Genetic predisposition to wheeze following respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis

Clin Exp Allergy. 2004 May;34(5):801-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2004.1947.x.


Background: The nature of the association between severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis and subsequent wheezing remains unknown. In a previous study, we showed that genetic variation in the IL-8-promoter region is associated with susceptibility to severe bronchiolitis.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between wheezing post-bronchiolitis and the genetic variant of IL-8 gene.

Methods: We collected data from 134 children who had suffered from bronchiolitis, enrolled in our previous study. The occurrence of wheezing post-bronchiolitis was recorded from a questionnaire sent by post. The association between the genotype and wheezing phenotype was assessed by family-based and case-control approaches.

Results: Family-based association showed that the IL-8 variant was transmitted significantly more often than expected in the children who wheezed after the episode of bronchiolitis (transmission=56%, P=0.02). This effect was not observed in the group of children who had bronchiolitis but did not go on to wheeze. Moreover, the variant was significantly more frequent in post-bronchiolitis wheezers compared with the general population (odds ratio=1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.0-2.6).

Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that there is a genetic predisposition to wheeze following severe RSV bronchiolitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / genetics*
  • Bronchiolitis, Viral / virology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / complications*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human*


  • Interleukin-8