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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 May;105(5):923-32.

Effects of allergic inflammation of the nasal mucosa on the severity of rhinovirus 16 cold.

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  • 1Divisions of Pulmonary Medicine and Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0130, USA.



Despite the strong association of asthma exacerbations with rhinovirus (RV) infection, inoculation of asthmatic subjects with RV only causes small changes in lower airway function, suggesting that RV infection is not itself sufficient to provoke asthma exacerbations.


Our purpose was to test whether allergic inflammation increases the airway response to RV infection.


We compared the severity of RV type 16-induced colds in 2 groups of 10 subjects with allergic rhinitis. One group received 3 nasal challenges with allergen and the other received challenges with placebo over the week before nasal inoculation with RV type 16 (4000 tissue culture infective dose 50% per subject). Subjects kept symptom diaries and were assessed with spirometry, methacholine challenge, nasal lavage, and sputum induction on days 2, 4, 7, 10, 15, and 30 after inoculation.


The 2 groups developed equal rates of infection (90%), similar cold symptoms (Jackson score median [interquartile range], 11 [6-33] vs 20.5 [6-42] for allergen and placebo groups respectively, P =.54), and similar changes in cellular profile and in IL-6 and IL-8 concentrations in nasal lavage fluid and induced sputum after RV inoculation. The incubation period was significantly longer in the allergen group (2.5 [1-5.5] vs 1 [1-1] day, P =.03) and the duration of cold symptoms was shorter (5 [4-7] vs 8.5 [6-10] days, P =.008). We also found an inverse correlation between the percent of eosinophils in nasal lavage fluid before inoculation and the severity of cold symptoms (r = -0.58, P =. 008).


In subjects with allergic rhinitis, augmented nasal allergic inflammation before inoculation with RV type 16 does not worsen the severity of cold symptoms but delays their onset and shortens their duration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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