Association of recurrent upper respiratory tract infections with low production of oxygen intermediates in children

J Pediatr (Rio J). 2022 Jul-Aug;98(4):399-405. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2021.09.008. Epub 2021 Nov 26.


Objectives: Upper respiratory tract infections in children generally have significant morbidity and mortality. There is little data available about functional immaturity of the immune system and the child's susceptibility to infections at the beginning of their lives, thus, justifying a more specific immunological analysis.

Method: Analysis of hemograms and innate and adaptive immune responses in 95 children between age 1 to 6 years with episodes of recurrent respiratory infections (test group n = 39) and without these episodes (control group n = 56) was carried out. The production of reactive oxygen intermediates by peripheral blood cells stimulated by phorbol myristate acetate was analyzed. Additionally, the number of B lymphocytes, auxiliary T lymphocytes, and cytotoxic cells was determined using flow cytometry.

Results: Results from both groups did not show statistically significant differences in red blood cells, total leukocytes count, and the differential neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes count. The analysis of the number of B lymphocytes, auxiliary T lymphocytes (LTCD4), and cytotoxic cells (LTCD8) also did not show any difference between both groups. However, the production of radical oxygen intermediates was significantly reduced in the test group as compared to the control group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: There was no difference in the analysis of hemograms, leukograms, or the number of lymphocytes, LTCD4, LTCD8, or LTCD19. The reduced production of oxygen intermediates in the affected group suggests that these children's microbicide capacity is compromised, which may be related to their recurrent respiratory infections.

Keywords: Children; Oxygen intermediates; Recurrent respiratory infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Monocytes
  • Neutrophils
  • Oxygen*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections*


  • Oxygen