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BACKGROUND: The nature of the association between severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis and subsequent wheezing remains unknown. In a previous study, we showed that genetic variation in the IL-8-promoter region is associated with susceptibility to severe bronchiolitis. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between wheezing post-bronchiolitis and the genetic variant of IL-8 gene. METHODS: We collected data from 134 children who had suffered from bronchiolitis, enrolled in our previous study. The occurrence of wheezing post-bronchiolitis was recorded from a questionnaire sent by post. The association between the genotype and wheezing phenotype was assessed by family-based and case-control approaches. RESULTS: Family-based association showed that the IL-8 variant was transmitted significantly more often than expected in the children who wheezed after the episode of bronchiolitis (transmission=56%, P=0.02). This effect was not observed in the group of children who had bronchiolitis but did not go on to wheeze. Moreover, the variant was significantly more frequent in post-bronchiolitis wheezers compared with the general population (odds ratio=1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.0-2.6). CONCLUSION: These preliminary results suggest that there is a genetic predisposition to wheeze following severe RSV bronchiolitis.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Publication Date





801 - 803


University Department of Paediatrics, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.


Humans, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human, Bronchiolitis, Viral, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Respiratory Sounds, Interleukin-8, Chi-Square Distribution, Case-Control Studies, Follow-Up Studies, Genotype, Alleles, Child, Female, Male