A set of samples will be collected from each participant at each visit. Each sample can help us learn about different factors that may contribute to the development of asthma.
Nasal brushing: we use a tiny brush to scrub in each of their nostrils to collect a few of the cells that line the nose. These can tell us how the lining of the airways is working. We routinely use this test in clinic to diagnose respiratory illnesses.
Nasal swab: we will gently swab one of their nostrils to collect some secretions. This will tell us what microbes are living in your child’s nose. All of us have microbes living in our nose, throat and lungs; most are harmless.
Throat swab: a gentle rub on the back of the mouth with a small swab to collect some secretions. This will tell us what microbes are living in your child’s mouth.
Blood can be collected by a heel prick or finger prick, the same way a baby or child with diabetes has their blood sugar checked. We only need a few drops. The blood sample can tell us how your child’s immune system is working.
Urine helps us to assess whether or not they are exposed to cigarette smoke inside or outside the home. A few cotton wool balls in their nappy is all it takes to collect a bit.
Every month we’ll send parents an email or text message asking just a few questions about any wheezing or other illness your child might have experienced. It should only take about a minute for to complete and will help us understand how things like antibiotics may contribute to development of asthma.