Healthy Living

Research Reveals Cystic Fibrosis Severity Is Linked to Fungus

Yes, nitric oxide is good for cystic fibrosis

Nitric oxide (NO) is a colorless, naturally occurring gas that plays a vital role in several biological processes, including triggering of the immune system. When applied directly to the airway, it can attract immune cells, thereby potentially eliminating bacterial, viral and fungal infections (such as Aspergillus fumigatus), as well as multi-drug resistant strains. It can promote the growth and activity of immune cells at low concentrations and taken higher, it forms connections with DNA, RNA, lipids or proteins that kill or prohibit the activity of targeted pathogens.

This type of gas also contributes to the removal of secretions, restoration of the mucociliary system, and maintenance of airway clearance. During an infection, nitric oxide improves oxygenation as well as blood flow to the respiratory tract. This, in turn, leads to an influx of nutrients and white blood cells, all of which are useful for the elimination of an infection. In patients with CF, administration of nitric oxide may lower the risk of lung infections, thereby leading to improved lung function.