Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Atopy does not predispose to RSV bronchiolitis or postbronchiolitic wheezing.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 27 June 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:2086
  1. D G Sims,
  2. P S Gardner,
  3. D Weightman,
  4. M W Turner,
  5. J F Soothill


    Twenty-six 8-year-old children who had had respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis in infancy and their paired controls underwent skin and blood tests to assess the role of immunodeficiency and atopy in the pathogenesis of RSV bronchiolitis and the wheezing that may follow it. There was no difference between patients and controls in prevalence of atopy; positive results of prick tests to common antigens; eosinophil counts; yeast opsonisation defect; C2 deficiency; IgG, IgA, IgM, and IgE concentrations; or IgE antibody to dermatophagoides, timothy-grass pollen, and cat fur. Those of the children who had had RSV bronchiolitis and who continued to wheeze had a slightly higher mean eosinophil count and levels of IgE antibody to dermatophagoides than those who did not wheeze. Exercise-induced bronchial lability, though higher in patients than controls, did not correlate significantly with eosinophil counts or IgE concentrations. The genetic factors predisposing to RSV bronchiolitis and postbronchiolitic wheezing may differ from those predisposing to atopic asthma, though exclusive breast feeding may protect against both.