Our way or the dust mite's way?

Small things hold great power. Microbiologists will tell you so. So will those that suffer from allergies.
Think of asthma for example. Having non obstructed airways or perhaps I should say non inflamed or non irritated airways, is a blessing. Think of the amount of air you breath day in day out. Now think of being somehow deprived of, or obstructed from, this regular supply. An affected adult can express discomfort and describe what is happening. Infants and very young children can't. They therefore rely on us, adults, to take care of their well being. Here is an article that gives you an idea of the amount of air needed during certain activities. When you are affected by asthma you get to know all about bronchodilators, inhalers and nebulizers. You learn about short term relief and long term control. For some, asthma symptoms will be less present in life because of physiological changes or because of a change in your living environment ( a move for example). The disease however remains.  To find out more about asthma click here.  As parents you worry about the long term effects of medication and balancing act of the immediate and long term well being of your child.

Things do get worse during night time when most of us enjoy a good night of sleep. Our own bedrooms can be infected by small (less than a third of a millimeter) arthropods commonly called house dust mites. These little creatures are the source of allergy and asthma for many of us. In fact in the US it is estimated that a 20 million people are affected according to the Asthma and Allergy foundation of America. Project this number over worldwide population and you will agree with me that this is a serious disease. To view a video about asthma and how animal research contributed click here.

In come a team of researchers,
Department of Physiology, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
Correspondence: Michael R Van Scott, Department of Physiology, The Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, 6N98 Brody Building, Greenville, NC 27834, USA,
Email vanscottmi@ecu.edu   
whom produce the following study using, you guessed it once again non human primates. It is called:
Their conclusions speak for themselves:
The results provide compelling evidence that daytime exposure to aeroallergen in allergic NHP is associated with an increased incidence of nocturnal disturbances in breathing. Taken together, the results indicate that symptoms of nocturnal asthma can be induced in NHP, providing a model for elucidating the mechanisms underlying circadian manifestation of asthma symptoms.
So as we all gently move on with science and our planet becomes more and more populated some difficult choices will be ours to make. Shall we leave the choice of using animals as open as possible or do we need to restrict it? Are we prepared to tackle the challenges ahead of us and are we well equipped to do so? Is it in the end the dust mite that will prevail, for I see no reason why this tiny animal isn't a sentient being, or is it us?  You may disagree with my analogy but by comparing the extremes it becomes clear that some are being manipulated. Or one could say the mite is hiding the forest.  Small things  hold great power so beware of what you wish for.

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