Search
What are you looking for?
Start main content

Press Releases

Press Releases

https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-unravels-the-world-s-most-comprehensive-genome-profile-of-the-american-cockroach-and-reveals-novel-cockroach-allergens-for-the-development-of-precision-immunotherapy
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/cuhk-unravels-the-world-s-most-comprehensive-genome-profile-of-the-american-cockroach-and-reveals-novel-cockroach-allergens-for-the-development-of-precision-immunotherapy

CUHK unravels the world’s most comprehensive genome profile of the American cockroach and reveals novel cockroach allergens for the development of precision immunotherapy

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine), leading a collaborative international research group involving universities in Shenzhen and Thailand, has recently made a ground-breaking study of the genome sequencing of the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) that identified more of their allergens. The team unravelled the world’s most comprehensive genome profile for the American cockroach and identified seven novel cockroach allergens on top of the existing 13. The study’s exciting findings lay important foundations for identifying and cloning major cockroach allergens, facilitating the design of effective immunotherapy for cockroach allergy. The results have been published in the international journal Allergy.

 

Cockroach allergy research team

CU Medicine’s research team unravels the world’s most comprehensive genome profile for the American cockroach and identifies seven novel cockroach allergens, laying important foundations for identifying and cloning major cockroach allergens, facilitating the design of effective immunotherapy for cockroach allergy.

 

(From left) Dr Xiong Qing, Postdoctoral Fellow, and Professor Stephen Tsui, Professor, both in the School of Biomedical Sciences; and Professor Leung Ting-fan, Professor in the Department of Paediatrics; at CU Medicine..

 

Cockroaches account for 45% of sensitisation rate and are the second most common trigger

 

Allergic diseases, including asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema, affect over half the population of Hong Kong. Among these allergic individuals, cockroaches account for 45% of the sensitisation rate and are one of the most common triggers, second to dust mites. The degree of cockroach infestation is not only directly related to the incidence of cockroach allergy in inner-city areas, but also responsible for a higher risk of developing asthma and for higher morbidity in asthmatics. 

 

“Although the awareness of the negative impact and significance of cockroach allergy has increased in the last two decades, advances in its diagnosis and treatment are slow owing to the lack of a complete cockroach allergen profile,” remarked Professor Leung Ting-fan, Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at CU Medicine. “A more comprehensive allergen profile could enable component-resolved diagnosis, which is necessary for improving our understanding and precision diagnosis of cockroach allergy.”  

 

Professor Leung Ting Fan

Professor Leung Ting-fan

Regarding the treatment of cockroach allergy, Professor Leung said strategies that minimise cockroach exposure remain the key approach. While cockroach immunotherapy may modify the course of asthma, many cockroach-allergic patients exhibit complex sensitisation patterns to multiple cockroach-associated proteins. Due to inadequate knowledge about the full spectrum of cockroach allergens, it is currently difficult to delineate the immunodominant cockroach allergen(s) and produce standardised and potent cockroach allergen extracts for optimal immunotherapeutic treatment. 

 

The research group led by Professor Stephen Tsui Kwok-wing, Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at CU Medicine, has been working on the genomics of allergen sources for more than a decade. He has been collaborating with Professor Anchalee Tungtrongchitr, an international expert on cockroach allergy from Thailand’s Mahidol University, on cockroach genomics and allergy since 2018. In this study, they focused on the American cockroach, which possesses a larger genome size compared with the other common allergy-triggering species, the German cockroach.

 

Identifying seven novel allergens which provide insights for cockroach allergy diagnosis and therapy


Dr Xiong Qing, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biomedical Sciences at CU Medicine, said, “Due to the lack of a high-quality genome, only a limited number of cockroach allergens have been identified in the last 20 years. In this study, we assembled a high-quality, chromosome-level genome with 25 chromosomes in the American cockroach. Based on our research expertise in genomics and allergy, we identified seven more novel allergens on top of the existing 13. We anticipate that this comprehensive profile of cockroach allergens will ultimately benefit the future diagnosis of cockroach allergy.”

