Asthma, Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Nature / 28.02.2020 Interview with: Zbigniew Zasłona PhD Luke A. J. O’Neill PhD Professor (Chair of Biochemistry) School of Biochemistry and Immunology Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland What is the background for this study? Response: Asthma is the most common disease in childhood and the most common respiratory condition in Ireland. It is a disease of environmental and genetic components. It is important to point out that although Ireland has very good air quality, asthma prevalence is very high (the second highest in Europe), and although asthma is not a single gene disease (such as cystic fibrosis) it is very important to study genetic variations in Irish population. Therefore in this study we put emphasis on the genetic component of asthma, rather than environmental factors, especially given that asthma heritability has been estimated as high as 60%. Prevention of asthma by reducing exposure to common risk factors, such as air pollution, will not stop the asthma epidemic in Ireland, as inferior air quality is not an issue. (more…)