Publications by authors named "Cornelia E Muller"

2 Publications

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Inverse association between Chlamydia pneumoniae respiratory tract infection and initiation of asthma or allergic rhinitis in children.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2005 Mar;16(2):137-44

Department of Infectious, Bronchopulmonary and Allergic Diseases, Children's and Youth Hospital, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Greifswald, Germany.

To evaluate the role of Chlamydia pneumoniae respiratory tract infection on pediatric asthma, allergic rhinitis or atopic eczema initiation, children of three age groups (n=1211) were prospectively studied for a C. pneumoniae infection using throat swabs and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with enzyme immunoassay (EIA) detection. Infected children (study group, SG) were examined monthly until the agent could not be detected, quantifying persistent infection. They were compared with randomly selected, non-infected children without asthma matched for age, gender and origin (control group, CG) regarding lung function and inflammatory parameters as well as initiation of allergic diseases judged by family doctor diagnosis after, in median, 22 months. At the first follow-up examination, SG children revealed a higher leukotriene B4 (median 36 pg/ml vs. 19, p=0.04) and 8-isoprostane (median 15 pg/ml vs. 12, p=0.04) in breath condensate characterizing neutrophil, agent-related inflammation and oxidative stress in the lower airways. Cysteinyl leukotrienes, important in acute allergic inflammation, were without difference. Local, anti C. pneumoniae secretory immunoglobulin A antibodies were higher in children after C. pneumoniae infection (optical density median 0.7 vs. 0.4, p=0.001) confirming PCR-EIA results. At the final examination, there was no difference in pathological lung function tests, parameters of exhaled breath condensate or eosinophilia of the nasal mucosa. Incidence of asthma (0/55 vs. 5/54, p=0.03) and allergic rhinitis [3/53 vs. 10/52, p=0.04, odds ratio and 95% confidence interval-OR 0.25 (0.06;0.98)] as well as prevalence of asthma [1/56 vs. 9/58, p=0.02, OR 0.1 (0.01;0.81)] and allergic rhinitis [6/56 vs. 16/58, p=0.03, OR 0.32 (0.11;0.88)] were lower in the SG children. There was no association in atopic eczema. Three children with persistent infection revealed a slightly higher incidence in allergic rhinitis without significance than those with single C. pneumoniae detection (1/3 vs. 2/50), however, not to the CG. In conclusion a C. pneumoniae upper respiratory tract infection may be regarded as a protective factor for childhood asthma or allergic rhinitis in a population of kindergarten and school-age children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3038.2005.00229.xDOI Listing
March 2005

Prevalence, rate of persistence and respiratory tract symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in 1211 kindergarten and school age children.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2002 Aug;21(8):758-62

Department of Infectious, Bronchopulmorary and Allergic Deseases, Children's and Youth Hospital, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Greifwald, Germany.

Background: is a common cause of respiratory disease, but little is known about asymptomatic infection, duration of persistent respiratory tract infection and seasonal changes of prevalence in a normal large sample size pediatric population.

Methods: We studied the prevalence of infection in 1211 children of 3 age groups: 3- to 4-year-old kindergarten children ( = 184) and schoolchildren attending first and second ( = 353) or seventh and eighth grade classes ( = 674). Polymerase chain reaction and enzyme immunoassay detection (PCR-EIA) of throat swabs were used. Respiratory tract symptoms (cough, rhinitis, earache or sore throat) were recorded in 1028 schoolchildren. Follow-up examinations in PCR-positive patients were performed until negative.

Results: PCR was positive in 68 children (5.6%) without significant age and gender related differences in prevalence. Epidemics were confirmed with a prevalence up to 24% in a primary school in December and April. In schoolchildren, asymptomatic infection was a common feature, reaching 54% (32 of 59) of PCR-EIA positives. The rate of asymptomatic infection was 6% (32 of 531 schoolchildren without symptoms). Of the 32 asymptomatic PCR-EIA positives, 26 (81%) were children attending seventh and eighth grade classes. In 3 children PCR-EIA remained positive at 3 to 5 weeks and became negative during the next 7 to 9 weeks. One of 2 schoolchildren with persistent infection was asymptomatic.

Conclusions: We conclude that infection is common in the childhood population studied with seasonal variations in prevalence and epidemic-like occurrence. Asymptomatic infection occurs, especially in teenagers, but persistent infection is rare.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00006454-200208000-00012DOI Listing
August 2002