Publications by authors named "Elisabeth E Nibbelke"

12 Publications

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Infant respiratory syncytial virus prophylaxis and nasopharyngeal microbiota until 6 years of life: a subanalysis of the MAKI randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Respir Med 2020 10 20;8(10):1022-1031. Epub 2020 Mar 20.

Department of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; Medical Research Council-University of Edinburgh Centre for Inflammation Research, Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. Electronic address:

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection during infancy is suggested to cause long-term wheeze. In turn, wheeze has been associated with bacterial dysbiosis of the respiratory tract. We investigated the effects of RSV prophylaxis with palivizumab in otherwise healthy preterm infants on respiratory microbiota composition at 1 year and 6 years of age.

Methods: In a multicentre, single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial (the MAKI trial), infants born between 32-35 weeks of gestation, in one university and in 15 regional hospitals in the the Netherlands, were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive palivizumab or placebo during the RSV season of their first year of life. Intramuscular injections of palivizumab 15 mg/kg or placebo were given during one RSV season: either from Oct 1, or from discharge from the neonatal unit until March 10 (minimun of 2 and maximum of 5 injections were given). Children were 6 months old or younger at the start of the RSV season; exclusion criteria included congenital heart disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, Down's syndrome, or other serious congenital disorders, use of mechanical ventilation at birth, treatment with surfactant, or physician-diagnosed wheeze before the start of the RSV season. Children were followed up for clinical symptoms until 6 years of age. For this subanalysis, we obtained nasopharyngeal swabs from children aged 1 year and 6 years and analysed them using 16S-rRNA sequencing. At 6 years we also measured reversible airway obstruction. The primary outcome was the effect of palivizumab during infancy on the respiratory microbiota composition at age 1 year and 6 years (intention-to-treat analysis). The trial is registered in the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN73641710.

Findings: From April 1, 2008, to Dec 31, 2010, 429 infants were enrolled in the MAKI trial (n=214 to the palivizumab group; n=215 to the placebo group). At 1 year, we collected swabs and sequenced DNA from 170 (40%) of 429 children, of which 145 (85%) samples had high-quality DNA. The overall microbiota composition was significantly different (R 1·3%; p=0·0185) between the palivizumab group and the placebo group at 1 year of life; children in the palivizumab group had a significantly lower abundance of the Staphylococcus-dominated cluster (odds ratio 0·28 [95% CI 0·11-0·68]; p=0·00394), an increased abundance of biomarker species, such as Klebsiella, and a more diverse set of oral taxa, including Streptococcus spp, compared with children in the placebo group. At 6 years, we collected swabs and sequenced DNA from 349 (88%) of 395 children who completed follow-up, of which 342 (98%) samples had high-quality DNA. The overall microbiota composition was not significantly different between groups at 6 years (R 0·6%; p=0·0575); however, children in the palivizumab group had a significantly increased abundance of Haemophilus spp and lower abundance of Moraxella and Neisseriaceae spp compared with children in the placebo group. Absence of PCR-confirmed RSV infection at 1 year was significantly associated with a higher abundance of Haemophilus spp at age 6 years and a significantly lower abundance of Moraxella and Neisseriaceae than children with RSV infection at 1 year. Reversible airway obstruction at 6 years was also positively associated with Haemophilus abundance and negatively associated with the abundance of health-associated taxa, such as Moraxella, Corynebacterium, Dolosigranulum, and Staphylococcus, even after correction for RSV immunoprophylaxis (all: p<0·05). Additionally, reversible airway instruction was associated with significantly higher Streptococcus pneumoniae abundance.

Interpretation: Palivizumab in infancy in otherwise healthy preterm infants is associated with persistent effects on the abundance of specific, potentially pathogenic, microbial taxa in the respiratory tract. Several of the palivizumab-associated biomarker species were associated with reversible airway obstruction at age 6 years. These results warrant further studies to establish the long-term ecological effects and health consequences of palivizumab in infancy.

Funding: MedImmune.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(19)30470-9DOI Listing
October 2020

Correction to: Cost-effectiveness of rule-based immunoprophylaxis against respiratory syncytial virus infections in preterm infants.

Eur J Pediatr 2020 Feb;179(2):355

Division of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The name of the co-author Wendy J. Ungar was inadvertently omitted on the original published article. Her name and affiliation have now been added to the author list.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03526-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7645511PMC
February 2020

RSV hospitalization in infancy increases the risk of current wheeze at age 6 in late preterm born children without atopic predisposition.

Eur J Pediatr 2019 Apr 12;178(4):455-462. Epub 2019 Jan 12.

Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection during infancy is associated with ongoing respiratory morbidity. In a large birth cohort of 2210 healthy preterm infants born at 32-35 weeks of gestation, we aimed to determine the role of atopy in the link between RSV hospitalization and current wheeze at age 6. We defined current wheeze as parent-reported wheeze or the use of respiratory medication in the past 12 months. Based on a positive family history of atopic disease, we distinguished between children with and without atopic predisposition. Six-year follow-up data was obtained in 997/1559 (64%) children of which 102 (10.2%) children had been hospitalized with RSV during infancy. Current wheeze was present in 184/997 (18.6%) children. RSV hospitalization was an independent risk factor for current wheeze in children without atopic predisposition (aOR 4.05 [95% CI 1.22-12.52]) but not in children with this atopic background (aOR 1.50 [95% CI 0.81-2.71]).Conclusion: This is the largest published birth cohort demonstrating that in late preterm infants, atopic predisposition defines the relationship between RSV hospitalization and current wheeze. Future RSV prevention trials aiming to prevent ongoing respiratory symptoms should be analyzed separately for atopic status. What is Known: • RSV infection is responsible for a significant burden of disease in young children worldwide. • Severe RSV infection in early life is associated with asthmatic symptoms later in life. What is New: • This is the largest published birth cohort reporting about the role of atopic predisposition in the link between severe RSV infection and current wheeze at school age. • We show that RSV hospitalization in infancy is an independent risk factor for current wheeze in late preterm children without atopic predisposition at age 6. This was not seen in children with atopic predisposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-018-03309-0DOI Listing
April 2019

RSV prevention in infancy and asthma in later life - Authors' reply.

Lancet Respir Med 2018 07;6(7):e33

Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30232-7DOI Listing
July 2018

Respiratory syncytial virus prevention and asthma in healthy preterm infants: a randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Respir Med 2018 04 27;6(4):257-264. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands; Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is associated with subsequent wheeze and asthma. We previously reported on the causal relationship between prevention of RSV infection during infancy and reduced frequency of subsequent wheeze using a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial (MAKI). We continued follow-up and analysed the effect of RSV prevention during infancy on asthma and lung function at age 6 years.

Methods: We studied 429 infants born at 32-35 weeks of gestation between 2008-10 who had randomly received either palivizumab for RSV immunoprophylaxis or placebo during the RSV season of their first year of life. After the first year of follow-up, single, assessor-blind follow-up of children continued until they were aged 6 years. Primary outcomes were parent-reported current asthma and forced expiratory volume in 0·5 s (FEV). The trial is registered in the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN73641710.

Findings: 395 (92%) of 429 participants completed this 6-year follow-up study. Parent-reported current asthma was reported in 28 (14·1%) of 199 children in the RSV prevention group and 47 (24·0%) of 196 children in the placebo group (absolute risk reduction [ARR] 9·9%, 95% CI 2·2 to 17·6). The difference in current asthma, which was a composite endpoint, was due to a difference in infrequent wheeze (one to three episodes in the past year; 12 [6·0%] of 199 vs 26 [13·4%] of 194, ARR 7·4%, 95% CI 1·5 to 13·2). FEV percentage predicted values were similar between the RSV prevention group (89·1% [SD 10·6]) and placebo group (90·1% [11·1]), with a mean difference of 1·0 (95% CI -1·3 to 3·3). The proportion of children with current physician-diagnosed asthma was similar between the RSV prevention group (19 [10·3%] of 185) and placebo group (18 [9·9%] of 182), with an ARR of -0·4 (95% CI -6·5 to 5·8).

Interpretation: In otherwise healthy preterm infants, this single-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial showed that RSV prevention did not have a major effect on current asthma or lung function at age 6 years. Future research will inform on the effect of RSV prevention on asthma at school age in the general population.

Funding: AbbVie.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(18)30055-9DOI Listing
April 2018

Cost-effectiveness of rule-based immunoprophylaxis against respiratory syncytial virus infections in preterm infants.

Eur J Pediatr 2018 Jan 22;177(1):133-144. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Division of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The objective of the paper is to assess the cost-effectiveness of targeted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis based on a validated prediction rule with 1-year time horizon in moderately preterm infants compared to no prophylaxis. Data on health care consumption were derived from a randomised clinical trial on wheeze reduction following RSV prophylaxis and a large birth cohort study on risk prediction of RSV hospitalisation. We calculated the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of targeted RSV prophylaxis vs. no prophylaxis per quality-adjusted life year (QALYs) using a societal perspective, including medical and parental costs and effects. Costs and health outcomes were modelled in a decision tree analysis with sensitivity analyses. Targeted RSV prophylaxis in infants with a first-year RSV hospitalisation risk of > 10% resulted in a QALY gain of 0.02 (0.931 vs. 0.929) per patient against additional cost of €472 compared to no prophylaxis (ICER €214,748/QALY). The ICER falls below a threshold of €80,000 per QALY when RSV prophylaxis cost would be lowered from €928 (baseline) to €406 per unit. At a unit cost of €97, RSV prophylaxis would be cost saving.