 

Professor Stephen Tsui

Professor Stephen Tsui

Added Professor Stephen Tsui, “Genomics has become a powerful tool for investigating a species of interest. Our genomic results revealed a wide range of gene family variations, such as an important detoxification gene family, glutathione S-transferase, which is highly expanded in the American cockroach genome and explains the high viability of cockroaches. Moreover, our comparative genomics analysis raised the possibility that termites may contain highly identical allergens that are cross-reactive with those of cockroaches. Note that the sudden appearance of swarming termites in flight, generally called ‘flying ants’, on a rainy day in spring or summer is a good indicator that there is a termite infestation nearby. We need to beware of the negative impact from both cockroaches and termites.

 

By filling in the gaps of the missing components of the allergen profile, this study provides valuable insights into the development of component-resolved diagnosis and allergen-specific immunotherapy for cockroach-induced allergic diseases. Moreover, the study recommends combining the newly identified allergens with current cockroach extracts. This will facilitate the standardisation of cockroach allergen extracts, benefit risk stratification and thus improve specialist management for individuals who exhibit complex sensitisation patterns.

 

 

 

More Press Releases

CUHK Unveils Genome of Dermatophagoides farinae Casting New Light on Diagnosis and Interventions of Inhalant Allergies

CUHK Unveils Genome of Dermatophagoides farinae Casting New Light on Diagnosis and Interventions of Inhalant Allergies

Research
CUHK unveils the evolutionary history of medically important mites, laying the genomics groundwork for diagnosis of and intervention in mite allergy

CUHK unveils the evolutionary history of medically important mites, laying the genomics groundwork for diagnosis of and intervention in mite allergy

Research
CU Medicine study identifies 11 allergen components of shrimp for  precision diagnosis of shrimp allergy

CU Medicine study identifies 11 allergen components of shrimp for precision diagnosis of shrimp allergy

Research
CU Medicine proves basophil activation test has much higher diagnostic accuracy  for shrimp allergy than conventional allergy tests

CU Medicine proves basophil activation test has much higher diagnostic accuracy for shrimp allergy than conventional allergy tests

Research
CU Medicine Studies Suggest Grass Carp as a Major Source of Fish Allergy in Hong Kong And Identify Novel Allergenic Marker Cten i 1 to Promote Accurate Diagnosis

CU Medicine Studies Suggest Grass Carp as a Major Source of Fish Allergy in Hong Kong And Identify Novel Allergenic Marker Cten i 1 to Promote Accurate Diagnosis

Research
CUHK Study Sees the Exposure to Farm Environment  Is Beneficial for Children to Prevent Asthma

CUHK Study Sees the Exposure to Farm Environment Is Beneficial for Children to Prevent Asthma

Research
CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being

CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being

Health Campaign
CUHK-HKU Study on Multi-gene Mutation-Drug Matching for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients Providing Free Pharmacogenomic Analysis for 100 Patients in Hong Kong

CUHK-HKU Study on Multi-gene Mutation-Drug Matching for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Patients Providing Free Pharmacogenomic Analysis for 100 Patients in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

CUHK Conducts Hong Kong’s First Study on Seven Common Respiratory Viruses Revealing Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza A as Prevalent Fatal Types

Research
CUHK develops a 3D-printable bioactive material and other technologies to treat large-to-massive tendon injuries

CUHK develops a 3D-printable bioactive material and other technologies to treat large-to-massive tendon injuries

Research
Can animals count?  Neuroscientists at CityUHK and CUHK resolve long-standing debate

Can animals count? Neuroscientists at CityUHK and CUHK resolve long-standing debate

Research
CUHK proves its self-developed oral microencapsulated live bacteria formula SIM03 improves disease severity and quality of life in children with eczema

CUHK proves its self-developed oral microencapsulated live bacteria formula SIM03 improves disease severity and quality of life in children with eczema

Research
CU Medicine’s nationwide multicentre study on acute lymphoblastic leukaemia  establishes a new biomarker to inform relapse risk and treatment strategies

CU Medicine’s nationwide multicentre study on acute lymphoblastic leukaemia establishes a new biomarker to inform relapse risk and treatment strategies

Research
A CU Medicine-Baylor College of Medicine collaborative study reveals for the first time that variations in DHX9 underlie human neurodevelopmental disorders

A CU Medicine-Baylor College of Medicine collaborative study reveals for the first time that variations in DHX9 underlie human neurodevelopmental disorders

