Is RSV infection in infancy associated with adult atopy?

January 01, 0001

Is RSV infection in infancy associated with adult atopy?

An increase in asthma and allergy symptoms has been reported following respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis in the first year of life. This internation team of researchers examined whether these symptoms persist into early adulthood. They followed up with enrollees (46 subjects with RSV infection in their first year of life and 92 controls) in their 18th year with multiple tests questionnaires, clinical examination, skin prick tests, serum IgE antibodies, and pulmonary function testing.

The researchers found: "Increased prevalence of asthma/recurrent wheeze (39% vs 9%), clinical allergy (43% vs 17%) and sensitisation to perennial allergens (41% vs 14%) were present at age 18 in the RSV cohort compared with controls. Persistent/relapsing wheeze associated with early allergic sensitisation predominated in the RSV cohort compared with controls (30% vs 1%). Spirometric function was reduced in subjects with RSV with or without current asthma, but not in asthmatic controls. Lung Clearance Index was linked only to current asthma, airway hyperresponsiveness and FeNO."

The researchers concluded: "Severe early RSV bronchiolitis is associated with an increased prevalence of allergic asthma persisting into early adulthood. Small airway dysfunction (LCI) is related to current asthma and airway inflammation but not to RSV bronchiolitis. Reduced spirometry after RSV may reflect airway remodelling."

This trial, although small, suggest there may be a link between early RSV infection and atopic disease in adulthood.

For the full abstract, click here.

Thorax 65(12):1045-1052, December 2010
© 2010 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Thoracic Society
Asthma and allergy patterns over 18 years after severe RSV bronchiolitis in the first year of life. Nele Sigurs, Fatma Aljassim, Bengt Kjellman, et al. Correspondence to Nele Sigurs: [email protected]

Category: R. Respiratory. Keywords: Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, asthma, allergy, wheezing, prospective cohort, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 7 December 2010

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