Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Early-life rotavirus and norovirus infections in relation to development of atopic manifestation in infants

Authors

  • J. Reimerink,

    1. The Laboratory for infectious diseases and screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • F. Stelma,

    1. The Department of Epidemiology, Care and Public health Research Institute (Caphri), Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute (Nutrim), Maastricht University, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    2. The Department of Microbiology, Academic Hospital, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • B. Rockx,

    1. The Laboratory for infectious diseases and screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. Brouwer,

    1. The Laboratory for infectious diseases and screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • E. Stobberingh,

    1. The Department of Microbiology, Academic Hospital, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. Van Ree,

    1. The Department of Experimental Immunology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and
    Search for more papers by this author
  • E. Dompeling,

    1. The Pediatric Pulmonology Department, Academic Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. Mommers,

    1. The Department of Epidemiology, Care and Public health Research Institute (Caphri), Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute (Nutrim), Maastricht University, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • C. Thijs,

    1. The Department of Epidemiology, Care and Public health Research Institute (Caphri), Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute (Nutrim), Maastricht University, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. Koopmans

    1. The Laboratory for infectious diseases and screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, Maastricht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence:
Johan Reimerink, Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
E-mail: johan.reimerink@rivm.nl

Summary

Background The increase in incidence of atopic diseases (ADs) in the developed world over the past decades has been associated with reduced exposure of childhood infections.

Objective To investigate the relation between early intestinal viral infections in relation to the development of atopic symptoms (eczema, wheeze and atopic sensitization) in the first and second year(s) of life.

Methods In the KOALA Birth Cohort Study, we assessed IgG seropositivity for rota- and norovirus (GGI.1 and GGII.4) at 1 year of age. This was related to allergic sensitization [specific immunoglobulin E (IgE)] at 1 and 2 years, and parent reported eczema and wheeze in the first 2 years, using logistic regression analysis adjusted for confounders.

Results Rotavirus seropositivity (39%) was associated with an unexpected higher risk of recurrent wheeze in the first and second year of life [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.1 and 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.1–9.1] and persistent and new recurrent wheeze (adjusted OR 2.7 and 95% CI 1.1–6.2). No further associations were found between intestinal viral seropositivity and atopic manifestations.

Conclusion Our data did not show a clear protection by enteric viral infections in young children on development of IgE response to allergens, but rotavirus infection in the first year was a risk factor for wheeze. However, this needs to be followed up to older ages in order to establish the true importance of intestinal viral infections and especially cumulative effects in AD aetiology. Exposure to rotavirus may offer a new and interesting focus on infant wheeze and later asthma development.

Ancillary