A study describes a new mechanism by which CARDS, a bacterial toxin, leads to severe inflammation in acute and chronic pulmonary diseases, such as asthma.

“Because M. pneumoniae infections occur so frequently in children and adults and CARDS toxin is such a powerful inducer of inflammation, it is likely that co-infections involving M. pneumoniae, CARDS toxin and other respiratory pathogens result in enhanced severity of disease,” said Santanu Bose, Ph.D., study co-author and associate professor at Washington State University.