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Arch Pediatr. 2002 Aug;9 Suppl 3:365s-371s.

[Role of viral infections and Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae infections in asthma in infants and young children. Epidemiologic study of 118 children].

[Article in French]

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Service de pédiatrie A, hôpital universitaire, avenue G. Clemenceau, 14033 Caen, France.


Wheezing associated with upper respiratory tract infections is common in children. Using conventional techniques (viral culture and immunofluorescence) and molecular techniques (PCR), we studied the prevalence of viral, Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infections in 118 children hospitalised for acute asthma exacerbation. A virus was identified by conventional techniques in 40 of the 118 nasal swabs (34%), while PCR allowed identification of virus CP and MP in 80 samples (68%). Combination of both techniques allowed identification of an infectious agent in 91 cases (77%). More than one agent was isolated in 15 cases (23%). Rhinovirus (RV) (45%) were prevalent, followed by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (28%) and enterovirus (8.5%). RV and RSV have a similar prevalence (42% and 36% respectively) before two years of age, as compared with 66% and 27% respectively in older children. CP and MP were identified by PCR in only 6 cases. Molecular techniques of identification demonstrated a clear advantage in sensitivity compared with conventional techniques. The high prevalence of RV and RSV infections is remarkable, while CP and MP do not seem particularly involved in children acute asthma exacerbation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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