CHLAMYDIA AND LATE-ONSET ASTHMA

A study from New Zealand shows that antibiotics temporarily control symptoms in asthmatics infected with chlamydia.

People who develop asthma in childhood often have allergies, but those who develop asthma for the first time after puberty are usually not allergic. Almost all doctors treat late-onset asthma with cortisone-type inhalers. However, Dr. David Hann of the University of Wisconsin reported that he could cure some people who develop asthma after puberty with antibiotics, and Dr. Richard Martin of National Jewish in Denver has shown that many asthmatics harbor mycoplasma infections in their lungs.

In this study, researchers in New Zealand prescribed six weeks of an erythromycin antibiotic for asthmatics who had high antibody titres against chlamydia, another bacteria associated with late-onset asthma. Most improved when they took that antibiotic, but their symptoms returned when they stopped it. Perhaps the researchers should have treated them longer to eradicate chlamydia.

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Trial of roxithromycin in subjects with asthma and serological evidence of infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2001, Vol 164, Iss 4, pp 536-541. PN Black, F Blasi, CR Jenkins, R Scicchitano, GD Mills, AR Rubinfeld, RE Ruffin, PR Mullins, J Dangain, BC Cooper, DB David, L Allegra. Black PN, Auckland Hosp, Dept Med, Private Bag 92024, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

Checked 8/9/05

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