Bronchiolitis | Action Medical Research | Children's Charity | Children's Charity


This research was completed on 31 August 2003

Project LeaderProfessor R L Smyth MA, MBBS, FRCPCH, MD, Professor C A Hart BSc, MBBS, PhD, FRCPCH, FRCPath and Dr P S McNamara MBBS, MRCP.
LocationInstitute of Child Health, University of Liverpool, Department of Medical Microbiology and Genito-Urinary Medicine, Royal Liverpool University Hospital in conjunction with Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool.
Grant awarded7 March 2002
Start date1 September 2002
End date31 August 2003
Grant amount£50,832.00
Grant codeSP3814

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Bronchiolitis is an important cause of lung disease in children. Each year, in the UK alone, bronchiolitis results in the hospitalisation of some 20,000 children under one year old. Yet despite being one of the most common childhood diseases, few parents have ever heard of the condition. Most cases are caused by infection with a virus called Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Many of the children who have severe bronchiolitis have other underlying medical conditions such as being born prematurely or with a heart defect. This team has tried to find out how the human body responds to RSV infection by measuring the number of different cells in the lungs of babies with bronchiolitis. They have discovered that infants born prematurely produce fewer cells in their lungs than babies born at term. The team now plans to measure what indicators of lung inflammation children with severe bronchiolitis produce. This sort of information is essential for vaccine development against RSV, and thereby the prevention of lung disease in young children.

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