Jul 25, 2003

Infectious triggers of pediatric asthma

Pediatric Clinics of North America
James E Gern, R F Lemanske


Respiratory infections can cause wheezing illnesses in children of all ages and also can influence the causation and disease activity of asthma. For years it has been recognized that respiratory syncytial virus infections often produce the first episode of wheezing in children who go on to develop chronic asthma. More recently, it has been proposed that repeated infections with other common childhood viral pathogens might help the immune system develop in such a way as to prevent the onset of allergic diseases and possibly asthma. In addition to the effects of viral infections, infections with certain intracellular pathogens, such as chlamydia and mycoplasma, may cause acute and chronic wheezing in some individuals, whereas common cold and acute sinus infections can trigger acute symptoms of asthma. In this article, the epidemiologic, mechanistic, and treatment implications of the association between respiratory infections and asthma are discussed.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections
Chlamydia Infections
Immune System
Virus Diseases
Sinus - General Anatomical Term
Mycoplasma Infections
Respiratory Tract Infections
Mycoplasma Infection in Conditions Classified Elsewhere and of Unspecified Site

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