Genetic predisposition to asthma. Illustration of a newborn's immune response: 1) a newborn without any genetic predisposition to asthma (left) and living in a normal environment. Its immune system reacts to viral and bacterial attacks by triggering an immune response to the virus or bacteria. 2) a newborn genetically predisposed to asthma (right), possessing a large number of Th 2 lymphocytes, and living in a sanitized environment, will develop an allergic immune response. A deficiency in regulatory lymphocytes (light green), which regulate the lymphocytes which control both viral and bacterial (Th 1) as well as allergic (Th2) immune responses, may also exist.
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