Research
CU Medicine finds surgical treatment lowers blood pressure in children with severe obstructive sleep apnoea but postoperative weight control is equally important

CU Medicine finds surgical treatment lowers blood pressure in children with severe obstructive sleep apnoea but postoperative weight control is equally important

Research
CUHK discovers a neural architecture that facilitates the formation of associative memory, providing the basis for a deeper understanding of memory and its impairment in brain disorders

CUHK discovers a neural architecture that facilitates the formation of associative memory, providing the basis for a deeper understanding of memory and its impairment in brain disorders

Research
CUHK’s HK-HOPE develops an integrated drug and genomic test to tailor precision personalised medicine and deliver “hope” to children with difficult-to-treat leukaemia

CUHK’s HK-HOPE develops an integrated drug and genomic test to tailor precision personalised medicine and deliver “hope” to children with difficult-to-treat leukaemia

Research
COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the daily lives of schoolchildren in Hong Kong; Proportion of overweight and obese kids more than doubled

COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the daily lives of schoolchildren in Hong Kong; Proportion of overweight and obese kids more than doubled

Research
CUHK-HKU-UCL study unravels how gene mutation leads to congenital megacolon providing clues for the development of novel therapeutic strategies

CUHK-HKU-UCL study unravels how gene mutation leads to congenital megacolon providing clues for the development of novel therapeutic strategies

Research
CU Medicine Study Shows Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Increases the Risk of Hypertension in Adulthood

CU Medicine Study Shows Childhood Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Increases the Risk of Hypertension in Adulthood

Research
CUHK Study Finds Half of Childhood Cancer Survivors Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine

CUHK Study Finds Half of Childhood Cancer Survivors Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Research
CUHK Uncovers a New Strategy to Turn “Cold” Liver Tumour “Hot” Leading to an Effective and Durable Combined Immunotherapy

CUHK Uncovers a New Strategy to Turn “Cold” Liver Tumour “Hot” Leading to an Effective and Durable Combined Immunotherapy

Research
CU Medicine Study Suggests Toddlers are at High Risk of Being  “Silent Spreaders of SARS-CoV2 Infection”

CU Medicine Study Suggests Toddlers are at High Risk of Being “Silent Spreaders of SARS-CoV2 Infection”

Research
CUHK Introduces Nasal Strip Sampling for COVID-19 Test As a Superior Tool for Surveillance in a Wide Age-Range Population

CUHK Introduces Nasal Strip Sampling for COVID-19 Test As a Superior Tool for Surveillance in a Wide Age-Range Population

Research
A Joint Study by CUHK, PolyU and Western Sydney University Discovers how the Nervous System of Human Runners Generates More Energetically Efficient Running Forms

A Joint Study by CUHK, PolyU and Western Sydney University Discovers how the Nervous System of Human Runners Generates More Energetically Efficient Running Forms

Research
Insights into B-cells and GPR18 Gene Expression by CU Medicine team  Improve Prediction of Survival in Multiple Cancer Types

Insights into B-cells and GPR18 Gene Expression by CU Medicine team Improve Prediction of Survival in Multiple Cancer Types

Research
CUHK Researchers Uncover Diabetes as a Potential Risk Factor for COVID-19,  and Possible Mechanisms

CUHK Researchers Uncover Diabetes as a Potential Risk Factor for COVID-19, and Possible Mechanisms

Research
CUHK Study Discovers Brain Circuitry That Generates Behavioural Responses to Stress Provide a Basis for Probing Abnormal Repetitive Behaviour Exhibited in Brain Disorders

CUHK Study Discovers Brain Circuitry That Generates Behavioural Responses to Stress Provide a Basis for Probing Abnormal Repetitive Behaviour Exhibited in Brain Disorders

Research
CU Medicine Team Discovers a Novel Prognostic Biomarker for a Doubled Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

CU Medicine Team Discovers a Novel Prognostic Biomarker for a Doubled Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

Research
CUHK to Commence the Next-Generation Clinical Trials of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Haematological Malignancy

CUHK to Commence the Next-Generation Clinical Trials of CAR-T Cell Therapy for Haematological Malignancy

Research
CUHK-Designed Intervention Package Proves Effective to Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Hong Kong Young Children

CUHK-Designed Intervention Package Proves Effective to Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake in Hong Kong Young Children

