Researchers at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore have found a special receptor located in the sinuses, throat, airways, and lungs that helps prevent allergies and asthma.
According to the researchers, the receptor – dectin-1 – recognizes a protein in common allergens like dust mites, cockroach debris, and shellfish, and suppresses the immune system response to these allergy and asthma triggers. In people with asthma and allergies triggered by sensitivities, the protective mechanism is significantly impaired.
Results of this study, which were published in Science Immunology, suggest there may be other, as yet undiscovered, receptors that suppress immune system responses to additional allergens like pollen and foods. More research is needed, but this study shows there may be new ways to treat and prevent allergies and asthma.