May 22, 2014
10.00 - 11.00am
Telethon Kids Institute seminar room, 100 Roberts Road, Subiaco
08 9489 7777
Thursday 22 May:
Improving health outcomes for pregnant women with allergic asthma and their babies
Kyle Mincham, PhD student Biomedical Science, Telethon Kids Institute
It has been established that women with moderate-severe asthma pre pregnancy have an increased risk of worsening asthma during pregnancy. Furthermore, the occurrence of moderate-severe asthma exacerbations in atopic mothers during gestation greatly increases the risk for low birth weight neonates, preterm delivery and the potential of the child developing asthma at a later stage. Recent epidemiological studies have identified that environmental insult during the in utero and early life periods has the potential to modulate the fetal immune system towards promoting an atopic phenotype, enhancing the risk for allergic asthma onset during childhood. In contrast, research into Northern European farming mothers has been instrumental in identifying that oral and respiratory microbial exposure whilst pregnant has the capacity to attenuate the development of allergic disease in their offspring, via the expansion of regulatory T cell (Treg) populations. On the foundation of this farming effect, targeted microbial stimulation of the maternal gut mucosa via feeding the therapeutic immunomodulator OM85-BV may represent a potential strategy to promote the natural tolerogenic mechanisms associated with attenuation of atopic sensitisation in the offspring.
The initial stage of this study will be to understand the cellular mechanisms associated with increased disease severity in pregnant mothers with allergic asthma. This process is limited by the availability of suitable animal models, the development of which will therefore make up our first objective.