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Assessment of the association between pediatric asthma and Streptococcus pyogenes upper respiratory infection

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This study was designed to determine the relationship between asthma and the risk of developing Streptococcus pyogenes infections of the upper respiratory tract among children and adolescents. We conducted a retrospective cohort study that followed a convenience sample of 340 healthy children who participated in the Rochester Family Measles Study. Comprehensive medical record reviews determined asthma status by applying predetermined criteria. All laboratory test results of cultures, rapid antigen, and polymerase chain reaction tests for S. pyogenes infections during the first 18 years of life were collected to compare the incidence of S. pyogenes infections between asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects. A Poisson regression was fit to determine the association between asthma and S. pyogenes infections controlling for other risk factors. Of the 340 subjects, we enrolled 327 who were eligible for this study. Of the 327 subjects, 114 (35%) had asthma. The incidences of S. pyogenes infections for asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects were 0.25 per person-year and 0.18 per person-year, respectively. The adjusted risk ratio for asthma was 1.40 (95% CI, 1.12‐1.74; p = 0.0029). Asthma in children is associated with an increased risk of S. pyogenes upper respiratory infections. The impact of asthma status on susceptibility to microbial infections needs to be considered in the context of a possible causal relationship between asthma and microbial infections. The mechanisms underlying this risk need to be elucidated.

Keywords: Asthma; Streptococcus pyogenes; child; group A Streptococcus; infection; pharyngitis; susceptibility

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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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