Rhinoviruses significantly affect day-to-day respiratory symptoms of children with asthma

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2015, 135 (3), pp. 663 - 669.e12
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© 2014 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Background Viruses are frequently associated with acute exacerbations of asthma, but the extent to which they contribute to the level of day-to-day symptom control is less clear.Objective We sought to explore the relationship between viral infections, host and environmental factors, and respiratory symptoms in children.Methods Sixty-seven asthmatic children collected samples twice weekly for an average of 10 weeks. These included nasal wash fluid and exhaled breath for PCR-based detection of viral RNA, lung function measurements, and records of medication use and asthma and respiratory symptoms in the previous 3 days. Atopy, mite allergen exposure, and vitamin D levels were also measured. Mixed-model regression analyses were performed.Results Human rhinoviruses (hRVs) were detected in 25.5% of 1232 nasal samples and 11.5% of breath samples. Non-hRV viruses were detected in less than 3% of samples. hRV in nasal samples was associated with asthma symptoms (cough and phlegm: odds ratio = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.4-2.86, P =.0001; wheeze and chest tightness: odds ratio = 2.34, 95% CI = 1.55-3.52, P <.0001) and with cold symptoms, as reported concurrently with sampling and 3 to 4 days later. No differences were found between the 3 hRV genotypes (hRV-A, hRV-B, and hRV-C) in symptom risk. A history of inhaled corticosteroid use, but not atopic status, mite allergen exposure, or vitamin D levels, modified the association between viruses and asthma symptoms.Conclusion The detection of nasal hRV was associated with a significantly increased risk of day-to-day asthma symptoms in children. Host, virus genotype, and environmental factors each had only a small or no effect on the relationship of viral infections to asthma symptoms.
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