Monday April 22, 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.

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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)

Next Story

Diabetes During Pregnancy Spikes up the Risk in Kids Later

For the study, the researchers included 73,180 mothers

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The study showed that a child or teenager whose mother had gestational diabetes -- diabetes during pregnancy -- was nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years. Pixabay

Children and youths whose mothers had diabetes during their pregnancy are themselves at an increased risk of the disorder, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

The study showed that a child or teenager whose mother had gestational diabetes — diabetes during pregnancy — was nearly twice as likely to develop diabetes before the age of 22 years.

The association was found in children from birth to the age of 22 years, from birth to 12 years, and from 12 to 22 years, said the study, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“Although Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes in parents are well-established risk factors for diabetes, we show that gestational diabetes mellitus may be a risk indicator for diabetes in the mother’s children before age 22,” said Kaberi Dasgupta, clinician-scientist from the McGill University in Canada.

“This link of diabetes in children and youth with gestational diabetes in the mother has the potential to stimulate clinicians, parents, and children and youth themselves to consider the possibility of diabetes if offspring of a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus develop signs and symptoms such as frequent urination, abnormal thirst, weight loss or fatigue,” said Dasgupta.

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According to World Health Organzation, diabetes can be treated and its consequences can be avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.

For the study, the researchers included 73,180 mothers. (IANS)