What is AWWA?
AWWA is an international consortium focused on asthma prevention. Our ultimate goal is to create a world without asthma.
Asthma: a worldwide problem
Asthma is now one of the most common diseases worldwide. However, this has not always been the case. Asthma has increased especially in the last few decades.
De toename in astma is mogelijk te wijten aan veranderingen in onze levensstijl. Hoe verstrekkend deze veranderingen kunnen zijn, blijkt uit het feit dat er nog steeds plaatsen zijn in de wereld waar mensen bijna geen last hebben van astma.
What are commensals?
Commensals are 'benign' micro-organisms that are everywhere in and around us in our (outdoor) environment. They do not cause diseases and help to protect us against harmful pathogens.
Farm-, gut bacteria and worm parasites as commensals
Examples of favorable 'commensalen' are farm microbes (which float through the air), gut bacteria and worm parasites.
Our strategy is aimed at restoring these original commensals and gaining insight into how natural evolution has arranged this. We therefore want to develop a preventive treatment that uses these commensals (or parts thereof).
How will our approach affect children?
Our approach is aimed at developing a broad applicable therapy to help a large group of children. Not all children develop the same degree of asthma. A large group has 'only' mild complaints or moderate severity and a small group has really serious complaints.
What is our approach?
We will investigate in a clinical study whether drinking of 'raw farm milk' in young toddlers protects against asthma. Based on gene expression patterns in these children, we want to see whether we can predict which children do or do not benefit from ‘farm milk’ and need additional measures. This can be achieved, for example, by other approaches based on the beneficial effects of farm dust, parasite-derived molecules or certain metabolites of gut flora.
Role of the LUMC
The AWWA consortium is headed at LUMC, where in addition to the Parasitology department, various other groups and expertise’s are involved.
The strength of this consortium is formed by the bundling of expertise from the Netherlands and abroad. We are therefore very proud that a number of world top researchers have joined this consortium and that we are joining forces to investigate a new approach to asthma prevention.
Netherlands Lung foundation – Programme Accelerate
The consortium ‘A world Without Asthma’ is the first research program that is initiated within the Netherlands Lung foundation| Accelerate programme: an innovative and result-driven international program.