|Title||Diagnosis of Western Red Cedar Asthma Using a Blood-based Gene Expression Biomarker Panel|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Yang, CX, Singh, A, Kim, YW, Conway, EM, Carlsten, C, Tebbutt, SJ|
|Journal||American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine|
Western red cedar asthma (WRCA) is the most common form of occupational asthma in the Pacific Northwest region of North America (1). It has been shown that WRCA is caused by sensitivity to plicatic acid (PA), which is a low-molecular-weight molecule found in the dust from western red cedar (Thuja plicata) (2). To date, no molecular biomarkers have been reported that can diagnose WRCA (3). At this time, the diagnosis involves multiple bronchial challenges, which are time-consuming, expensive, and logistically challenging. Peripheral whole blood is a useful and easily obtainable resource for studying WRCA, and transcriptional changes in blood have been observed after methacholine inhalation challenge in WRCA individuals (4). In the study reported here, we have developed a blood-based biomarker panel that can classify, at baseline (before PA challenge), PA-positive subjects from PA-negative subjects.