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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAsthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects over 7.1 million children under 18 years in the United States. While asthma-causing allergens like fungi, mites, and insects represent biologically diverse organisms, they have some biological similarities that may underlie their potential to cause asthma. One of these shared biological features is the production of environmental proinflammatory microbial associated molecular patterns (MAMP). Studies have shown that MAMPs impact lung function and asthma despite not considered allergens. Recent studies have shown that chitin, along with endotoxin and beta-glucan, activate the innate immune system by triggering an allergic response in organisms that are exposed to them. After successfully creating a novel assay for the quantification of chitin with a detection limit of about 20 ng/mg of dust and validating commercially available assays for endotoxin and beta-glucan, we acquired 380 household dust samples from the Inner-City Anti-IgE Therapy for Asthma (ICATA) clinical trial and quantified MAMPs like chitin, endotoxin and beta-glucan in those samples. Quantifying MAMPs in household dust samples gave us a better understanding of the environmental exposures that activate the innate immune system in those samples. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of the mechanisms in human asthma and allergy.
Degree ProgramHonors College