Scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have identified a cellular receptor for rhinovirus C, a cold-causing virus that is strongly associated with severe asthma attacks.

A variant in the gene for this receptor previously had been linked to asthma in genetic studies, but the potential role of the receptor, called CDHR3, in asthma was unknown. The new findings help clarify the function of CDHR3 and point to a novel target for the development of prevention and treatment strategies against rhinovirus C-induced colds and asthma attacks.