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 MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News

Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>