Research
CUHK Study Sees Shorter Sleep Put Adolescents at Risk of Future Cardiovascular Diseases

CUHK Study Sees Shorter Sleep Put Adolescents at Risk of Future Cardiovascular Diseases

Research
CUHK Study Discovers Pathway That Links to Cognitive Flexibility Dopamine Dysregulation May Lead to Ability Impairment

CUHK Study Discovers Pathway That Links to Cognitive Flexibility Dopamine Dysregulation May Lead to Ability Impairment

Research
CUHK Study Discovers an Essential Enzyme to Maintain Body Iron Homeostasis Deficiency Could Cause Excessive Iron Retention and Damage Major Organs

CUHK Study Discovers an Essential Enzyme to Maintain Body Iron Homeostasis Deficiency Could Cause Excessive Iron Retention and Damage Major Organs

Research
CUHK School of Biomedical Sciences Strives to Become the World-leading Biomedical Hub

CUHK School of Biomedical Sciences Strives to Become the World-leading Biomedical Hub

Milestone
CUHK’s Gerald Choa Neuroscience Centre Unveils Mystery of How Brain Learns Motor Skills

CUHK’s Gerald Choa Neuroscience Centre Unveils Mystery of How Brain Learns Motor Skills

Research
CUHK Recommends Oral Glucose Tolerance Test for All Pregnant Women Study Reveals Children of Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Have 3-Fold Diabetes Risk

CUHK Recommends Oral Glucose Tolerance Test for All Pregnant Women Study Reveals Children of Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Have 3-Fold Diabetes Risk

Research
CUHK Uncovers Novel Immune Escape Mechanism of Cancer Opening Up New Direction for Cancer Immunotherapy

CUHK Uncovers Novel Immune Escape Mechanism of Cancer Opening Up New Direction for Cancer Immunotherapy

Research
CUHK Proves Rotavirus Vaccine Highly Effective for HK Children

CUHK Proves Rotavirus Vaccine Highly Effective for HK Children

Research
CUHK-led Study Reveals Novel Mechanism for the Development of Atherosclerosis Setting New Treatment Directions to Cardiovascular Diseases

CUHK-led Study Reveals Novel Mechanism for the Development of Atherosclerosis Setting New Treatment Directions to Cardiovascular Diseases

Research
CUHK Launches World’s First Study on Ovum Ageing and Female Infertility by Using Single-Cell Genomics Technology

CUHK Launches World’s First Study on Ovum Ageing and Female Infertility by Using Single-Cell Genomics Technology

Research
CUHK/International Study Implicates a Gene in Alzheimer’s disease

CUHK/International Study Implicates a Gene in Alzheimer’s disease

Research
CUHK Launches Newborn Add-on Test for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Supported by Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Disease

CUHK Launches Newborn Add-on Test for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Supported by Joshua Hellmann Foundation for Orphan Disease

Donation
CUHK Research Reveals New Influenza Vaccine Offers More Effective Control over Influenza in Hong Kong

CUHK Research Reveals New Influenza Vaccine Offers More Effective Control over Influenza in Hong Kong

Research
CUHK and US Experts Collaborate to Provide Clinical Genetic Training to Set up The Territory's First One-Stop Outpatient Genetic Clinic

CUHK and US Experts Collaborate to Provide Clinical Genetic Training to Set up The Territory's First One-Stop Outpatient Genetic Clinic

International collaboration
CUHK Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sciences Building Opened

CUHK Lo Kwee-Seong Integrated Biomedical Sciences Building Opened

Milestone
CUHK Launches Territory-wide Sleep Health Education Campaign to Promote Healthy Sleep and Healthy School Life

CUHK Launches Territory-wide Sleep Health Education Campaign to Promote Healthy Sleep and Healthy School Life

Health Campaign
CUHK Pioneers MRI Iron Assessment for Thalassemia Children in Southern China

CUHK Pioneers MRI Iron Assessment for Thalassemia Children in Southern China

Clinical service
CUHK Discovers the Environmental Factors in Family and School Behind Constipation in HK Children

CUHK Discovers the Environmental Factors in Family and School Behind Constipation in HK Children

Research

Our Expert List

Many experts under the Faculty of Medicine are available for media interview.
Please click here for the expert list or contact us.