Gene-environment mismatch in decompression sickness and air embolism.
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Decompression sickness causes injury and death in SCUBA divers when air bubbles obstruct the flow of blood. Platelets aggregate in response to gas and promote inflammation. Inflammation in decompression sickness may have its origin in the innate immune system's response to pathogens. Bubbles are often found in tissues during gas-forming infections and in infection-prone states. In these diseases, intravascular gas offers a signal of infection to immune cells. Platelet activation by gas may often accompany a beneficial immune response to pathogens. Pathologic bubble-platelet interaction in decompression illness may be an example of gene-environment mismatch.Published by Elsevier Ltd.