German Collaborative Asthma Cohort

Bronchial asthma is one of the most common childhood and adolescence lung diseases.

In a majority of patients with the asthma syndrome, the first symptoms appear very early in life. However, only in a minority of infants does wheezing in the first 2-3 years of life progress to allergic asthma at school age. At school age, the most prevalent wheeze phenotype is associated with atopic sensitization to seasonal and perennial allergens, but some children suffer over many years from non-atopic asthma. During adolescence, remission occurs in some asthmatic patients, but symptoms relapse in a substantial proportion of these subjects later in life. Some patients do not remit at all during adolescence and progress into adult asthma and airway remodeling. These patients are at high risk for the development of severe or difficult-to-treat asthma, which affects about 5-10% of the asthmatic patients, but accounts for a disproportionate share of health care costs.

The children`s asthma registry KIRA aims to include all pediatric asthma patients from large tertiary paediatric pulmonology centers and collaborating private practices over a period of three years. A selected number of patients with established or new-onset asthma in preschool age and adolescence will be characterized using immunological, genetic and microbial in depth phenotyping to establish a cohort of well characterized preschool and adolescent asthmatics and observe their course of disease.

The main hypothesis that will be tested by the German Collaborative Asthma Cohort is: Distinct wheeze and asthma phenotypes can be identified through an algorithm of clinical features, genetic and other biomarkers of underlying mechanisms. These phenotypes benefit from an individually targeted therapeutic approach.

Scientific Head:

Prof. Dr. Gesine Hansen

Cooperating Partners within the DZL: Airway Research Center North (ARCN),
Biomedical Research in Endstage And ObsTructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH), Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC) Munich, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC)