Monday December 16, 2019

Nose of Kids Hold Clues to Serious Lung Infections

Experts say this breaks with traditional thinking that symptoms predict whether either a virus or bacteria is causing the illness and could impact a decision of whether or not to use antibiotics

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People pass by an installation of an artificial model of lungs to illustrate the effect of air pollution outside a hospital in New Delhi, India, Nov. 5, 2018.

Tiny organisms in a child’s nose could offer clues to improving the diagnosis and treatment of severe lung infections, a new study suggests.

The study found that the composition of the microbiome — bacteria and viruses found in vast numbers in the body — was altered in the noses of children with respiratory infections, compared with his healthy peers.

This difference predicted how much time children had to spend in hospital and helped spot those likely to recover naturally, potentially reducing the need for antibiotics, said researchers from the University of Edinburgh.

“Our findings show, for the first time, the total microbial community in the respiratory tract — rather than a single virus or a bacteria — is a vital indicator of respiratory health. This could impact how doctors diagnose LRTIs and use precious antibiotics to fight infections,” said lead author Debby Bogaert, Professor at the varsity.

Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), including pneumonia and bronchiolitis, are a leading cause of death. Symptoms include, shortness of breath, weakness and fever.

Coal Miners
Former coal miner Wade Pauley, who has Black Lung disease after working 33 years underground in mines, stands for a chest x-ray at United Medical Services in Pikeville, Kentucky, U.S., May 22, 2018. (VOA)

It was found that the microbiome in the back of the nose and throat was related to that seen in the lungs, making it easier to understand and diagnose infections.

For the study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, the researchers studied more than 150 children under the age of six, hospitalised with LRTI. They compared them with 300 healthy children.

Children with LRTI had a different microbiome profile — including the types and amounts of individual viral and bacterial organisms — compared with the healthy children.

Also Read- Inactive Ingredients in Medicines May Cause Allergy: Study

These profiles could identify 92 per cent of children as being healthy or ill when combined with factors like the child’s age. This was true no matter what symptoms the child had.

Experts say this breaks with traditional thinking that symptoms predict whether either a virus or bacteria is causing the illness and could impact a decision of whether or not to use antibiotics. (IANS)

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Consumption Of Sugary Beverages Declines Among US Kids: Study

US kids are consuming less sugary beverages, says a study

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Consumption of Beverages
Kids in USA have reduced the consumption of sweetened beverages. Pixabay

Children and adolescents in the United States consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) declined significantly between 2003 and 2014, says a study.

This decline in consumption was found among children and adolescents in all groups studied, including those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the US federally funded programme that provides food assistance to more than 40 million low-income Americans each month — half of whom are children.

However, the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine demonstrated that even with the decline, current levels remain too high, with 61 per cent of all children and 75.6 per cent of SNAP recipients still consuming an SSB on a typical day.

“While the observed declines in children’s sugar-sweetened beverage consumption over the past decade are promising, the less favourable trends among children in SNAP suggest the need for more targeted efforts to reduce sugary drink consumption,” said study lead investigator J. Wyatt Koma, Independent Researcher, US.

For the study, the research team used nationally representative dietary data for 15,645 children and adolescents (aged 2 to 19 years) from the 2003 to 2014 US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).

Sugary beverages
The decline in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among kids is promising. Pixabay

They classified children according to self-reported participation in the SNAP programme and household income: 27.8 per cent were SNAP participants; 15.3 per cent were income-eligible but not SNAP participants; 29.7 per cent had lower incomes that were ineligible for SNAP; and 27.2 per cent had higher incomes that were ineligible for SNAP.

From 2003 to 2014, the share of children consuming an SSB on a typical day declined significantly across all SNAP participation groups, primarily driven by declines in soda consumption.

Among children who were SNAP participants, the percentage drinking SSBs declined from 84.2 per cent to 75.6 per cent and per capita daily consumption of SSB calories declined from 267 to 182 calories.

In 2014, nearly one in four children who were income-eligible for the SNAP programme consumed a fruit drink on any given day (SNAP participants: 24.8 per cent; Income-eligible nonparticipants: 23.4 per cent).

Also Read- Lemon Water- Remedy For A Healthy You

The share of participants consuming a sports/energy drink on any given day tripled from 2003 to 2014 (from 2.6 percent to 8.4 per cent), the study said.

“While our results confirm that efforts to decrease SSB consumption over the past decade have been successful, they also suggest that the continued surveillance of children’s SSB consumption by beverage type is important,” said study senior author Sara N. Bleich from Harvard University in the US. (IANS)