A group of researchers have found that a new blood test can find a diagnostic marker that can be used to identify the risk group for asthma attacks caused by rhinoviruses.

The results of the subsequent antibody tests using recombinant virus antigens that were developed at the MedUni Vienna showed that the asthmatics who experienced attacks expressed significantly higher antibodies to the structure protein VP1, which is found in all of the known 150 or so rhinovirus strains, than any of the other subjects. “We are therefore able to show that this protein is suitable as a diagnostic marker and also as a tool for categorising disease-triggering strains,” explains the MedUni Vienna researcher.