Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and its incidence has doubled in the recent half-century, now afflicting 10% of all schoolchildren. Evidence suggests that
environmental exposures in early life, such as an altered diet and a perturbed microbiome, may lead to low-grade inflammation progressing to disease. Different factors have been associated with the risk of developing pneumonia and bronchiolitis in young children such as daycare attendance, duration of breastfeeding, crowding, siblings, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, low socioeconomic status, and male sex, however these factors only explain a minor proportion of the variation. Microbial exposure during early life seems to play an important role for innate immune functioning and maturation of the adaptive immune system and influence susceptibility to disease. It has been previously demonstrated that neonates colonized in the hypopharynx with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, or Moraxella catarrhalis have an increased risk of childhood asthma and recurrent wheeze in at-risk children (Vissing et al., 2013). Therefore, we hypothesized that bacterial colonization of the neonatal airway could also affect susceptibility to pneumonia and bronchiolitis during early childhood.
In this study, we aim to investigate the possible role of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) present in the dust collected from kids’ home the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood2000 (COPSAC, http://www.copsac.com/) and the risk of developing asthma.
Vissing NH, Chawes BL & Bisgaard H (2013) Increased risk of pneumonia and bronchiolitis after bacterial colonization of the airways as neonates. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine 188: 1246-1252.