A vaccine to treat pneumonia in children could also suppress asthma symptoms, researchers say.
A team from the University of Newcastle, Australia, and the nearby John Hunter Hospital said a pneumonia infection significantly reduced the number of inflammatory cells associated with asthma after they induced asthmatic symptoms before injecting a pneumonia bacteria in mice in laboratory tests.
Earlier research has shown that bacteria responsible for causing pneumonia could inhibit inflammatory responses in the lungs from allergic diseases such as asthma.
After killing the bacteria in the mice, the research team then administered the vaccine Prevenar to the mice, again causing a substantial reduction in asthma symptoms, says researcher Alison Thorburn.
Research is still at the preliminary stage because it has only been shown in animal models; however, initial results are encouraging and suggest that a vaccine prescribed for pneumonia may be a potential therapy for the suppression of allergic lung diseases, such as asthma.