Novel biomarkers in asthma: chemokines and chitinase-like proteins

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Purpose of review

Allergic asthma is a frequent lung disease in Western civilizations and is characterized by airway inflammation and tissue remodeling. Without early diagnosis and specific treatment, asthma results in a loss of lung function, impaired quality of life and the risk to die from uncontrolled asthma attacks. Thus, there is a need for specific biomarkers to detect asthma as soon as possible and to initiate the correct clinical treatment.

Recent findings

Recent studies have highlighted the potential role of the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 17 and the chitinase-like protein YKL-40 as novel biomarkers in asthma. Patient studies suggest that these proteins could be useful to identify asthmatics, to characterize disease severity or both in patients with asthma. Functional studies indicate that these molecules are more than correlated epiphenomena and instead contribute in significant ways to asthma pathogenesis.


Assessments of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 17 and YKL-40 may allow physicians to more accurately diagnose and predict the course of asthma and thereby allow therapy to be appropriately tailored for a given patient.

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