Exploring the Role of Eosinophils in Inflammatory Diseases

28 April 2020

This article is authored by

Mark White, Global Franchise Head

Eosinophilic Asthma (EA). Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Nasal polyps (NP). Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA). Hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES).

Many within the healthcare and scientific communities may not recognise that these eosinophil-driven diseases have anything in common. But we now know that for certain groups of patients with these illnesses, eosinophils may be the key contributor to inflammatory damage as a result of a process called eosinophilic inflammation.1

So, what is eosinophilic inflammation and how do eosinophils play such a central role in driving these disease pathologies?

Eosinophils are white blood cells and part of the immune system that, when working normally, help fight disease and infection. But having too many activated eosinophils may contribute to disease pathology and a self-perpetuating cycle of inflammation and damage across a range of debilitating diseases.1-6

Eosinophilic inflammation results from the dysregulation of biological mechanisms involved with eosinophil recruitment and activation and describes several biological mechanisms that enable eosinophils to infiltrate patients’ tissue to drive and worsen disease. 1

There is a broad range of diseases where eosinophils can play a central role, and some healthcare providers may not recognise this underlying connection.7

This low awareness can negatively impact patients, who often spend too long in primary and secondary care before they get referred to the right specialist who can accurately diagnose and appropriately treat their illness.8-10

By uncovering the impact of eosinophilic inflammation, it will help raise awareness that seemingly disparate diseases actually have a common cause that ties them all together. This ultimately can help inform appropriate referral, diagnosis, and care.

Mark White Global Franchise Head

If healthcare providers and patients are better educated about the role of eosinophils and the diseases that may result from eosinophilic inflammation, then I believe we can genuinely improve diagnosis and referrals and provide patients with the appropriate care and management.

There is also an important opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of the interplay across inflammatory diseases, resulting in better clinical practices. For example, a patient with eosinophilic asthma might also have nasal polyps11 and a patient with EGPA may also have gastrointestinal symptoms caused by EoE.12 Equipping healthcare providers with the knowledge of how such diseases may share a common cause could further help improve diagnosis, referrals, care, and management decisions.

We are committed to helping healthcare providers and patients uncover eosinophilic inflammation and learn how eosinophils could be playing a key role in these often-devastating illnesses. Through these efforts, we hope to make a positive impact for the millions of people whose diseases are driven by eosinophilic inflammation.


1. Ramirez GA, Yacoub MR, Ripa M, et al. Eosinophils from physiology to disease: a comprehensive review. Biomed Res Int. 2018; 9095275.

2. Rothenberg ME, Hogan SP. The eosinophil. Annu Rev Immunol. 2006; 24:147-174

3. Rosenberg HF, Dyer KD, Foster PS. Eosinophils: changing perspectives in health and disease. Nat Rev Immunol. 2013; 13 (1): 9-22.

4. Trivedi SG, Lloyd CM. Eosinophils in the pathogenesis of allergic airways disease. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007; 64 (10):1269-1289.

5. Carr TF, Berdnikovs S, Simon HU, et al. Eosinophilic bioactivities in severe asthma. World Allergy Organ J. 2016; 9: 21.

6. Diny NL, Rose NR, Čiháková D. Eosinophils in autoimmune diseases. Front Immunol. 2017; 8: 484.

7. Jacobsen EA, Helmers RA, Lee JJ, Lee NA. The expanding role(s) of eosinophils in health and disease. Blood. 2012;120(19):3882–3890.

8. Schoepfer AM, Safroneeva E, Bussmann C, et al. Delay in diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis increases risk for stricture formation in a time-dependent manner. Gastroenterology. 2013; 145 (6): 1230-6.

9. Liu X, Wang L, Zhou K, et al. A delayed diagnosis of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis complicated with extensive artery occlusion of lower extremities in children: case report and literature review. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2019; 17 (1): 26.

10. Silva M, Roufosse F. Oral Corticosteroid Use for the Treatment of Chronic Eosinophilic Disease: A Patient’s and His Physician’s Experience. Adv Ther. 2019; 36: 2558–2566.

11. Bachert C, Claeys SE, Tomassen P, et al. Rhinosinusitis and asthma: a link for asthma severity. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2010; 10(3): 194-201.

12. Prussin C. Eosinophilic gastroenteritis and related eosinophilic disorders. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2014;43(2):317–327.

Veeva ID: Z4-43632

Date of preparation: May 2022