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Azithromycin reduces bronchial hyperresponsiveness and neutrophilic airway inflammation in asthmatic children: A preliminary report

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Abstract:

Macrolide antibiotics have immunomodulatory effects that may be beneficial to patients with chronic inflammatory pulmonary conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of azithromycin on lung function, bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), and airway inflammation in asthmatic children. Sixteen asthmatic children were treated with either azithromycin or placebo for 8 weeks. Lung function, BHR expressed as the dose–response slope (DRS) of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) fall after hypertonic saline inhalation (DRS), and induced sputum were evaluated at baseline and after treatment. No significant change was observed in lung function before and after treatment. DRS (percent fall of FEV1/mL) decreased from (X ± SD) 2.75 ± 2.12 to 1.42 ± 1.54 (p = 0.02) in azithromycin-treated children but not in the placebo group, which was 1.48 ± 1.75 at baseline and 1.01 ± 1.38 at the end of the study period. Neutrophil leukocytes decreased significantly in the azithromycin-treated group from 10 ± 5.3% to 2.2 ± 2.4% (p < 0.01) but not in the placebo group, with 7.2 ± 4.2% at baseline and 3.3 ± 3.6% at the end of the study. A short course of azithromycin is associated with amelioration of BHR and reduction in airway neutrophil infiltration in some children with asthma.

Keywords: AIRWAY INFLAMMATION; ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECT; ASTHMA; AZITHROMYCIN; BRONCHIAL HYPERRESPONSIVENESS; SPUTUM NEUTROPHILS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2500/aap.2007.28.2958

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pediatrics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy 2: Istituto Pio XII, Misurina, Italy

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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