Researchers at UW-Madison have developed a new tool for diagnosing asthma that will not only provide a more accurate results but is also faster and cheaper than other diagnostic methods for detecting asthma.
Researchers led by David Beebe revealed that their test focuses on the cell function of neutrophils, which are the most abundant white blood cells available in the body and which are one of the first cells to track inflammation in the body. Stating that neutrophils' function is similar to that of a dog tracking something, the researchers revealed that they can sense chemical signals emitted by the body in response to inflammation or wounds and the neutrophils quickly travel to the site of problem in order to help with the healing process.
"Neutrophils are sort of like a dog tracking something. They sense a chemical gradient, like an odor, in the body. What we've done in this paper is presented data that neutrophil cell function in some cases can predict - and in this case actually predicted and measured - whether someone is asthmatic or not. This is one of the first studies to show that this process could actually work in a cheap, easy and practical way", Beebe said.