Hind Sbihi

and 10 more

Background: The ‘old friends’ hypothesis posits that reduced exposure to previously ubiquitous microorganisms is one factor involved in the increased rates of allergic diseases. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) may be one of the “old friends” hypothesized to help prevent allergic diseases. We sought to elucidate whether early-life CMV infection is associated with childhood atopy via perturbations of the gut microbiota. Methods: Participants were recruited from a population-based birth cohort (CHILD study) and followed prospectively until age five years in four Canadian cities. A total of 928 participants provided stool microbiome data, urine for CMV testing, skin-prick tests, and questionnaires-based detailed environmental exposures. CMV infection was assessed in the first year of life while the main outcome was defined by persistent sensitization to any allergen at ages 1, 3, and 5 years. Results: Early CMV infection was associated with increased beta and decreased alpha diversity of the gut microbiota. Both changes in diversity measures and early CMV infection were associated with persistent allergic sensitization at age 5 years (aOR= 2.08; 95%CI: 1, 4.33). Mediation analysis demonstrated that perturbation of gut microbial composition explains 30% of the association. Conclusions: Early-life CMV infection is associated with an alteration in the intestinal microbiota, which mediates the effect of the infection on childhood atopy. This work indicates that preventing CMV infection would not put children at increased risk of developing atopy. Rather, a CMV vaccine, in addition to preventing CMV-associated morbidity and mortality, might reduce the risk of childhood allergic diseases.

Wenjia Chen

and 5 more

Background: Quantifying age trends in healthcare costs of pediatric asthma leads to better understanding of the natural history of the disease and informed decision-making on the allocation of healthcare resources. Methods: We identified children with incident asthma from the health administrative data of British Columbia, Canada (Jan 1998 to Dec 2015), and followed them from their first diagnosis of asthma or wheezing until age 18. We estimated direct medical costs (in 2016 Canadian dollars [$]), including inpatient and outpatient encounters and pharmacy costs, attributed to asthma (primary outcome) and other respiratory diseases (secondary outcome). We assessed the impact of sex and socioeconomic status on age trends, adjusting for calendar effect. Results: The final analysis included 44,552 children with asthma (62% boys). From age 0 to 18, costs of asthma/wheezing and other respiratory conditions decreased from $1,036 to $29/child-year, and from $1,145 to $31/child-year, respectively. Children under 3 years of age incurred 4–fold higher costs for asthma/wheezing and other respiratory conditions. In particular, costs of asthma hospitalizations were 10 times higher in this age group compared to older children. Age trends were generally similar between sex groups and across socioeconomic status. However, medication costs for asthma/wheezing decreased in boys, whereas those in girls declined during childhood but increased during adolescence. Conclusions: The highest costs of pediatric asthma are concentrated in children younger than 3. Age trends were generally consistent between sex and across socioeconomic status.

Wenjia Chen

and 5 more

Background: Quantifying age trends in healthcare costs of pediatric asthma leads to better understanding of the natural history of the disease and informed decision-making on the allocation of healthcare resources. Methods: We identified children with incident asthma from the health administrative data of British Columbia, Canada (Jan 1998 to Dec 2015), and followed them from their first diagnosis of asthma or wheezing until age 18. We estimated direct medical costs (in 2016 Canadian dollars [$]), including inpatient and outpatient encounters and pharmacy costs, attributed to asthma (primary outcome) and other respiratory diseases (secondary outcome). We assessed the impact of sex and socioeconomic status on age trends, adjusting for calendar effect. Results: The final analysis included 44,552 children with asthma (62% boys). From age 0 to 18, costs of asthma/wheezing and other respiratory conditions decreased from $1,036 to $29/child-year, and from $1,145 to $31/child-year, respectively. Children under 3 years of age incurred 4–fold higher costs for asthma/wheezing and other respiratory conditions. In particular, costs of asthma hospitalizations were 10 times higher in this age group compared to older children. Age trends were generally similar between sex groups and across socioeconomic status. However, medication costs for asthma/wheezing decreased in boys, whereas those in girls declined during childhood but increased during adolescence. Conclusions: The highest costs of pediatric asthma are concentrated in children younger than 3. Age trends were generally consistent between sex and across socioeconomic status.

