Allergic sensitization is associated with rhinovirus-, but not other virus-, induced wheezing in children

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2010 Nov;21(7):1008-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01059.x.


Background: Data on the link between atopy and viral wheeze are limited.

Aim: To evaluate the association between IgE sensitization and viral infection in wheezing children.

Methods: This is an observational study in hospitalized wheezing children (n = 247; median age 1.6 ; interquartile range 1.1, 2.9). Eighteen respiratory viral infections were studied using all available methods. A specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization for common food and aeroallergens and other atopy-related variables including total IgE, blood and nasal eosinophils, exhaled nitric oxide, eczema and atopic eczema, parental allergy and asthma, number of wheezing episodes, positive asthma predictive index or asthma and use of inhaled corticosteroid were correlated with specific viral etiology.

Results: Atopy was closely associated with sole rhinovirus etiology (n = 58) but not with sole respiratory syncytial virus, sole enterovirus, sole human bocavirus, sole other virus, mixed viral, or virus negative etiology. The number of sensitizations was particularly associated with sole rhinovirus etiology (odds ratio 4.59; 95% confidence interval 1.78, 11.8; adjusted to age and sex), followed by aeroallergen sensitization (respectively; 4.18; 2.00, 8.72), total IgE level (2.06; 1.32, 3.21), food allergen sensitization (2.02; 1.08, 3.78), and nasal eosinophil count (1.52; 1.08, 2.13).

Conclusions: According to our data, allergic sensitization is positively linked to rhinovirus-, but not other virus-, associated wheezing and calls attention for studies to test rhinovirus-associated wheezing as a part of asthma risk indices.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Cell Count
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / blood
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Hypersensitivity / virology
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Picornaviridae Infections / blood
  • Picornaviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / physiopathology
  • Picornaviridae Infections / virology
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Rhinovirus / immunology*
  • Rhinovirus / pathogenicity
  • Risk Factors


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin E