Leucocyte populations in respiratory syncytial virus-induced bronchiolitis

J Paediatr Child Health. 2001 Apr;37(2):146-51. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2001.00618.x.


Objectives: To enumerate the cellular composition of the airways in infants with acute bronchiolitis.

Methodology: Cells were obtained by airway lavage from the upper and lower airway and the peripheral blood of infants with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)+ bronchiolitis, RSV- bronchiolitis and age-matched controls.

Results: Neutrophils are the predominant cells present in the upper and lower airway. Neutrophils are present at a higher number/unit volume in the airway than in the peripheral blood.

Conclusions: Neutrophils, being the dominant cellular infiltrate into the airway, are likely to contribute to the pathophysiology of bronchiolitis. Therapies targeted at limiting neutrophil influx or neutrophil-mediated damage in the airway may have a therapeutic role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / etiology*
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / physiopathology*
  • Cell Separation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukocytes / classification
  • Leukocytes / virology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / complications*
  • Respiratory System / virology
  • South Australia