Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory disease among young children worldwide. The number of new cases of pediatric asthma has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. Chlamydia infection of the respiratory tract has been identified as a risk factor for the development of asthma.

According Katire Patel, one of the researchers of this study, "even with this discovery, today we still do not understand how this pathogen causes asthma symptoms, and if that is what truly started the disease." "In our mouse model, we are able to demonstrate that when the animal is infected early in his life to the respiratory tract with Chlamydia, this situation leads to asthma," he stated.

The key seems to be an altered immune response that occurs in newborn mice. Patel's team began this study by inducing a lung infection chlamydia in newborn infants and in adult mice and compared their immune response and results.

"When an allergic disease of the airways is induced in this animal model, mice infected infants were significantly increased its production of chemical messengers characteristic of allergic asthma, compared with uninfected infants in the control group and infected adults" , pointed Patel.

"Our data indicate that chlamydial infections early in life could lead to the appearance of an abnormal immune response that causes a chronic infection and induce asthma," says the researcher.