Conclusions: Targeted RSV prophylaxis is not cost-effective in reducing RSV burden of disease in moderately preterm infants, but it can become cost-effective if lower priced biosimilar palivizumab or a vaccine would be available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-017-3046-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748402PMC
January 2018

Population-Attributable Risk of Risk Factors for Recurrent Wheezing in Moderate Preterm Infants During the First Year of Life.

Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2016 07 16;30(4):376-85. Epub 2016 May 16.

Division of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: Recurrent wheezing in young infants has a high prevalence, influences quality of life, and generates substantial health care costs. We previously showed that respiratory syncytial virus infection is an important mechanism of recurrent wheezing in moderate preterm infants. We aimed to provide population-attributable risks (PAR) of risk factors for recurrent wheezing during the first year of life in otherwise healthy moderate preterm infants.

Methods: RISK is a multicentre prospective birth cohort study of 4424 moderate preterm infants born at 32-35 weeks gestation. We estimated PAR of risk factors for recurrent wheezing, which was defined as three or more parent-reported wheezing episodes during the first year of life.

Results: We evaluated 3952 (89%) children at 1 year of age, of whom 705 infants (18%) developed recurrent wheezing. Fourteen variables were independently associated with recurrent wheezing. Hospitalisation for respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis had a strong relationship with recurrent wheezing (RR 2.6; 95% confidence interval, CI, 2.2, 3.1), but a relative modest PAR (8%; 95% CI 6, 11%) which can be explained by a low prevalence (13%). Day-care attendance showed a strong relationship with recurrent wheezing (RR 1.9; 95% CI 1.7, 2.2) and the highest PAR (32%; 95% CI 23, 37%) due to a high prevalence (67%). The combined adjusted PAR for the 14 risk factors associated with recurrent wheezing was 49% (95% CI 46, 52%).

Conclusions: In moderate preterm infants, day-care attendance has the largest PAR for recurrent wheezing. Trial evidence is needed to determine the potential benefit of delayed day-care attendance in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppe.12295DOI Listing
July 2016

Prediction model of RSV-hospitalization in late preterm infants: An update and validation study.

Early Hum Dev 2016 Apr 27;95:35-40. Epub 2016 Feb 27.

Division of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: New vaccines and RSV therapeutics have been developed in the past decade. With approval of these new pharmaceuticals on the horizon, new challenges lie ahead in selecting the appropriate target population. We aimed to improve a previously published prediction model for prediction of RSV-hospitalization within the first year of life.

Methods: Two consecutive prospective multicenter birth cohort studies were performed from June 2008 until February 2015. The first cohort (RISK-I, n=2524, 2008-2011) was used to update the existing model. The updated model was subsequently validated in the RISK-II cohort (n=1564, 2011-2015). We used the TRIPOD criteria for transparent reporting.

Results: 181 infants (n=127 in RISK-I, n=54 in RISK-II) were hospitalized for RSV within their first year of life. The updated model included the following predictors; day care attendance and/or siblings (OR: 5.3; 95% CI 2.8-10.1), birth between Aug. 14th and Dec. 1st (OR: 2.4; 1.8-3.2), neonatal respiratory support (OR 2.2; 1.6-3.0), breastfeeding ≤4 months (OR 1.6; 1.2-2.2) and maternal atopic constitution (OR 1.5; 1.1-2.1). The updated models' discrimination was superior to the original model in the RISK-II cohort (AUROC 0.72 95% CI 0.65-0.78 versus AUROC 0.66, 95% CI 0.60-0.73, respectively). The updated model was translated into a simple nomogram to be able to distinguish infants with high versus low risk of RSV-hospitalization.

Conclusion: We developed and validated a clinical prediction model to be able to predict RSV-hospitalization in preterm infants born within 32-35 weeks gestational age. A simple nomogram was developed to target RSV therapeutics to those children who will benefit the most.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2016.01.020DOI Listing
April 2016

Cesarean section and hospitalization for respiratory syncytial virus infection.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2015 Feb;34(2):227

Department of Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000000612DOI Listing
February 2015

Prospective validation of a prognostic model for respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis in late preterm infants: a multicenter birth cohort study.

