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Late-Onset Asthma Caused by Infection

An article in the journal for the most prestigious allergy organization in the world offers very strong evidence that late-onset asthma is caused by infection with mycoplasma (1). Late-onset asthma means that a person develops asthma after puberty and asthma symptoms do not worsen with the pollen seasons in the spring and fall. For many years, I have believed that many cases of late-onset asthma are caused by infection, probably mycoplasma, and I have controlled many patients' symptoms and even cured some asthmatics over the years by prescribing long-term antibiotics. I have always known that the present treatment for late-onset asthma used by many allergists, involving allergy injections, does not lead to a cure and has significant side effects.

A group of researchers at National Jewish Hospital in Denver found mycoplasma bacteria in the lungs of many people suffering from late-onset asthma and these asthmatics did not have the antibodies necessary to kill that germ in their bloodstreams (2). Soon afterwards, David Hahn of the University of Wisconsin reported that he cured many cases of late-onset asthma with antibiotics such as Biaxin, Zithromax and minocycline (3). Cortisone-type drugs do not cure anyone of asthma, even though they do help control symptoms; but they have horrible side effects such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and premature death. I treat late-onset asthma with Biaxin 500 mg twice a day plus the conventional medications and can get some patients off all medications.

In this journal article, researchers grew mycoplasma bacteria from the lungs of many patients with asthma. These asthmatics had high levels of mucous, substance P a chemical that causes excess mucous to accumulate in the lungs and its receptor in the lungs, called NK1, that causes mucous to flow. After six weeks of treatment with the antibiotic, Biaxin, the mucous, substance P and its receptor NK1, all were markedly reduced and the patients felt better. This is another example how most experts reject new discoveries and theories. Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were once considered quacks. Galileo Galilei was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for claiming that the earth revolved around the sun. For a list of scientific articles on late-onset asthma and infections, see report #G107; also see Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma.

1) HW Chu, M Kraft, JE Krause, MD Rex, RJ Martin. Substance P and its receptor neurokinin 1 expression in asthmatic airways. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2000, Vol 106, Iss 4, pp 713-722.

2) Martin RJ, Natl Jewish Med & Res Ctr, Dept Med, 1400 Jackson St, Room J116, Denver,CO 80206 USA.

3) JAMA 1997 (December 17);278(23):2051-2. 3) Hahn DL. Treatment of chlamydia pneumoniae infection in adult asthma: A before -after trial. J Fam Pract. 1995;41:345-351.

Checked 4/18/12

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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