To cite this article: Jartti T, Korppi M. Rhinovirus-induced bronchiolitis and asthma development. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011; 22: 350–355.
Human rhinovirus (HRV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are commonly associated with bronchiolitis. The breaking point in the dominance is approximately 12 months – rhinovirus dominates in the older children. Predisposition may markedly increase the prevalence of HRV bronchiolitis. Especially, low interferon responses and atopy-related factors have been associated with HRV bronchiolitis. The former has been considered as a sign of poor antiviral defense, and the latter could be associated with atopic airway inflammation in wheezing children. Although recurrent wheezing is common after both RSV and HRV bronchiolitis, HRV bronchiolitis carries a markedly higher risk of persistent wheezing until 6 years of age and for childhood asthma. This association has been independent from atopy at 7.2 (median) years of age. The increased risk of asthma in adulthood after non-RSV bronchiolitis vs. RSV bronchiolitis in infancy (at the time when PCR was not available for HRV diagnosis) offers indirect evidence for the association between HRV bronchiolitis and chronic asthma.