PLoS One 2013 12;8(3):e59161. Epub 2013 Mar 12.

Department Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases, University Medical Center, Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Objectives: This study aimed to update and validate a prediction rule for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) hospitalization in preterm infants 33-35 weeks gestational age (WGA).

Study Design: The RISK study consisted of 2 multicenter prospective birth cohorts in 41 hospitals. Risk factors were assessed at birth among healthy preterm infants 33-35 WGA. All hospitalizations for respiratory tract infection were screened for proven RSV infection by immunofluorescence or polymerase chain reaction. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to update an existing prediction model in the derivation cohort (n = 1,227). In the validation cohort (n = 1,194), predicted versus actual RSV hospitalization rates were compared to determine validity of the model.

Results: RSV hospitalization risk in both cohorts was comparable (5.7% versus 4.9%). In the derivation cohort, a prediction rule to determine probability of RSV hospitalization was developed using 4 predictors: family atopy (OR 1.9; 95%CI, 1.1-3.2), birth period (OR 2.6; 1.6-4.2), breastfeeding (OR 1.7; 1.0-2.7) and siblings or daycare attendance (OR 4.7; 1.7-13.1). The model showed good discrimination (c-statistic 0.703; 0.64-0.76, 0.702 after bootstrapping). External validation showed good discrimination and calibration (c-statistic 0.678; 0.61-0.74).

Conclusions: Our prospectively validated prediction rule identifies infants at increased RSV hospitalization risk, who may benefit from targeted preventive interventions. This prediction rule can facilitate country-specific, cost-effective use of RSV prophylaxis in late preterm infants.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0059161PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3595233PMC
September 2013

Impact of reduced chemotherapy treatment for good risk childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on infectious morbidity*.

Br J Haematol 2011 Feb 11;152(4):433-40. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Department of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology, University Medical Centre Utrecht Department of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious diseases, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Reducing infectious morbidity is an important goal to improve childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) survival. To explore the impact of chemotherapy reduction on infectious morbidity, we compared outpatient and inpatient infectious morbidity of reduced versus intensive (conventional) chemotherapy. One hundred and seventy-one children newly diagnosed with ALL between 2004 and 2007 and treated according to the Dutch Childhood Oncology Group ALL 10 protocol were prospectively followed during the 2-year treatment course. Stratified by minimal residual disease, 54 patients received reduced (standard risk; SR) and 117 patients received intensive (medium risk; MR) intensification/maintenance treatment. SR outpatients had a median of 1 febrile episode versus 4 in MR outpatients (P=0·002). SR patients had fewer hospitalizations for fever. They were admitted a median of 0 times, with a median of 0days of hospitalization, median 0days of fever, median 0 times chemotherapy interruption and median 0 times intravenous antibiotics. MR patients were admitted for fever median 2 times (P<0·001) with 10days of hospitalization (P<0·001), 2days of fever (P<0·001), one chemotherapy interruption (P<0·001) and two intravenous antibiotics administration (P<0·001). These data indicate that reduced intensification/maintenance compared to conventional intensive intensification/maintenance chemotherapy for good risk childhood ALL resulted in major decrease of infectious morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08463.xDOI Listing
February 2011

Immune reconstitution in children following chemotherapy for haematological malignancies: a long-term follow-up.

Br J Haematol 2011 Jan 28;152(2):201-10. Epub 2010 Nov 28.

Department of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Modern intensive chemotherapy for childhood haematological malignancies has led to high cure rates, but has detrimental effects on the immune system. There is little knowledge concerning long-term recovery of the adaptive immune system. Here we studied the long-term reconstitution of the adaptive immune system in 31 children treated for haematological malignancies between July 2000 and October 2006. We performed detailed phenotypical and functional analyses of the various B and T cell subpopulations until 5 years after chemotherapy. We show that recovery of newly-developed transitional B cells and naive B and T cells occurred rapidly, within months, whereas recovery of the different memory B and T cell subpopulations was slower and incomplete, even after 5 years post-chemotherapy. The speed of B and T cell recovery was age-independent, despite a significant contribution of the thymus to T cell recovery. Plasmablast B cell levels remained above normal and immunoglobulin levels normalised within 1 week. Functional T cell responses were normal, even within the first year post-chemotherapy. This study shows that after intensive chemotherapy for haematological malignancies in children, numbers of several memory B and T cell subpopulations were decreased on the long term, while functional T cell responses were not compromised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2141.2010.08478.xDOI Listing
January 2011