There is more than 334 million persons worldwide suffering from asthma and the prevalence only increased in the last decades. In Canada, it is more than 2.5 million of people aged 12 years and older that are affected by asthma. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease of the airways characterized by three key mechanisms: airways inflammation, bronchial hyperreactivity and airways remodeling. Clinical manifestations include dyspnea, cough and wheezing due to the decrease of the lumen of the airway. Asthma is a complex trait which means various genetic and environmental factors are interacting with each other, leading to asthma development and clinical manifestations. Indoor and outdoor air pollution as well as allergens such as dandruff from animals, pollen and house duct mites are a few examples of environmental factors that can influence the development and severity of this disease.
Canadian Institute for health research
Resolving Systems Epigenomes of T-cells in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases (Principal investigatorr: Catherine Laprise)
A Three-Generation Canadian Study (CAN-3-GEN) on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (Principal investigator: Malcolm Sears)
Genomic risk in asthma susceptibility accessed by next-generation integrative tools (Co-principal investigator: Tomi Pastinen)
Projet équipe CEEHRC: Epigenetic mechanisms for the development of asthma (Investigators: Celia Greenwood, Catherine Laprise, Michael Kobor, Peter Paré, Anita Kozyrsky, Andrew Sandford, Aurélie Labbé and Denise Daley)
Ongoing research projects
- Longitudinal study of the methylome and respiratory status of a group of individuals from the French-canadian biobak: 20-years follow-up;
- Methylation and expression level of the 17q12-21 loci in naïve CD4+ T cells and eosinophils in asthmatic individuals (Collaborators: Tomi Pastinen);
- Methylation and expression assessment in naïve CD4+ T cells in asthma and allergy from a subset of individuals from the French-canadian biobank on respiratory diseases and allergy (Collaborators: Tomi Pastinen);
- Methylation and expression assessment in eosinophils in asthma in allergy from a subset of individuals from the French-canadian biobank on respiratory diseases and allergy (Collaborators: Tomi Pastinen);
- Integrative analysis of genetics and epigenetics of allergic asthma (Collaborators: Emmanuel Bouzigon, Florence Demenais, Marc Lathrop, Tomi Pastinen);
- Assessment of expression level in bronchial tissue following bronchial thermoplasty in individuals with severe asthma (Collaborators: Jamila Chakir, Michel Laviolette);
- Polygenic risk score (PRS) for accurate prediction of atopic dermatitis in the French-canadian biobank on respiratory disorders and allergy (Collaborator: Simon Girard).
Food allergy is affecting 3 to 4% of the adult population and up to 6% of the pediatric population. According to Health Canada, 10 types of food are responsible for 90% of all allergic reaction triggered by food; peanuts, wheat, cow’s milk, mustard, nuts, eggs, fishes and crustaceans, sesame and sulfites. Clinical manifestations of food allergies are variable from an individual to another and can include itching and urticaria, bronchospasms, vomiting, and diarrhea. The most severe manifestation of food allergy is anaphylaxis in which various systems of the body are severely and suddenly touched following exposition to an allergen. From the aforementioned food allergens, peanut allergy is the prime cause for deadly anaphylaxis. Allergy is a complex trait in which genetics and environmental factors interact. Food allergies can resolve with time but for the persistent ones, a treatment prove itself as effective and is thus available. Oral desensitization to food allergens consists of exposing children to growing quantities of the allergen in order to cure it in 80% of the cases. This therapeutic avenue is very interesting for parents of children with food allergy.
Clinic research laboratory on oral desensitization (LCCITO-UQAC)
Since October 2019, Prof Catherine Laprise research infrastructures in the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi are hosting pediatricians (Dr Charles Morin, Dr Guy Parizeault and Dr Claudia Nuncio-Naud) where they are conducting an oral desensitization treatment for food allergy to a pediatric population. This partnership is allowing Prof Laprise to recruit new participants in order to study the immunity component of the desensitization treatment (variation of markers in blood samples in time) but also the genetics, epigenetics and microbiota (all the microorganisms living in a host, the human body in this case). It is estimated that 30 to 40 children will be enrolled in oral desensitization in a year of activity of the clinic, representing a good number of potential participants for this research project.
Ongoing research projects
- Measure of changes in immune markers during the process of oral desensitization to food allergens (Collaborators : Dr Charles Morin, Dr Guy Parizeault, Dre Claudia Nuncio-Naud);
- Genetic and epigenetic study of food allergy and answer to a treatment of oral desensitization to food allergens (Collaborators: Dr Charles Morin, Dr Guy Parizeault, Dre Claudia Nuncio-Naud);
- Intestinal, cutaneous, buccal and nasal microbiota assessment in children that underwent an oral desensitization treatment to food (Collaborators: Dr Charles Morin, Dr Guy Parizeault, Dre Claudia Nuncio-Naud).