The possible role of virus infection in the occurrence and attack of asthma was examined by measuring the lymphocyte transformation test to CMV in 44 asthmatic and 14 healthy subjects and analyzed their relation to the clinical parameters. CMV-induced lymphocyte reactivity (CMV-LR) in adult asthmatics was significantly higher than that in the healthy controls. A positive correlation was observed between CMV-LR titer and CMV-complement fixation (CMV-CF) antibody titers (r=0.35). In adult asthmatics, the CMV-LR in the high IgE titer (100U/ml≦) group was significantly higher than that in the low IgE titer (<100U/ml) group.
These findings suggest that CMV is an important factor in the pathogenesis of adult asthma mediated by lymphocytes and probably IgE, although the precise mechanism in still unknown.