Emma Campisi

and 6 more

Objective: The potential benefit of a combined adenotonsillectomy and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage (TA-B-BAL) in preschool children with asthma has been debated in the literature. We aimed to describe the clinical course of preschool children with severe asthma undergoing this combined procedure. Study Design: This is a retrospective case-control study. Patient Selection: Preschool patients diagnosed with severe asthma who underwent TA-B-BAL treatment between 2012 and 2019 were included as cases. Controls were age and sex matched patients receiving standard asthma care. Methodology: A retrospective patient chart review was conducted. Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, medication use, virology and microbiology from bronchoalveolar lavage, and asthma control questionnaires were collected. Cases and controls were compared with t-tests and regression analysis. Results: Eighteen preschool subjects (mean age 3.19±1.13 years) in the case group were matched to eighteen control subjects receiving standard care. A Poisson mixed effects regression analysis revealed reduced risk of oral corticosteroid use (RR 0.39, 95%CI 0.18, 0.83, p=0.014), reduced emergency department visits (RR 0.36, 95%CI 0.17, 0.75, p=0.01) and reduced risk of asthma exacerbations (RR 0.58, 95%CI 0.28, 1.20, p=0.14) in cases compared to controls. Ten patients experienced clinically meaningful improvements in TRACK scores after the procedure (p<0.001). Conclusion: This pilot study provides early evidence that preschool children with severe asthma may benefit from combined adenotonsillectomy and bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage procedure. The procedure is a useful adjunct for reduction of medication use and hospital visits for preschool age patients with severe asthma.

Jihoon Choi

and 16 more

Background: Asthma is a multifactorial disease with numerous associated genetic and environmental risk factors, however, gene-environment interactions are poorly understood in modulating disease risk. This study determines the polygenic effects of multiple genetic loci and interactions with environmental exposures during early infancy on risk of recurrent wheeze and asthma in pre-school aged children. Methods: We conducted genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and applied a thresholding method to calculate genetic risk scores (GRS) of recurrent wheeze and asthma in 2835 children of the CHILD Cohort Study. Recurrent wheeze was defined as two or more episodes in one year between ages 2-5 years and asthma was diagnosed at age 5 years. In addition, we tested for interaction effects between the GRS and environmental exposures on these respiratory outcomes. Results: GWAS identified associations with known asthma loci on chromosome 17q12 - 17q21 (p < 5e-8). GRS analysis determined that the weighted addition of alleles at four childhood-asthma loci correlated with more than 2-fold higher prevalence of recurrent wheeze (p =1.5e-08) and asthma (p = 9.4e-08) between high vs. low GRS groups. In addition, the GRS interacts with breastfeeding (p = 0.02) and traffic air pollution (NO2; p < 0.01) during the first year of life to modulate risk of recurrent wheeze and childhood-onset asthma. Conclusions: This study reports polygenic effects of multiple genetic loci, which interact with early-life exposures, to determine risk of respiratory outcomes during early childhood. Thus, asthma risk may be determined early in infancy when exposures may modulate genetic risk.

Jennifer Hoang

and 17 more

Background: Multiplex tests allow for measurement of allergen-specific IgE responses to multiple allergen extracts and components and have several advantages for large cohort studies. Due to significant methodological differences, test systems are difficult to integrate in meta-analyses/systematic reviews since there is a lack of datasets with direct comparison. We aimed to create models for statistical integration of allergen-specific IgE to peanut/tree nut allergens from three IgE-test platforms. Methods: Plasma from Canadian and Austrian children with peanut/tree nut sensitization and a cohort of sensitized, high-risk, pre-school asthmatics (total n=166) were measured with three R&D multiplex IgE test platforms: Allergy Explorer, ALEX (Macro Array Dx), MeDALL-chip (Mechanisms of Development of Allergy) (Thermo Fisher), and EUROLINE (EUROIMMUN). Skin prick test (n=51) and ImmunoCAP (n=62) results for extracts were available in a subset. Regression models (Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, local polynomial regression) were applied if >30% of samples were positive to the allergen. Intra-test correlations between PR-10 and nsLTP allergens were assessed. Results: Using two regression methods, we demonstrated the ability to model allergen-specific relationships with acceptable measures of fit (r2=94-56%) for peanut and tree nut sIgE testing at the extract and component-level, in order from highest to lowest: Ara h 2, Ara h 6, Jug r 1, Ana o 3, Ara h 1, Jug r 2, Cor a 9. Conclusion: Our models support the notion that conversion is reasonably possible between sIgE multiplex platforms for allergen extracts and components and may provide options to aggregate data for future meta-analysis.