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Treatment devised at Pitt could ease breathing woes

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By Adam Smeltz
Sunday, March 31, 2013, 12:59 p.m.

A new molecule developed in Pittsburgh eases inflammation in rodent cases of pneumonia, a discovery that could help people with respiratory infections, according to research released on Sunday.

A refined version of the treatment eventually “might be useful in improving outcomes” for pneumonia patients, said Dr. Rama Mallampalli, a vice chairman for research in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He said clinical trials for people could materialize within a few years.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institutes of Health supported the research, conducted during the past three to four years at Pitt and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Mallampalli is the senior author in a paper about the findings, published this week in the journal Nature Immunology.

He said researchers are looking at whether other treatments could have a similar effect on ailments such as arthritis, asthma and colitis, all of which involve inflammation.

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