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      The role of respiratory viruses in cystic fibrosis


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          Previous studies have suggested a role played by respiratory viruses in the exacerbation of cystic fibrosis (CF). However, the impact of respiratory viruses could have been underestimated because of the low detection rate by conventional laboratory methods.


          Children with CF had nasal swabs and sputum samples obtained on a routine basis and when they developed respiratory exacerbations. Nucleic Acid Sequence Based Amplification (NASBA) was used to detect respiratory viruses from nasal swabs. The definition of a respiratory exacerbation was when the symptom score totalled to 4 or more, or if the peak expiratory flow fell by more than 50 l/min from the child's usual best value, or if the parent subjectively felt that the child was developing a cold.


          71 patients had 165 reported episodes of respiratory exacerbations. 138 exacerbation samples were obtained of which 63 (46%) were positive for respiratory viruses. In contrast, 23 of 136 asymptomatic nasal swabs (16.9%) were positive for respiratory viruses. There was significantly more viruses being detected during respiratory exacerbations, in particular influenza A, influenza B and rhinovirus ( p < 0.05).

          Upper respiratory symptoms significantly correlated with positive respiratory viral detection ( p < 0.05). This study also showed that viral respiratory exacerbations in CF could be independent from bacterial infections.


          Respiratory viruses are associated with exacerbations in CF and upper respiratory symptoms are strong predictors for their presence. ‘Real-time’ NASBA has a rapid turn-around time and has the potential to aid clinical decision making, such as the use of anti-virals and administration of antibiotics.

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          Most cited references40

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          A newly discovered human pneumovirus isolated from young children with respiratory tract disease

          From 28 young children in the Netherlands, we isolated a paramyxovirus that was identified as a tentative new member of the Metapneumovirus genus based on virological data, sequence homology and gene constellation. Previously, avian pneumovirus was the sole member of this recently assigned genus, hence the provisional name for the newly discovered virus: human metapneumovirus. The clinical symptoms of the children from whom the virus was isolated were similar to those caused by human respiratory syncytial virus infection, ranging from upper respiratory tract disease to severe bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Serological studies showed that by the age of five years, virtually all children in the Netherlands have been exposed to human metapneumovirus and that the virus has been circulating in humans for at least 50 years.
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            Community study of role of viral infections in exacerbations of asthma in 9-11 year old children.

            To study the association between upper and lower respiratory viral infections and acute exacerbations of asthma in schoolchildren in the community. Community based 13 month longitudinal study using diary card respiratory symptom and peak expiratory flow monitoring to allow early sampling for viruses. 108 Children aged 9-11 years who had reported wheeze or cough, or both, in a questionnaire. Southampton and surrounding community. Upper and lower respiratory viral infections detected by polymerase chain reaction or conventional methods, reported exacerbations of asthma, computer identified episodes of respiratory tract symptoms or peak flow reductions. Viruses were detected in 80% of reported episodes of reduced peak expiratory flow, 80% of reported episodes of wheeze, and in 85% of reported episodes of upper respiratory symptoms, cough, wheeze, and a fall in peak expiratory flow. The median duration of reported falls in peak expiratory flow was 14 days, and the median maximum fall in peak expiratory flow was 81 l/min. The most commonly identified virus type was rhinovirus. This study supports the hypothesis that upper respiratory viral infections are associated with 80-85% of asthma exacerbations in school age children.
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              Efficacy and safety of oseltamivir in treatment of acute influenza: a randomised controlled trial. Neuraminidase Inhibitor Flu Treatment Investigator Group.

              Use of some antiviral drugs for influenza infection is limited by potential rapid emergence of resistance. We studied the efficacy and safety of oseltamivir, the oral prodrug of the neuraminidase inhibitor GS4071, in adults with naturally acquired laboratory-confirmed influenza. We did a randomised controlled trial of 726 previously healthy non-immunised adults with febrile influenza-like illness of up to 36 h duration. Patients were assigned oral oseltamivir 75 mg (n=243), oseltamivir 150 mg (n=245), or placebo (n=238) twice daily for 5 days. We assessed recovery by questionnaire and temperature recordings. The primary endpoint was time to resolution of illness in influenza-infected patients. 475 (66%) patients had confirmed infection. Duration of illness was significantly shorter by 29 h (25% reduction, median duration 87.4 h [95% CI 73.3-104.7], p=0.02) with oseltamivir 75 mg and by 35 h (30%, 81.8 h [68.2-100.0], p=0.01) with oseltamivir 150 mg than with placebo (116.5 h [101.5-137.8]). The effect of oseltamivir was apparent within 24 h of the start of treatment. In patients treated within 24 h of symptom onset, symptoms were alleviated 43 h (37% reduction) and 47 h (40%) earlier with oseltamivir 75 mg and 150 mg, respectively, compared with placebo (75 mg 74.5 h [68.2-98.0], p=0.02; 150 mg 70.7 h [54.0-89.4], p=0.01; placebo 117.5 h [103.0-143.8]). Oseltamivir was associated with lower [corrected] symptom scores, less viral shedding, and improved health, activity, and sleep quality, and was well tolerated. Oseltamivir was effective and well tolerated in the treatment of natural influenza infection in adults. The efficacy, tolerability, and ease of administration warrant further investigation in children, elderly patients, and at-risk patients.

                Author and article information

                J Cyst Fibros
                J. Cyst. Fibros
                Journal of Cystic Fibrosis
                European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V.
                6 February 2008
                July 2008
                6 February 2008
                : 7
                : 4
                : 320-328
                [a ]Department of Cystic Fibrosis, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
                [b ]Llandough Hospital, Penarth, UK
                [c ]University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
                [d ]Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, UK
                [e ]Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, UK
                [f ]Neville Hall Hospital, Abergavenney, UK
                [g ]Singleton Hospital, Swansea, UK
                [h ]Department of Cystic Fibrosis, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. 146 Adventurers Quay, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4NR, Tel.: +44 2920465384; fax: +44 2920465384. denniswat118@ 123456hotmail.com
                Copyright © 2008 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.


                influenza vaccination,cystic fibrosis,nasba
                influenza vaccination, cystic fibrosis, nasba


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