Clinical and Virus Surveillance After the First Wheezing Episode: Special Reference to Rhinovirus A and C Species

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Abstract

Background:

Susceptibility to rhinovirus (RV)-induced early wheezing episode has been recognized as an important risk factor for asthma, but the data on different RV species are limited. Our aim was to investigate the risk for recurrences in first-time wheezing children with special focus on RV species.

Methods:

First-time wheezing children (88 inpatients and 23 outpatients) were prospectively followed at 2-week, 2-month and 12-month time-points, and at first recurrence within 12 months. The respiratory virus etiology was analyzed using polymerase chain reaction. RV-positive samples were sequenced. The primary outcomes were time to a new physician-confirmed wheezing episode, time to a new RV-induced wheezing episode and time to the initiation of regular controller medication for asthma symptoms.

Results:

The median age of the children was 12 months (standard deviation, 6.0), 67% were males and 23% were sensitized. RV dominated in symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. Different RV strains were observed in 97% (67/69) of consecutive samples during follow-up. First-time wheezing children with RV-C and RV-A had an increased risk for a new physician-confirmed wheezing episode and a new RV-associated wheezing episode than non-RV group (all P < 0.05). Also, the risk for the initiation of regular controller medication was increased in RV-A and RV-C groups when compared with non-RV group (both P < 0.05).

Conclusions:

RV causes reinfections with different strains in small children after the first wheezing episode. Both RV-A and RV-C affected children have an increased risk for recurrence, especially RV associated, and initiation of regular controller medication than those with other viruses.

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