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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Sep;7(7):869-77. doi: 10.1586/eri.09.58.

Management of bacterial infections in children with asthma.

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Paediatric Research Centre, Tampere University and University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.


Respiratory viruses are the single most common causes of asthma exacerbations in children. Rhinovirus-induced wheezing is a risk factor for chronic asthma, but its mechanism has remained unknown. Human bocavirus is a common finding in wheezing children, but its role as a respiratory pathogen is still unclear. Mycoplasma pneumoniae may, like viruses, induce wheezing and asthma exacerbation. Chlamydia pneumoniae and, in recent studies, Chlamydia trachomatis, may not only induce asthma exacerbations but may also be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic asthma. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis are often involved in respiratory infections associated with wheezing, but there is no evidence for their active role in asthma pathogenesis or exacerbation. This review summarizes current knowledge on the association between respiratory infections and asthma in children, with a special focus on the role of antibiotics in incipient asthma, asthma exacerbation and chronic stable asthma.

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