A blood test to diagnose western red-cedar asthma

Western red-cedar asthma (WRCA) is the most common form of occupational asthma in British Columbia and is caused by sensitivity to a molecule found in the wood called plicatic acid (PA). Patients suspected of having WRCA must complete two inhalational challenges to determine sensitivity to PA, an expensive and time-consuming process. There is need for a cheaper and quicker method of diagnosis. Blood is relatively easy to access and useful in studying WRCA. Changes were observed in the blood-based molecular biomarkers in WRCA patients during inhalational challenges. I propose that I can develop a blood-based panel of genes to diagnose WRCA.
PROOF specializes in developing blood-based biomarker diagnostic tests to reduce cost and time associated with diagnosing diseases. Since there is no test that can diagnose WRCA without inhalational challenges, PROOF would benefit from this collaboration in developing a blood test capable of diagnosing WRCA in a clinical setting.

Faculty Supervisor:

Scott Tebbutt


Jinelle Panton


Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure





University of British Columbia



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