Severe bronchiolitis affects the future health of children

A study developed by a team in the field of CIBER Infectious Diseases (CIBERINFEC) and the Severo Ochoa and La Paz Hospitals in Madrid showed that severe bronchiolitis in early childhood has a significant effect on the respiratory health of 7-9 year old children. The results were published in the Review of scientific reports.

Every year 1 is produced in Spain00,000 episodes of bronchiolitis in children under 2 years old of which 15 to 20% are hospitalized, especially those younger than six months, according to data from the Spanish Association of Pediatrics and the Spanish Society of Pediatric Emergencies.

The main cause is the respiratory syncytial virus (75%), but there are also other viruses like rhinovirus, human bocavirus, human metapneumovirus, influenza virus or parainfluenza virus. Indeed, viral co-infections, with identification of two or more respiratory viruses simultaneously, they are relatively common in patients with bronchiolitis, detecting between 10 and 40% of cases in hospitalized infants.

“Children hospitalized for HRV-only bronchiolitis have significantly worse lung function values ​​at ages 7-9”

As the Spanish study shows, the rhinovirus (HRV) not only plays an important role in bronchiolitis, but also in the development of asthma after a respiratory infection. Besides, he’s behind an increased risk of allergic rhinitis, with a rate of 52% against 31% for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or 17% for bronchiolitis by co-infections

“In this work we report, for the first time, that children hospitalized for bronchiolitis associated only with HRV have significantly worse lung function values ​​at 7-9 years than those hospitalized for bronchiolitis with viral co-infection or with a single RSV infection”, Explain Christine Bald, researcher at CIBERINFEC, University Hospital of La Paz, and one of the study coordinators.

In the case of Viral co-infection, this produces twice the risk of developing asthma at 7-9 years (31%) versus 18% for HRV and RSV. Data suggest that bronchiolitis associated with viral co-infection or HRV infection is associated with a significantly increased risk, not only of asthma, but also of more severe asthma.

“In summary, respiratory morbidity at 7-9 years after severe bronchiolitis associated with viral co-infection or single HRV infection is significantly higher than after RSV bronchiolitis as a single infection. Thus, “the identification and follow-up of young children hospitalized with viral co-infections and HRV bronchiolitis are crucial to indicate therapeutic and preventive strategies that improve their respiratory evolution”, concludes Dr. Calvo.

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