The Role of Infectious Agents in Asthma



Respiratory viral infections in early childhood have been linked to the development of Persistent wheezing and asthma.

Epidemiologic data indicate that , for the majority of children , Virus-induced wheezing is a self limited condition , with no long-term consequences .

For a substantial minority, however Virus-induced wheezing is associated with persistent asthma and the potential for enhanced allergic sensitization.

For the most part , this subset of patients is genetically predisposed , they are atopic children in whom respiratory viral infections trigger the early development of asthma by mechanisms that have not been fully elucidated.

Bacterial organisms are clinically relevant contributors to asthma exacerbations and have received much less attention than viruses in this process.

Strep pneumonia , H. influenza and M. catarrhalis have been  linked to asthma exacerbation , particularly when sinusitis is present.

The atypical bacteria, specifically, C. Pneumonia and M. pneumonia-deserve special attention. Data suggest a link between, these organisms and the exacerbation of asthma, as well as suggest that these organisms may be causative in asthma development.


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