Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find pre-disposition to bronchiolitis in some babies

19.10.2007
Scientists have found that a large proportion of infants who suffer from bronchiolitis have an inherent pre-disposition to the disease.

The disease is the most prevalent acute wheezing disorder in infants and is the most common cause of admission to hospital in the first year of life in the developed world. Around 25 in every 1,000 babies are admitted to hospital for bronchiolitis - needing oxygen and help with feeding - and of these, 10% need the support of a ventilator.

Bronchiolitis frequently develops in infants suffering from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Although most infants infected with RSV have only mild symptoms such as a cough and wheeze some develop potentially life-threatening bronchiolitis. Babies born prematurely are particularly susceptible to the condition but what has puzzled scientists is that the majority of babies admitted to hospital are previously healthy and have not had an obvious reason for becoming so ill.

A new study by University of Liverpool scientists, based at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, has found that previously healthy babies with severe disease have a different immune response to those with only mild symptoms. The study involved nearly 200 infants under two years old admitted to Alder Hey over a five-year period. On admission to hospital, those with severe disease were taking more than 50 breaths per minute and their blood oxygen levels were dangerously low.

The study found that those with severe bronchiolitis had lower levels of interferon-gamma and substance P in their airway secretions. Gamma interferon is an important substance made in the body which is used to fight viral infections. The role of substance P is less understood but is thought to be involved in the local inflammatory response in many parts of the body.

Dr Calum Semple, Senior Lecturer in Child Health at the University of Liverpool and Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician based at Alder Hey, said: “This work helps to explain a common observation about children who had bronchiolitis as babies. Parents often tell us that every time their child gets a cold ‘it goes straight to his chest’ and many parents and doctors believe that bronchiolitis in infancy is the cause of these chest problems in childhood.

“This study shows that it is the difference in the child’s ability to fight viruses that predisposes them to bronchiolitis in the first place. That poor ability to fight the condition is an innate feature of their immune system. Bronchiolitis just happens to be the commonest respiratory virus around and therefore the first virus a baby is likely to come across.

“Because the gamma interferon response is an important feature of the immune system in these children, they won’t handle subsequent respiratory viruses very well either. The association between bronchiolitis in babies and ‘chestiness’ in childhood is not causal or consequential but due to a common immune predisposition and is probably genetic.”

The research is funded by the Department of Health and published this week by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) in the journal PLoS One.

Kate Spark | alfa
Further information:
http://www.liv.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>