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HH Salter (1860s): taking cold as original cause and provocative of attacks of asthma
  1. Carl Persson1,
  2. Lena Uller2
  1. 1Laboratory Medicine, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Experimental Medical Science BMC D12, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carl Persson, Laboratory Medicine, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Lund University Hospital, Lund S-22185, Sweden; carl.persson{at}

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Henry Hyde Salter's pioneering contributions and unsurpassed descriptions regarding many facets of asthma and its treatments1 are increasingly recognised during the last 50 years.2 ,3 Indeed, reference to Salter is frequent in current discussions on asthma. However, Salter's intriguing observations inferring roles of respiratory infection in asthma remain little noticed. Yet, common cold, predominantly rhinovirus infections, is now acknowledged as leading cause of exacerbations of asthma. Respiratory viral infection is also major contender as original inciter of asthma (reviewed in ref. 4).

A centennial before discovery of cold virus5 …

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  • Contributors Both authors interpreted the historical notes and wrote the letter.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.