Wheezing is a lower respiratory tract symptom induced by various viral respiratory infections. Epidemiological studies have revealed the phenotypes of wheezing in early childhood which have different risk factors for the development of asthma among school age children. The major viral species causing wheezing in children include respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus and influenza viruses. It has been shown that the impact on the development of asthma is different between those virus species. Moreover, recent studies have also focused on the interaction between virus infection and other risk factors in the development of asthma, such as genetic factors or allergic sensitization. In this review, we summarize the previous findings and discuss how clinicians can effectively intervene in these viral infections to prevent the development of asthma.
Keywords: cohort study; interferon; respiratory syncytial virus; rhinovirus; viral respiratory infection; wheezing.