Bronchial asthma is a very common immune disease of humans. Asthma is characterized by episodes of wheezing, tightness of the chest, and cough, particularly at night or in the early morning. There is bronchoconstriction and airflow limitation that is partially reversible, either spontaneously or with medication. There is a genetic pre-diposition to type 1 hypersensitivity (atopy), acute and chronic airway inflammation, and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Eosinophils and mast cells play a major role in progression of this disease. Asthma has been rarely recognized in chimpanzees (Janssen, 1993). A related form of common allergy in humans (allergic rhinitis) has been reported in chimpanzees (Halpern et al., 1989; Dumonceaux et. Al., 1995).
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