reflects a form of natural immunotherapy."

"One of the strengths of the present manuscript is the categorization of exposure by the highest level, ever, of work with rats. This approach suggests that peak exposures are more important for the development of immune responses to laboratory animals than average exposures and acknowledges that exposure responsible for sensitization may have occurred in the past."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Developing Natural Immunity To Asthma Caused By Research Rats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060630083627.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2006, June 30). Developing Natural Immunity To Asthma Caused By Research Rats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060630083627.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Developing Natural Immunity To Asthma Caused By Research Rats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060630083627.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins