The study, which appears in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Disease, confirmed the suspected close link between the two most common diseases of young children, viral colds and ear infections. It also identified the viruses associated with higher rates of ear infections.
“Understanding how viruses and ear infections are linked will definitely help us find new ways to prevent ear infections,” said Dr. Tasnee Chronmaitree, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who is the study’s principal investigator. “To break the link you must first understand it.”
Ear infections are the driving force behind antibiotic resistance, a troubling medical issue, as physicians often administer antibiotics for the painful, persistent ailment.
Chonmaitree has studied otitis media (ear infection) for more than two decades. She said parents could best protect their children by avoiding exposure to sick children and to have their children vaccinated against influenza. She suggested that children in day care might face reduced exposure to viruses if they are enrolled in smaller day care facilities with fewer children.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Chonmaitree and colleagues followed 294 children ages 6 months to 3 years for up to one year each. Researchers documented about 1,300 cold episodes and a 61 percent rate of ear infection complication including asymptomatic fluid in the middle ear, which can cause hearing problems. Researchers also identified the types of cold viruses – adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and coronavirus – that most often resulted in ear infection.
“Because we now know that the common cold is the precursor to an ear infection, it is important for parents to make extra efforts to prevent their children from catching colds,” Chonmaitree said. “It’s important to avoid exposure to sick children or adults, to avoid day care attendance, if possible, and if that’s not an option, to choose a smaller group day care.”
Chonmaitree also recommended the use of influenza vaccine, the only vaccine available to prevent respiratory viral infection, which is now available for children older than 6 months. The antiviral drug has also been shown to prevent ear infections associated with influenza, she said.
Chonmaitree and colleagues will continue to study the role of viruses in ear infection aiming to find a way to prevent the disease. Continued funding from the NIH will allow them to study children born with genetic variations who are prone to having ear infections and at the interactions between genes and the environment.
Marsha Canright | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences